In these two simulation runs, all the top boats were deliberately placed into the bottom heat of race 2, simulating the nightmare outcome that they all came last or next to last in their seeding races.  And, the discrepancy weighting method was the very steep J -- that is, pretty much all except the top boats were disregarded. The first graph considers whether more discards would help the top boats, and the answer seems to be, No, not really.  As long as there are at least 4 promotions per heat, the cream will rise to the top. The second graph considers the question whether a nightmare start in the seeding races will affect different fleet ability spreads in different ways.  The answer seems to be, Well, somewhat.  In this graph, it seems that the closer in ability the also-ran boats are, the more discrepant the event outcome.  That is, while the top boats will always eventually rise to the top, the higher discrepancy scores come from the mid-fleet runners who started off "out of place" in race 2 and who never systematically fell back to places more in line with their abilities.  Interesting again... The following graphs show a simulation which looks at how the top boats 'bubble' back up to A heat, and how the also-rans 'bubble' back down to the heat they 'should' be in, race by race during the event.  Each graph shows the approximate heat bandings, C heat at the top (positions 32 to 48), B heat in the middle (positions 16 to 32), and A heat at the bottom (positions 1 to 16).  The first graph shows 1 promotion per heat, the next 2, and so on.  There are 48 boats in the event of 20 races. With 1, 2, or 3 promotions, the top boats all make it into A heat eventually, some more quickly than others.  With 4 (or more) promotions, they tend to make it back up to A heat more quickly, but it is not immediate.  Only boat #1 makes it into A heat after race 2, for example, while boat #4 just gets as far as B heat and boats #2 and #3 remain in C heat for a further race. What is very striking is how the bottom boats take their time being demoted.  With just 1 promotion / relegation per heat, boat 48 for example manages to hang on in A fleet until race 15, despite being the lowest ability boat in the whole fleet.  With 2 promotions / relegations, boat 45 stays in A heat until race 10;  and so on.