Personal Handicap Program for use with Sailwave and Pursuit Race Calculator

This is a program for use with the excellent Sailwave program produced by Colin Jenkins. It is supplied free of charge in the hope that other Sailwave users will find it useful.

Sailwave includes some features for Personal Handicap - so why this program?

    • This program allows any method of personal handicapping to be handled
    • It can print from Excel the full workings of the handicap calculation so it can be verified
    • Any user familiar with Excel can write and test their own personal handicapping system
    • It is easy to operate once it is configured
    • Automatically uses the current Sailwave file
    • Can be used for Other Purposes to create Excel files from Sailwave
    • Version 2 can be used for Pursuit race calculations and Personal handicapping by modified start times.

So How does it work.

For Pursuit Racing see the section further below

The simple principle is that you open and use Sailwave as normal - when you are ready to calculate the Personal Handicap for the next race simple run the SWPH program and you will see something similar to above. SWPH will automatically detect the file you have open in Sailwave and use the same although if for some reason you want to work on a different file select one of the recent files from the drop down or Browse for any file.

Select the Race you have just scored and finished in the example screen shot above this is Race 2.

Now Click the "To Excel" button and it will open up Excel then save the data you have open in Sailwave (Just in case you haven't done so already) and copy the relevant competitors and all their information into Excel. The Formulas in Excel will calculate the new Handicap to be used with the next race. At this point you can manually adjust any that you need to for exceptional events etc. Then Click the "Ratings To SW" button and this will automatically close Sailwave insert the new handicaps for the next race (Race 3 in this case) into the Sailwave data file and restart Sailwave with this file

As simple as that in use.

What I am offering here is a mechanism to handle Personal Handicaps with Sailwave, what I am not offering are the rules to Calculate the personal handicap. This is up to you or someone else to develop and hopefully this will stimulate a healthy discussion on the Sailwave User Group.

There is no real limitation on how the new handicap is calculated because you have the full power of Excel to use. SWPH uses a template that contains the formula to use and also a configuration worksheet to specify how this is populated from Sailwave.

The Excel Template SWPH.xls

This contains 2 worksheets "Main" and "Config"

The Main Worksheet Template

You can modify this to any layout that you like

The Config Worksheet

Here on the Config Worksheet you specify where the data from Sailwave goes in the Main Worksheet

When you click the To Excel button a copy of the template is made and named the same name as the Sailwave file but with an xls extention. The Template file SWPH.xls must me in the same directory as the program SWPH.exe. The new xls file will be in the same directory as the .blw file

The Result

I have added some comments as designated by the little red triangles in the top right corner of the cells to help explain the columns and cells.

One cell worthy of special note is the Cell at L6, this contains a formula which varies the degree of change applied to the handicap so that you could config it such that the early races change the handicap faster than the later races. Of course you can set it such that all races are equal if this is what you want. As said earlier I am not offering a solution as to the methods involved in calculating a personal handicap only a way of doing it with Sailwave.

I have included the main program SWPH.exe, a sample template SWPH.xls and a sample Sailwave file to play with.

The sample Sailwave file uses Aliases so that you can score a Personal Handicap and class racing from the same results. SWPH currently selects which competitors to work with by looking for an upper case "PH" in the class. I'm looking for suggestions as to the best way of selecting competitors (That is relatively easy to implement)

Pursuit Racing Calculations

and personal handicapping using modified starts

The concept is similar to the calculation / modification of the ratings in the description above but here we modify the starts.

For a quick overview of you can watch this video (sorry its unedited at the moment) Using SWPH for Pursuit calculations

Included in the download is a template file PursuitTemplateStd.xls

  • Run SWPH
  • Select the Sailwave file you want to process if it is not the last one you used
  • Select the template file PursuitTemplateStd.xls or one you have developed yourself
  • Select which race from which you want to use to feed the ratings into Excel. (Normally leave this at 1 but if you are adjusting handicaps it is probably the last one you raced - SWPH will attempt to quess for you anyway)
  • Click to Excel
  • Check and modify any of the start times
  • Click the Starts to SW button
  • Select if you want to use Class or individual starts (Class will create a start for each class in the file - Individual will create one for each competitor)
  • Select the Race you want to create the starts for (This is normally automatically set for you but you can override it if you wish)
  • Select if you wish to keep existing starts in this race if you do these starts will be added to those already there otherwise all other starts for this race will be deleted.
  • Click Go

You can now close down SWPH and open your Sailwave file with Sailwave.

There are 2 Templates supplied the Std one is simpler and can be used for Calculating Pursuit races the Full one shows how more information can be transferred to Excel.

These are sample templates but you can create new ones or modify these to produce your own requirements.

The idea is you can also use it to perform personal handicapping by modifying the start times of competitors.

You might like to share what you have created with other users of the Sailwave User Group.


V1.0.8 27/06/12

  • Added ability to select the template file.
    • This can be done from the File Menu or
    • From the Command line e.g. SWPH templatefile.xls for regular ones create a windows shortcut with the template file specified
  • Added FilterValue to Config worksheet
    • You can now specify what to look for in the Class field to select the competitors e.g. PH or Echo
    • A No FilterValue entry defaults to PH
    • A blank value for the FilterValue will include all competitors
  • Added RatingConvert to Config Worksheet

If this is set to True the Program will attempt to convert the Handicap rating used in Sailwave to TCF when it transfers between Sailwave and the Spreadsheet and vice versa when it writes the updated ratings back to Sailwave

For example if Sailwave is set to use PY as the ratings type then if a boat has a PY of 1000 it will convert this to 1.000 when it writes it to the spread sheet and a new rating of 1.000 would get written back to Sailwave as a PY of 1000. This allows the same Template to be used even if you are using a different rating system. (Let me know if its useful) Otherwise the Template should be suitable for the Rating system that is being used by the Sailwave file. The sample template expects ratings in the TCF Time Correction Format

  • Added Extras fields that can be extracted from Sailwave ( see Config worksheet ) to allow addition uses of program
    • Laps
    • HelmAgeGroup
    • CrewAgeGroup
    • HelmSex
    • CrewSex
    • Notes
    • PrivateNotes
  • Added a Help option to the menu
    • About tells you the current version
    • Online Help opens this in the default browser

V1.0.9 27/06/12

    • Fix bug with using correct template

V1.0.10 28/06/12

  • Fixed a bug with elapsed times less than 1 hour
  • Added Extra fields that can be extracted from Sailwave (See Config Worksheet)
    • SailNoFull is now Nationality and Sail number combined
    • SailNo is just SailNo
    • Nat is Nationality
  • Added the ability to omit competitors with DNC as an option, so only competitors with results for this race specified are transferred to the spreadsheet. Very useful if the sailwave file is a series with only some competitors in some of the races

V1.0.12 02/02/13

  • Change Processing of file to be compatible with the new Sailwave format for 2.5 onwards
  • Fixed problem with Subscript out of range on some files (Increased number of columns supported)

V1.0.13 26/02/13

  • Changed the way columns are handled so shouldn't get any problems as they edited
  • Fixed problem with Subscript out of range on some files (Increased number of Property Names supported)

V2.0.1 28/04/13

  • Added support to write Starts back to Sailwave so that it can be used both for Pursuit racing and Personal Handicapping with delayed starts
  • Added memorising of Template to use

V2.0.2 30/09/15

  • Modified ratings for VY Victoria Yardstick to work to 1 decimal place instead of integer


If the version of Sailwave you are using is one that requires administrator rights to run then please use either an earlier on or later one which does not require admin rights as the versions that require admin rights will not operate correctly with this program. All the later versions 2.8 onward are OK

You can download the Program SWPH.zip from


The program consists of a single file - SWPH.exe plus a template SWPH.xls

Version 2 also has PursuitTemplateStd.xls and PursuitTemplateFull.xls for use in calculating Pursuit races.

Download and extract them from the zip to a location on the same drive as Sailwave is installed.

The SWPH.exe and the SWPH.xls must be in the same directory.

From Version 2 the Template file you last used is remembered.

The sample Sailwave (.blw) file included can go anywhere that has Read/Write access

You may also want to create a shortcut to the SWPH.exe file to make it easy to run.

Then just double click the exe or your shortcut.

The program should be usable as it is but there is always room for improvement, let me or the Sailwave users group know what you would like to see changed and I see what I can do.

Any Problems or Feedback please email me