For some years now we have used the RYA NHC progressive handicap for our one design Dragons and Squibs, and we did this for the same reasons you seem to have. We have two prizes per league one is the usual “First Past the Post” and then we give prizes based on the handicap results, none of the top 3 in the First Past the Post can win the Handicap Prizes. You can use end time or elapse time for this. Within Sailwave there is a facility to “Alias” a boat so we create the normal fleet then using the Alias function within Sailwave we create another “virtual fleet” that is the handicap fleet, and within the scoring options, you set you the different scoring methods.
We have ( well did if it wasn’t for Corvid19) two racing days per week one day’s racing is during the day and the other during the evening, because of the location of our racing and the nature of the coastline, Day racing can and does present different challenges to evening racing, so we manage the handicap for both evening and day separately, what I mean by this is that as one day league finishes we take the ending value of the individual’s progressive handicap and use it as the start value for the next day league. we do not take handicap values from evening leagues and use them for day leagues starts I hope that makes sense.
You only have to score each boat once per race, ie note the finish time or elapse time once per race, Sailwave looks after the scoring for the Handicapped Alias “Virtual” fleet.
To get the “base” NHC handicap for each one design please refer to the RYA site.
As an example of how Sailwave generates the results take a look at one of our League results for the Dragons in 2019 here https://glandoreyc.com/racingresults/2019/dsummerlge.htm
Apologies if you find my description confusing, there are probably others on this site than can explain it more eloquently, but I thought I would mention it as an idea for you.
Within this forum, you will see threads that explain the set up of Alias in more detail