Personal handicap chat archive

All our Club races are based on a personal handicap (PH) or a percentage
handicap as I prefer to call it, because of our wide range of boats sailing
from our facilities. Our fleet range from Optimists to Keelboats and we have
ten divisions starting separately each Saturday during the summer sailing
season. We have four divisions of trailer yachts, two divisions of
keelboats, one division of each catamarans, double handed dinghies, mono
dinghies and junior classes.

We are a sponsor of Sailwave and use it extensively for Championship Events
and find it an excellent program whether we have 10 competitors or 100.
Check some of the results on our web page

Many of our Championship Events have a handicap series as well and therefore
we have a big need for some form of handicap generater within Sailwave that
can produce a handicap by averaging the results of the fleet in the first 2,
3 or 4 races of a series.

At present we use either a calculater (very time consuming) or an Excel
spreadsheet to calculate our % handicap. We take the fastest boat, boat A,
and calculate every other boats handicap by dividing their time into boat
A's time. e.g. Boat A's time 45 mins 30 secs and boat B's time is 65 mins 20
secs therefore convert the seconds to decimals of a minute and calculate
45.5 divided by 65.33 = 0.693. I prefer to multiply all handicaps by 0.900
to make sure they are all under 1.000 and therefore allow for adjustment.
Boat A's handicap would be 0.900 and Boat B's handicap would be 0.626 for a
whole series whether is be 3, 7 or 10 races.

Using a handicap generater the handicap figure for the next series would be
calculated by averaging the previous series to produce an amended percentage
figure for the next series. Just to confuse you further I have used in the
past a penalty for the first three boats in a series. The winner would have
0.005 added to three handicap, second 0.003 and third 0.001 just to make
them work a little harder next time.

Our Trailer Yacht fleet have been using a locally produced computer program
with a handicap generater that averages the boats performance over the last
four races and automatically adjusts the handicap for the next race, which
my understanding means you could have a different handicap for each race in
a series of seven races and I personally have some difficulty with that
particularly were discards are involved in a series.

By using a percentage handicap I find that during a regatta of mixed boats
the slower and less experienced helmperson can win a series (just like a
golf beginer can beat a professional if they play to or better than their
handicap) and this encourages the beginer, novice etc to particapate and

Wayne Nolan N.R.O.
Sailing Committee
Naval Point Club Lytteton N.Z.[/b]

At Tudor S.C. we run an Autumn Series which uses achieved (personal)

These are calculated by taking an average of the acheived handicaps over
most races in the season (excluding pursuit races and split handicap races).

For each qualifying race, the average corrected time is calulated for the
whole fleet. The acheived handicap is then the corrected time for the boat
multiplied by the PY number for the boat and divided by the average
corrected time.

We then take an average of these acheived handicaps to get the personal
handicap. Crews must complete at least 4 qualifying races to get a personal

We are keen to use Sailwave and this is currently the only stumbling block.
Using the Rating needed to win feature does give a similar result to the
achieved handicaps and we could use this if we could easily take the
figures, average them for the qualifying races and then produce a table of
personal handicaps.

Our results secretary has an Excel system that works and is reluctant to
change at the moment, although I much prefer the look of the Sailwave
results, especially for our website.


Richard Gunn
Hon. Sailing Secretary
Tudor Sailing Club

At Datchet Water Sailing club we run a Wednesday Evening Series, May to
August, each year. The Wednesday Evening Series last year averaged 45
finishers in each race. The classes taking part in the last two years have
ranged from Optimist to F20 catamarans.

For the last couple of years I have analysed the results produced using
SailWave according to the method laid out in the RYA publication YR2 issued
each year (usually March) with the results of the their annual analysis of
the returns made by clubs in September the preceeding year.

The results calculated in SailWave are exported to an Excel file and then
copied to a page in another Excel file which applies the RYA steps to that
race. The PN calculated for the individual boat in the individual race is
pulled to another sheet in the Excel file and summarised over the series
according to the criteria laid out in the RYA publication YR2, to provide me
with the basis to make the annual RYA return ready for the next year. I
posted a copy of the anonymised analysis file on the SailWave Yahoo Group. I
also analyse ALL the PN values calculated for all boats in all races to give
an indication of a value to use for Personal Handicapping (PH). Update - I
have modified my analysis spreadsheet so that I can select the range of
competitors to be used for the analysis (the RYA method uses the top
two-thirds of competitors) to allow the exclusion of the top % and the
bottom % of competitors. So the new version should give the same results if
I enter 0% for the top competitors and 33.33% for the bottom competitors. I
still have a little refinement to get the information to tie up between the
original version of the analysis and the newer method.

I have to export the information from SailWave to an Excel file and then cut
& paste to my analysis file because I have not found a way to have SailWave
export directly to a sheet in an Excel file.

Colin perhaps you have an idea, or may what is required is an export of the
SailWave results set in XML format which I could then import into the
appropriate sheet in my Excel file But I have not looked into importing XML
into Excel especially my 2000 edition [Have now checked Excell 2000 and no
import of XML]. Using XML would also possibly help because the SailWave
export to Excel does funny things with background colours and borders, which
I have not managed to get my head round.

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