Rating file for individual boats

I believe the rating file is set up for boat type, but I vaguely remember reading somewhere that it could be used for individual boats, tagged to sail number.

Any chance? We use a lot of ORC triple number ratings, and it’s messy squeezing the string into the SW fields.



Hi John,

Yes you can edit the rating files to have a boat name (or sail number) and the appropriate rating(s)

You can then put the boat name in the Class field and it will pull in the ratings from the file for that boat



Ha! Perfect. Nice one.



I should know this: is there a way to copy a column (SailNo) to the Class column? Thought I remembered something like that. Of course, since we’re importing from a CSV file it would be a simple matter to just duplicate the column there. But now I’m fixing up old files and testing.


Use the “Tools” → “Set competitor field” tool.


Hi John,
There is an alternative to using a rating file.

When importing competitors from a CSV file, the CSV can include the ratings. I would bring in the ORC Triple ratings in to the WindRats field. You will need to check the Wind Indexed Ratings option in Setup | User interface, to allow automatic selection of the appropriate rating for a race.

All best in you scoring.
Kind regards,

Huw, that’s what we do now. But it’s a lot of cut and paste. So having a single file with ORC and PHRFTOT will make things much more stable.



What I do is create a single Sailwave file with all the details that I need for all boats, then Import Competitors From Another Sailwave File from the file menu for a new regatta. Then you get the skipper’s name, club, the name of his pet iguana, etc …


Andy, Good idea. But our system is set up with a separate club registration system that produces a CSV file, so it’s best to do an import each time. Otherwise there would be a lot of matching. Too hard for an old guy.


With the kind assistance of Huw Pearce (and perhaps his dogs) we seem to have got the usage of an external Rating file figured out. There are a few issues.

  1. SW will not tolerate a missing sail number. If the number isn’t found in the Rating file, the import routine just stops. This is different from manually entering ratings, where a missing number produces a corrected time of zero. So the first thing to do is to match your event list against the Ratings file. Excel has a good vlookup function for this.

It would be very nice if management would change the routine so a missing sail number doesn’t produce an error, but just sets the outcome to zero, as it the case with the manual process. At this time of year, we’ll all be finding boats that haven’t got around o renewing their certificates, so won’t be on the downloaded rating lists.

A way to solve the problem is to add a value to the end of your Rating file like
“TCF | SailNo | 10000”. If SW can see a matching SailNo and a numeric value, all is well. And the 10000 will boot the competitor to the bottom of the corrected time list, which is no doubt where they belong until they get their rating in order.

If you get a blank OK popup on the screen it means that something is wrong with the Rating file. Usually it’s a sail number missing or unmatched.

  1. Our big boats race under the ORC rule which uses Windrats. Turns out the Rating file format for Windrats systems is not “TCF | SailNo | Rating” (which works fine for PHRF, etc.) but rather “TCF | SailNo | GPH | Windrats”. So there is an extra column required. (GPH is a provided single rating number.)

  2. Finally, as Huw points out, none of this works unless the Edit Scoring System page has the box ticked for “Autoset competitor ratings”, So the best practice seems to be to tick the box until you have a good competitor list with ratings taken from your Ratings file showing up in SW, then untick the box to freeze any further imports. That should reduce the possibility of trouble down the road with files changing.

Of course, most rating system are stable over the course of a year, so it shouldn’t matter if they update every time you rescore an event, but freezing them is probably best.

So, in summary, it’s certainly possible to maintain an external Rating file. Sail numbers need to be duplicated into the Class field in SW, and there are a few things to check. It would be very nice if the missing sail number issue were dealt with; in the interim checking for a match and patching the Rating file for missing numbers works.


Hi John et al,

Thank you for kind words and dogs did help my settling down and being calm :slight_smile:

Just a small point. This is an unusual way of using a rating file. But it does show the flexibility of Sailwave.

Kind regards,

Huw, If the universe one operates in is pretty much dinghies, then a rating file based on boat class makes perfect sense. But there seems to be lots of action on the ORC/IRC/PHRF side, and managing wind velocity ratings is increasingly more complex. ORC has just come up with a five number version, which actually looks very promising.

But even simple out of the box PHRF comes in long lists from rating authorities, and it fleet sizes are large and boats are coming and going, it’s far better to get ratings into the system programmatically rather than relying on spotting changes by eye.

So this might not be a standard way of going, but there is a real need to attach a rating or rating string to a boat coming into SW.

Fingers crossed that Jon has some time to look at the Rating file anomaly.


Hi John,

Thank you for really opening my eyes to the scope/size of the rating scene in big boats. Apologies for my blinkered dinghy eyes.

But as I said previously it shows flexibility of Sailwave.

Where can I find out more ORC 5# ratting system?

Kind regards,


Here’s a link from a recent presentation by ORC.

The organization is at orc.org. Look under the ratings tab, last item for the downloadable files. Note that the obvious CSV file is not as complete as the JSON version, so we usually download the JSON and use an online converter to CSV.

For a pretty ordinary PHRF rating file, here’s our local example:


Note that there are ~250 entries for 2023. In early June we’ll be conducting a day race around a local island with 140+ boats on the starting line. Sailing under PHRF and ORC. Of course everyone provides their rating, and in many cases it’s correct. But being able to confirm ratings programatically is a big deal.

I should tell you that last weekend we had a boat that got their ORC rating at the last minute and so I entered their comma delimited rating string manually. Guess what? One of the commas was a dot by mistake, so their rating crashed. Scored last, but actually should have been first.

So I broke my own rule–use the software EVERY TIME and we’ve got a chance at getting it right.

Finally, there is an ORC rep travelling in North America just now. He was at Chicago some weeks ago, and in Vancouver quite recently. I missed him – we’re at our place in California – maybe a European/GBR tour is in the offing. Name is Dobbs Davis. Dunno where he’s based. Mrs Google thinks he’ at North U. There is some Youtube stuff with his name on it.

Be well,


Hi John,

Thank you for all the information. I will go do some reading.

Sorry to hear about rating editing problem.

Kind regards,