There at at least two ways to use Sailwave: one is to learn by rote and mechanically perform tasks without really understanding what is happening and the another is to get an idea of the concepts behind Sailwave; performing tasks based on that knowledge. There are a number of key concepts that will help with this latter and recommended approach.


Sailwave is designed such that each series is portable, meaning that everything needed to score the series (etc) is contained within the .blw file that represents it (including the handicap/rating values) – a Sailwave series (the thing you open from the File menu) is stored in a single file with a .blw extension. This portability has a number of advantages:-

  • You can send a series to somebody else and they will get exactly the same results when they use it (for example the corrected times will be the same because references to external rating databases are not made).
  • Re-scoring an old series is safe, because everything needed to score it is contained within the file; for example any rating values used are actually in the series file rather than looked up in an external database.

Keep this in mind when using the Setup menu. Global options are options that are independent of any series and thus limited (because of the portability constraint) to user preferences that do not affect scoring; for example the way discards are shown and the screen font size. Everything else in the Setup menu is series specific.

Knowing this, helps you to understand what options to expect in Global options and why they are there.

Flat competitor structure

Many scoring programs force a competitor structure on the user; for example you may have to put competitors into classes and divisions and then be constrained by that structure when scoring and entering results; for example you may not then be able to score by club.

Sailwave has no formal competitor structure. You can use competitor fields to group them by division, fleet. club, class etc but doing so does not constrain you when scoring or when entering results.

For example consider an open meeting where the boats sail in two fleets: monohulls and multihulls. You want to score each fleet separately but also provide informal/fun results where the boats are scored by club. This sort of thing is very easy to do in Sailwave because of the flat competitor structure; providing extremely flexible scoring options. You would score by fleet firstly, choosing the Fleet field for grouping, then score again using the Club field for grouping.

How the boats sailed does not constrain scoring

In Sailwave every race has a number of starts defining how the boats physically sailed. A scoring system applied to race results is not constrained to score according to the starts; i.e. is not constrained by the way that the boats physically sailed. This is useful when a big event is busted up into separate starts but the boats are scored as if they were in the same start. It is also useful to score across starts for fun, for example to provide results scored by club.


You will notice that there is not a print menu item. Sailwave generates HTML (web page code) which you can then squirt at a number of destinations including your browser (from where you can print), websites and rating collection databases. This is an extremely flexible arrangement. Have a look at the Publish menu – it’s from here that you generate results and competitor lists etc. The Publish menu itself is generated from a list of publishing templates and you can also write your own so that all paperwork produced conforms to your club or event guidelines.

Configurable User Interface

Sailwave has a user interface (UI) that is configurable by the user. Initially the user interface level is minimal. As you need to see and use more functionality you can add the relevant features. Note that when Sailwave performs any operation like scoring the series, the UI setting has absolutely no effect. For example if you use the race weightings feature to give a race a weighting of 2.0 then hide race weightings, that race will still have a race weighting of 2.0. Think of the UI facility as hiding and unhiding features as opposed to enabling and disabling them. This can be useful because it means you can set up a load of options once per series and then hide them away so they are not clutter. ┬áThe user can control the interface from the Setup+UserInterface menu and the button on the toolbar called “User Interface”.