How do I create and use rating files?

Last updated 22/02/2019 by Jon

In the Edit+Competitor window, the user can select from a list of classes. The content of that list is derived from rating files, as well as the classes already defined within the series. It’s worth taking some time to set up rating files so that classes can be selected from this list rather than being entered by hand. Another advantage is that when a class is selected in this way the rating field is also automatically populated.

You need to tell Sailwave where you are going to store your rating files using the Folders tab of the Setup+GlobalOptions menu – something in My Documents is often appropriate, especially if you do not have admin access to the computer. The number of files in the rating file folder is arbitrary.

You can download rating files from the Sailwave website Libraries menu; these are relatively up-to-date files for most common rating systems. Downloaded files should be saved in your rating file folder. Once in there, the class field list will be populated as described above; although if Sailwave was already running you may need to restart it to see the lists.

The remainder of this topic covers how to create your own rating files. Most users will not need to do this.

Rating files are plain text files. You can create them using notepad or any other plain text editor. Each rating file must have a .csv extension and has a very simple format as described below.

Each line of the file defines a rating for a particular rating system and class. Blank lines are ignored and if the first non-whitespace character of a line is a semi-colon it is also ignored, so you can add comments to your files.

You define a rating value (one per line) by comma separated values (csv) like this:-

rating system name, class name, rating value

rating system name must be one of the following:-

PY – RYA Portsmouth yardstick rating system (UK).
Texel – Texel catamaran rating system.
SCHRS – ISAF small catamaran handicap rating system.
TCF – Generic time correction factor system.
TCC – Time correction factor system.
IRM – IRM rule.
IRC – Musto IRC rule.
LYS – Scandinavian, time correction factor.
CHS – Channel handicap system (legacy).
ECHO – ECHO (Ireland).
VY – ┬áVYC rating system (Auz).
USPN – USSA Portsmouth rating system (USA).
PHRF – Standard TOD PHRF.
PHRFTOT – Time-on-time (TOT) PHRF – the A,B operators are defined within Sailwave.
Custom – Custom rating system as defined within Sailwave.

So, for example, a line defining the Texel rating for a Dart 18 may look like this:-

Texel, Dart 18, 119

If the class name contains a comma it must be enclosed in speech marks – this actually applies to all values but it’s not relevant to the rating system and rating values. For example:-

SCHRS, “Dart 18, Single Handed”, 119.0

Some clubs use wind indexed ratings – i.e. the rating used depends on the wind strength. It is common when using the USA Portsmouth rating for example. If that is the case you can add another value to a line defining the wind indexed ratings. While it is a single value as far as the rating file is concerned, it is a list of ratings separated by commas so the whole value must be enclosed in speech marks. For example:-

USPN, Formula 16, 65.2, “68.4, 67.5, 64.4, 62.3”
USPN, Formula 18, 62.4, “65.4, 63.9, 61.3, 59.5”
USPN, Formula 18HT, 60.0, “63.1, 60.5, 59.6, 57.3”

Note that the wind indexed options are not enabled by default in Sailwave because they are little used – use the User Interface window to enable them on a per series basis.


You can mix up rating systems any way you like in a single file, but it’s more usual not to.

Any sub-folders in the rating file folder are ignored.

Files that do not have a .csv extension are ignored.

The order of values in lines is fixed as specified above.

The examples show a space after the commas, but it’s not necessary.

Any value that itself contains a comma must be enclosed in speech marks.

You can mix and match lines with and without wind values in the same file.

Space characters immediately before and after commas are ignored so you can format your data in columns if you like.

The rating value (and wind indexed ratings) can be specified with or without decimal places.

None of the data is case sensitive.

If the first non-whitespace character of a line is a semi-colon, the whole line is ignored and assumed to be a comment.

Lines containing non-numeric rating values are ignored.