Glenmar Sailing Association
Sailing the Chesapeake Bay

PHRF Scoring

I am inserting an excel sheet that will score a GSA race, or for that matter, any PHRF time on distance race, although it is limited to just a few boats per division. I could easily expand it to larger fleets.

GSA has and really needs an official scorer. A widget like this is just a tool not a scorer. You can’t invent a hoe and expect a garden to just appear. Currently our scorer is Gary Moler. The reason a scorer is so important is the principle of garbage in garbage out. It is seemingly obvious that to get the right outcome one has to input accurately the following data:

  • Start time
  • Boat name
  • PHRF rating
  • Course distance
Soooo simple, but chances are you may mess it up. That is one of the reasons, and there are others, that we occasionally have to post corrections. I will link to the widget. If I get feedback and think it is worthwhile, we can put it into a more permanent link. You have to have excel on your computer to use this, although anybody can look. Also, there is not any way to save the data on this site, but it can be saved on your own computer. There are some internal macros in the sheet and most versions of Excel will disable those by default. In fact, there is a sort button for each division and I don’t even see the button in the wordpress rendition of excel. On the upper right, you should see a DOWNLOAD button. After downloading, the macro buttons show up, but still you will have to enable macros. A pop up will help with that. You do not have to enable them or even use the macros ! They sort the boats after the scoring is done. Just putting in the data causes the boats to be scored.

How the scoring is done; A bit of math.

The time-on-distance formula is:
TA = ( D x PHRF ) / 60
TA = Time Allowance in minutes
D = course length in nautical miles
PHRF = rating in seconds per mile (the number we all use),
Subtracting the time allowance (TA) from the actual time it took the boat to sail the race (elapsed time or ET) equals the corrected time (CT).
However, there is a reason that just any third grader can’t score us. That would be because time is in base 24 and base 60 and our calculators use only base 10 (or sometimes 2, 8 and 16). In other words, adding together hours minutes and seconds will produce nonsense unless we carefully think it through.

One final point I would like to make is that we all measure race starts and finishes to the nearest second, not tenths of seconds. However, when that wee bit of math from above is applied, the corrected time will often come out in tenths of seconds. It is all because 60 does not go evenly into some numbers.