Handicapper FAQs

Handicappers FAQs

Here is a list of frequently asked questions that you may have.

If you still have questions, please do not hesitate to contact the PHRF-LO Admin office.


Who/what is my District Chief?

The organization is divided into 6 regions consisting of clubs within a geographical area.

The Club Handicappers, within the region, have elected a District Chief who represents them on Central Council.

The Six Regions are:

Eastern Yachting Council (EYC)
Golden Horseshoe PHRF (GHPHRF)
Rochester District PHRF (RDPHRF)
South Shore Yacht Racing Association (SSYRA)
Toronto East District (TORE)
Toronto West District (TORW)

To find out what your District is, check our Membership Directory.

To find out who your District Chief Handicapper is, check our Central Council contact list.

If you are a District Chief and need more information, check here!

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How do I apply for certificate?

As club handicapper, you are the liaison between the owner and the PHRF-LO administration office.

When an owner approaches you, requesting a certificate, the first thing that they need to do is download and complete the "Certificate Application form" from our web site. It is the owners responsibility to obtain all needed measurements/information, however, you may offer to assist them if they will be self measuring sails etc. If an owner has a sail makers certificate, the certificate can be submitted with the application form.

What if an existing boat has a new owner?

If it is a simple ownership change, then we still require an application form to be completed.
The reason is that the certificate belongs to the owner...NOT the boat. So the owner is applying for a new certificate and we will require all his/her contact information.
If there have been no changes to the boats sails etc, then you can include a note indicating that the boat is in the "Same configuration with no changes" and we will simply assign the new owner to the existing boat in our database.

What if this is a second boat for an existing owner?

It is important to notify us if this owner is racing multiple boats.
Our database assumes that there is a single certificate per owner per boat, so in order to ensure that we do not remove an actively racing boat from a certificate we need to know this, so that an additional certificate can/will be issued.

Guidelines for measuring sails - Sails & Poles

To determine the correct Keel - Keels

To determine the correct prop - Props

Important - Is this a rated Class?
Once the owner has completed the application form, the first thing that needs to be determined is if the vessel is a "PHRF-LO Handicapped Class" of boat. All rated classes can be looked up on-line via our Class Searches/Queries:

Class Query - this list includes all class details and also includes the handicap and other pertinent information to registered and logged in handicappers).

The Class is rated!
If the class is listed in the queries above, then you can do one of the following:

1. Send a copy of the original certificate application form directly to the PHRF-LO admin office.

2. Download and complete the Handicappers Worksheet (must be registered and logged in) and send it to the PHRF-LO admin office.
There are instructions included!

The Class is not rated (does not appear in any Search or Query)!

You will need to complete an "Initial Assignment"

See: How do I get a new "Class" handicap?

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How do I RENEW or EDIT/CHANGE a certificates?

You, the handicapper, are responsible for renewing certificates!

Once we have received the current years dues payment from your Club, you will be able to start renewing/editing certificates.

You can check if payment has been received by the PHRF-LO office by checking your clubs membership status.

Renewals are done via My Certificates (YOU MUST BE REGISTERED AND LOGGED IN !)

You should only renew certificates for owners that wish to race for the current season. Your club will be billed for all renewed Certificates.

Once you have logged in, you can renew your certificates by selecting from two Menu options.





 Then, you will be presented with a list of certificates for your club and the status of those certificates.


What do those circled items mean?

VALID ? Trans Pend?
(aka "Transaction Pending")
Indicates if the certificate is "Valid" for the current season. This indicates if there is a Handicapper renewal or edit/change. This relates to the "Status" according to the PHRF-LO Admin Office.
Invalid until renewed
- certificate has expired
- There is "No" renewal or edit/change transaction pending.
- The certificate is current and up-to-date with the office data.
- certificate has been renewed.
- There is a renewal or edit/change pending
- The certificate is Suspended until a "Transaction" has been processed and the certificate information has been updated to the web site.










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How/where do I send in the certificate application and how long will it take?

The PHRF-LO office would appreciate it if you could transfer the information from the Certificate Application form into our Worksheet.

The ASP Calculator Tab includes all the calculations and requirements for issuing a certificate and the completed form can be attached to an email. See: ASP Calc Tab instructions



Email: Scan the application form and send to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mail: Administration

We process all certificate applications within 7 days of receipt during racing season.

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Where do I send payment for the certificate?

Payment needs to be collected by your Club.

PHRF-LO will be sending a bill to your Club in February for all certificates that were "Valid" the previous season.

This includes all New Certificates, Renewed Certificates and any "Incomplete" Certificates.

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Does a Certificate expire?

Yes. All racing certificates expire December 31st of the "Year" indicated.


You can check this via our "Searches & Queries", "Certificate Query" from the Main Menu


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I noticed that I have "Incomplete" certificates, what are those?

"Incomplete" or "Pending" certificates are issued by the PHRF-LO administration office to accommodate applications or boat that have been received but are not able to be processed for various reasons.

Some common reasons for "Incomplete" or "Pending" certificates are:

  • Added via Race results - indicates that the boat participated in over 5 races, but did not have a valid Certificate
  • Need to confirm sail measurements - an application was received but is missing some information.
  • Need new rating for xxx - an application was received, but the Class has not been rated.

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How do I get a new "Class" handicap?

You will need to complete an "Initial Assignment" form either manually or via the Handicappers Worksheet. This includes researching all the available resources to be able to supply a "best guess" at what the rating should be.

A new class handicap requires that 3 Handicappers (representing different member Clubs) agree to a proposed Flying Sails base rating.
This can be accomplished 3 ways:

  1. Via a District Meeting or Conference Call
  2. Via the PHRF-LO Forum
  3. Via 3 signatures on an Initial Assignment form

1. District meetings or Conference Calls are arranged by your District Chief Handicapper and are usually held in the off season. You would need to contact your District Chief to ask him/her to include your request for a new class on the agenda for the next meeting.

2. Forum Polls can be placed on the PHRF-LO forum by any Handicapper with notice to the District Chief.
You should contact the PHRF-LO Admin office to ask that all District Handicappers be advised that there is an item to be voted on.

3. Signatures on an Initial Assignment form are the earliest form of agreement that PHRF-LO had and is still acceptable.

How long will the owner have to wait for his rating?

How long it takes to get a racing certificate when a new initial assignment is needed will be dependent on how quickly the above 3 processes can be established and if the Handicapper has supplied all the necessary research for the other Handicappers to review.

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What resources should I look at when trying to determine a new rating?

We have a very standard set of resources that you can look at to determine a "best guess" at a new handicap.

  1. Similar PHRF-LO rated classes
    Of course this is the first thing that should be looked at, as this vessel will be racing directly against other PHRF-LO rated boats.
  2. Other Calculated Ratings, such as: Charlie Kramer SP, Steve Killing SP, Shell Regression SP, Portsmouth Yardstick, IRC, IMS and MORC.
  3. National ratings from other North American PHRF Areas

1. Similar Classes

If you know of a similar class, then it would be a matter of determining what the performance differences are and what the delta in speed potential (SP) might be.
Or, you could use the Handicappers Worksheet to help narrow down the possibilities. Take a look at the "Comparables" tab.

2. Calculated Ratings
We have many formulas available to come up with a calculated handicap. All the formulas are available starting on Page 61 in our Handicappers Manual
Or, you could use the Handicappers Worksheet to help narrow down the possibilities. Take a look at the "Calculated Ratings" tab.

3. National Ratings
US Sailing publishes a book of all North American PHRF organization ratings (that are submitted to them). This book is available from our web by selecting "Resources" from your Sign In sub menu.

There are two reports:

US Sailing High Low Mean: A list of Classes (with at least 3 boats) as reported in the "US Sailing PHRF Handicaps book" showing the Highest, Lowest and Average rating.

US Sailing PHRF Handicaps Book: A complete list of all handicapped classes and the individual PHRF organization that rated them.

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How do I determine the Non-flying Sails handicap number?

There is a formula for calculating the Non-flying Sails number in the Appendage Section of the Handicappers Manual.

Or you can use the Handicappers Worksheet.
Directions for completing this form are also available there.

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That Handicappers Worksheet looks overwhelming. Is it?

Yes and No!
There are instructions for completing the "Initial Assignment Tab" and the "ASP Calc Tab" available on-line.

The other pages follow similar rules and also have instructions:

The basics is that all cells that are "Green" can be typed into and all cells that are "Grey" include a drop down list.

See below sample of Rig Type "drop down list.

This may look overwhelming, but many a handicapper who has mastered it, now realizes its worth.

If you have any trouble, you can contact the PHRF-LO administration office for assistance.

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A new handicap was approved, what happens now?

The information (Initial Assignment form) must be received by the PHRF-LO administration office.

On receipt, the admin office will verify that 3 members have approved the rating. This will be done by either: reviewing the signatures on the form, reviewing the minutes to the District Meeting or by reviewing the votes on a forum poll.

Once verified, the new class will be entered into the database and a new certificate can be issued.