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AeroGirl View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote AeroGirl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: race management software
    Posted: 12 Sep 16 at 8:07pm
I am looking at software to run dinghy races.  We already use Sailwave to input and manage race results.  However, the actual race is run manually with hooters, flags, stop watches and paper to write down timings.   The results are then manually input into Sailwave.

Is there any software that allows all this manual writing of timings to be done automatically?  What do other clubs use for dinghy racing?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote iGRF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Sep 16 at 8:19pm
Yes we've just installed a system that automatically starts the race via a series of lights and the horn, you tap to finish and it fires a horn, when they're all finished it spits out the results in corrected time, didn't cost us a fortune either (He's a GP14 sailor), now all I have to do is remember his name and edit into this post.

Edited by iGRF - 12 Sep 16 at 8:20pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote AeroGirl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Sep 16 at 9:32pm
Would definitely be interested to know more.  (So far I have found lots of software which requires entering data and then does the calculations.   Modern technology should be push button and automatic without the need to re-enter data that has been written down.!)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote GML Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 16 at 9:46am
Originally posted by AeroGirl

Would definitely be interested to know more.  (So far I have found lots of software which requires entering data and then does the calculations.   Modern technology should be push button and automatic without the need to re-enter data that has been written down.!)

It is easy enough to record finish times automatically. The problem is recording which boat is which as they finish (i.e. sail numbers). I've tried doing this using a keypad, but in a busy finish I found it impossible to keep up. Using something like Apple Pencil might work better, but I don't have one to try.

Alternatively you can have a list of boats on the screen and tap each one as it finishes, but that only works if you don't have too many boats, and it is still difficult to keep up during a busy finish.

If you still want to go down this route then take a look at the following:
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 16 at 10:19am
Originally posted by GML

...Alternatively you can have a list of boats on the screen and tap each one as it finishes, but that only works if you don't have too many boats, and it is still difficult to keep up during a busy finish...


This has been my experience as well. We always seem to end up with at least one bunch of 4 or 5 boats finishing within two or three seconds. I've never ever managed to get the click on every finisher within a second of when they finished, and when I've had a reserve system in case the automation screws up then I've ended up with chaos on both. I also had a very salutary experience the first time we did Barts Bash, when I had the video to review for a large number of finishers. I think it took me about 90 minutes to review and correct about 15 minutes of video of finishes, and the number of errors I found was distinctly disturbing. No point in saving 5 minutes transcribing paper to PC if you then end up spending 10 minutes reviewing video for close finishes you didn't get.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote GML Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 16 at 12:07pm
The ideal solution in the long term is of course likely to be sufficiently accurate (and cheap) boat tracking, but unless you have the money of an event like the America's Cup this isn't viable today. (Even the Olympics doesn't use trackers that are accurate enough to reliably separate boats at the finish).
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Presuming Ed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 16 at 12:35pm
Wonder if you could do it with a voice recognition system? 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 16 at 2:29pm
Originally posted by Presuming Ed

Wonder if you could do it with a voice recognition system? 
Worth a try.

AIUI there voice to text apps for Samsung phones that are very good.

You'd need some clever editing to cleanse the raw product.

I think it's very dependent on the size of fleets and the experience and class knowledge of the finishing team.

If you've got club fleets of 20 or so, where the finishing recorder is familiar with the boats, then point and click with all sail numbers on one screen will probably work.

For bigger fleets where all the sail numbers won't fit on the screen,or get cramped up, this doesn't work so well.

And very few software packages deal well with transposed, mistaken, or unregistered sail numbers.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote James Bell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 16 at 5:42pm
I wrote some DOS results software a long time ago, that had a handy feature to assist with recording finishing times on paper (which can still be found here). 

It had a 'time sheet' screen whereby pressing the space bar would record the last ten times on screen (and keep scrolling up every time you hit the space bar). 

That way if three boats came across the line within seconds of each other, you could press the space bar quickly 3 times, then have enough time to copy the finishing times correctly onto paper (you can usually remember the order of boats in your head, but not times).

At some time I will probably write a modern Windows version. 

I wouldn't discount the importance of writing thing down on paper though even if you can do things directly in software, that way you always have a backup copy if something goes wrong (like a sudden power cut, etc). There's nothing more irritating than having completed a race and someone loses or hasn't correctly recorded the times!




Edited by James Bell - 13 Sep 16 at 5:44pm
IOS Sailing Community - www.iossc.org.uk
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Oli Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 16 at 9:04am
cheap broadcast tracking available via motionx app, just need willing competitors to strap their iphones to the mast.

choose a channel to boradcast on and set to broadcast every 10 seconds (does require data), anyone can watch that knows the channel via motionx website, if competitors are closer than a few seconds checking back on the individual devices can sort any disputes after the race..  

ive had an idea for while now of using google hangouts, a couple of computers and people on ribs to get an americas cup type broadcast for our trophy races, were lucky the whole river is 3g/4g.

not sure it would be a major success ratings wise but more for an internal broadcast to the projector so that spectators get an idea of whats occurring.  it would be a fun experiment that just needs volunteers.
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