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Race time recording

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onshore View Drop Down
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    Posted: 06 Oct 07 at 11:13pm

Can anyone give advice.

We have races that can be up to 120+ boats and having this many at a start line makes its very interesting.

Is there any devices ( transponders eg) that you can attach to each yacht and when they cross the starting line it triggers  the start of the race for that yacht and when they return, it triggers again.  This way if you have 3-4 boats side by side, the device would trigger the main recording device, and the times will be accurately recorded



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chrisarnell1 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote chrisarnell1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Oct 07 at 6:21pm

I've not heard of anything commercially available that does this.

Best thing I can suggest from my own experiences is to have someone filiming the start & finish with a camcorder - better still - have the time & date displayed.

This way you can replay the starts & finishes afterwards & catch any boats you may have missed in all the confusion.

Voice recordings & having spotters at both ends of the start / finish lines are also handy.

120 boats sounds like heavy going though! I wouldn't expect our club members (who to race duties on a rota basis) to be able to handle that type of pressure!

Best of luck!

 

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English Dave View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote English Dave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Oct 07 at 8:33am
120 is a huge number of boats! Where is this?

There is no transponder system that will suit your needs. Differential GPS would be able to handle the accuracy but it's just not an option as it costs a lot to implement. The Mk1 eyeball is still your best bet and I would agree with Chris re the camcorder.

At Ballyholme we will commonly sail with 40 boats but that is spread over 4 starts (6 Toppers, 25 Lasers, 3PY and 6 Cats - give or take). If all the boats are racing from the same start then I would suggest breaking it down into smaller sub-fleets.
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MerlinMags View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote MerlinMags Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Oct 07 at 10:25am
GPS devices have occasionally been fitted to every boat in a race, but this is usually when sponsored by a manufacturer! I can't imagine it is cheap...

The Dragon Danish champs in 2006 were sponsored by CarBug I think, and every boat had a GPS logging device. This was used to show race progress on a big screen in the clubhouse.

Also the SB3 fleet at Cowes last year had them, and there was a website where you could play back each race on a map. Something I have been looking into myself.

I do not think anyone has used them to check for premature starters yet, despite manufacturer claims regarding accuracy. Personally, I don't think it could work anyway.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote redback Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Oct 07 at 10:53pm

I'm not sure of the problem.  Surely all the boats start at the start time?  Its the finishing that is more of a problem but with a course designed so that the boats finish on a beat - with a square line that's quite short - you can see the sail numbers and then simple list them as they finish.  If its a handicap race its slightly more difficult in that you have to record their finish times.  However then it is not critical if 2 boats are given the same finish time since when the corrected time is calculated they will be different. 

Perhaps 120 boats is quite a lot so it would be a precaution to have more than one observer and recorder.  A dictation machine can be handy as too is a committee boat which is high so that you get a commanding view.

What you mustn't do is set a course with a triangle and sausage - both passing through the line - you will then get thoroughly confused even with 20 boats.  On windward/leeward courses with double leeward turning marks you should also lay a separate finish line.  Personally I think races should always finish on a beat but windward/leeward races often finish on a run.

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