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Rant, Rant - Sail numbers and Entry forms...

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: General
Forum Name: Race Management
Forum Discription: For race officers and competiors to discuss the topic
URL: http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=13414
Printed Date: 15 Jul 20 at 5:41am
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 9.665y - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: Rant, Rant - Sail numbers and Entry forms...
Posted By: JimC
Subject: Rant, Rant - Sail numbers and Entry forms...
Date Posted: 22 Sep 19 at 5:33pm
I have just spent, I reckon, between 5 and 8 hours sorting out results for a junior event.

Barely half of the entry forms were fully filled in, and most of those were missing fields that were required for allocating special prizes. The class displays a sail number and a championship number (so you'll know which class it was) and one pair of boats displayed the same sail number and three pairs of boats the same championship number.

It was one of those days were multiple boats were finishing overlapped, and I had one set of incomplete numbers from one end of the line using the 3 figure champ numbers with some sail numbers interspersed, and another set of incomplete numbers from the other end of the line using sail numbers, some 5 figure, and some, due to the rapid finishing, just last 3 digits. We managed to award at least one prize to the wrong person due to incomplete data, and I spent half the night and a great big custom spreadsheet trying to reconcile the various sets of results in order to produce a reasonable provisional set.

I now understand more clearly than ever before why some clubs will be draconian about admin breaches and I curse the 'clever' idea that puts two sets of sail numbers on most but not all of the boats. The Laser class concept of a contrasting colour on the last N digits is much more sensible.



Replies:
Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 22 Sep 19 at 5:45pm
Perhaps give every boat a number for the race, hang it from boom between mast and kicker mount.

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Robert


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 22 Sep 19 at 6:12pm
Originally posted by 423zero

Perhaps give every boat a number for the race, hang it from boom between mast and kicker mount.

Cue one of my XKCD favourites [grin]



Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 22 Sep 19 at 6:24pm
Keep flags for handicap racing only, 1st person to sign on gets flag 1, 2nd flag 2 etc, not keep flag for ever.

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Robert


Posted By: Brass
Date Posted: 23 Sep 19 at 7:21am
Originally posted by JimC

I have just spent, I reckon, between 5 and 8 hours sorting out results for a junior event.

Barely half of the entry forms were fully filled in, and most of those were missing fields that were required for allocating special prizes.

Sounds like a very good reason for going to on-line entry, with mandatory, format-controlled fields. Make it smartphone-friendly, and if necessary set up a couple of lap-top kiosks at registration points if you want to facilitate entries on the day.

The class displays a sail number and a championship number (so you'll know which class it was)

Sounds like the Marketing Department's idea.  Sailing for the lazy-minded.  If I want to know what class a boat is in I look it up in the Boys Big Book of Class Sail-marks, or the List of Entrants.

 and one pair of boats displayed the same sail number and three pairs of boats the same championship number. 

 That sounds like a problem created by the organisers.  If you're handing out numbers, make sure they don't duplicate.

It was one of those days were multiple boats were finishing overlapped, and I had one set of incomplete numbers from one end of the line using the 3 figure champ numbers with some sail numbers interspersed, and another set of incomplete numbers from the other end of the line using sail numbers, some 5 figure, and some, due to the rapid finishing, just last 3 digits.

Sounds to me like poor work by the race management team.

Finish callers and recorders should have been instructed to use consistent numbers.

Course RO and finish boat crews jobs are not finished until they produce 'clean' result sheets.

I thought Sailwave did a pretty good job with partial sail numbers?

We managed to award at least one prize to the wrong person due to incomplete data, and I spent half the night and a great big custom spreadsheet trying to reconcile the various sets of results in order to produce a reasonable provisional set. 

We had a wonderful Laser Class Association Secretary here for many years who could do all that in her head.

She could greet a sailor who hadn't been to a regatta for two years, by name, with their sail number, last regatta sailed, and the amount of membership subs owning.  She could look at partials in a results list, and tell you the right pecking order and sailor for just about any number.

Unfortunately rainmen are a bit hard to find these days.

I now understand more clearly than ever before why some clubs will be draconian about admin breaches and I curse the 'clever' idea that puts two sets of sail numbers on most but not all of the boats.

Well, Yes.


Posted By: Brass
Date Posted: 23 Sep 19 at 7:21am
Originally posted by JimC

The Laser class concept of a contrasting colour on the last N digits is much more sensible.

Can you or someone else please explain the protocol for the Red digits on Laser Sail numbers? 


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 23 Sep 19 at 8:18am
Actually on line entry was half the problem, because the CA pn line entry doesn't record all the fields needed for the prize in the NOR.

Yeah, sub perfect organisation in a lot of ways, but then it was just a one day regional event at a medium sized club, not a major championship with all the extra support that implies...

Also with 5 races to squeeze in on the one day there's not a lot of time, no time to go round telling competitors to peel numbers off for instance.


Posted By: jeffers
Date Posted: 23 Sep 19 at 8:58am
Would videoing the finish help? At NSSA they had people sat with iPads videoing the line and calling sail numbers and then a couple out of earshot just recording sail numbers on paper so they had 2 sources of data should there be an issue.

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Paul
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D-Zero GBR 74


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 23 Sep 19 at 9:08am
I once videoed a finish... It took me over an hour to run through the tape and get it all down with all the stops and starts and rewinds... In the event that might have helped, but overlaps and obscured sail numbers would still have made it difficult even if there had been two cameras.

It was a perfect storm really. It was a large entry, the conditions were such that multiple boats were finishing overlapped with places changing on the line, the class seems to have got a bit slack with their champ numbers, the entry problems were such that I never really properly got caught up - didn't even get lunch - and I'm damn embarrassed about having failed to get a complete set of results finished at the prize giving for the first time ever.

Just needed a rant really. I had not had a lot of sleep when I posted that!


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 23 Sep 19 at 9:21am
Originally posted by Brass

Can you or someone else please explain the protocol for the Red digits on Laser Sail numbers? 

I've always assumed that the idea is to make it easy to record partial numbers on the assumption that duplicates are very unlikely, but I've never heard it officially.


Posted By: Brass
Date Posted: 23 Sep 19 at 9:21am
Originally posted by JimC

Actually on line entry was half the problem, because the CA pn line entry doesn't record all the fields needed for the prize in the NOR.

Yeah, sub perfect organisation in a lot of ways, but then it was just a one day regional event at a medium sized club, not a major championship with all the extra support that implies...

Also with 5 races to squeeze in on the one day there's not a lot of time, no time to go round telling competitors to peel numbers off for instance.

Volunteer or Amateur sholdn't mean amateurish. (EDIT 'shouldn't':  spelling shouldn't be amateurish either)

Sick on-line entry forms really bug me.  It IS possible to control mandatory fields, including punctuation and capitalisation, and it's just slack not to do so.

I don't wear the 'its only a ...' excuse.
  1. Every event should be a best effort for race/regatta management;
  2. They only need to ask:  I'm sure the RYA, like here has plenty of experienced race officials that will help with documentation.
Bow numbers and things, I'm inclined to think are a bit of an affectation.

Are you saying these things were legacies from previous events?  Didn't the NOR/SI tell people to peel the damn things off?  Hope they will next year.


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 23 Sep 19 at 9:35am
In theory, AIUI, the champ numbers are allocated by the CA per season for the major events, but a sailor keeps the same number in their time in the class. But being a junior class there's a fast turnover of boats and sailors, so most new sailors will get a s/h boat that has a number on, which will be incorrect, but being new, they won't know to peel it off.

At a multiple day event there would be time to manage this, but when its arrive at 9:30 to 10, first start at 11, entries on the day its not really practical to work out who has the right numbers and who the wrong.

I do intend to report back to the CA with suggestions, especially about the perceived deficiencies of the on line entry system, but you know I'm just one person at one club...


Posted By: Gordon 1430
Date Posted: 23 Sep 19 at 1:02pm
I think having downwind finishes adds to the problem. I think it was easier when we used to finish on a beat. 

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Gordon
Phantom 1430


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 23 Sep 19 at 4:36pm
Downwind finishes are daft, if you must finish close to the starting area then either have a short reach to the finish or, better, have the line halfway up the beat.

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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 23 Sep 19 at 4:53pm
This was a short reach to a finish line, but they were so bunched it didn't have the usual effect of forcing line astern.


Posted By: yottiemad
Date Posted: 23 Sep 19 at 8:12pm
Short reaches to the finish after a downwind leg has resulted in many classes of reducing the ideal crew weight in a boat. The recent post re shouty man at the downwind turning mark from a run to the reach finish and the many collisions gunnel to gunnel that occur also springs to mind, I have no recollection of big fleets many years ago with up wind finsh and twin leeeward marks ever having the same issue.
Is it pressure on race team to max the races per day rather than the 2 races max we used to do.
by not moving marks/boats the turn around is quicker even if the race quality drops.


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 23 Sep 19 at 10:25pm
Never really worked out why the reach finish is better than a central start/finish line on a windward/leeward course, or even a lake knitting pattern one.

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 24 Sep 19 at 6:26am
I always have finish in front of caravan regardless of where start is, this is buoy 7 and it is a very narrow gap between buoy and bank, couldn't get more than 3 boats abreast.

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Robert


Posted By: patj
Date Posted: 29 Sep 19 at 9:25am
As results person, I like the opens where a person checks the form before money is taken and if something isn't filled in, it can be completed before entry is paid and thus finalised. 
If it was clearly stated that incomplete entry forms mean sailors don't qualify for the prizes then maybe more would make the effort to complete them correctly.



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