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Magic Marine & North Sails Solo National Club Race event - 19th July 2020

by Will Loy 28 Jun 10:03 BST 19 July 2020
Magic Marine and North Sails Solo National Club Event 2020 © SailRacer

While many clubs consider how they can most safely restart sailing, the National Solo Class has a solution which not only allows local club sailors to participate remotely in a National event, but also to sail around a course set at local level by their club coordinator but entirely without the need for a race committee, start boat, flags or even a start timer!

Working in conjunction with SailRacer, Class President Doug Latta explains:
'The Sailracer app allows Solo sailors to sail around a course at their local club, while the app itself determines what time they have crossed a start line, how far the sailor has sailed and how long it takes before they cross the finish line. In this way, the data on time and distance is logged anonymously save for an app ID number back to the central database at Sailracer HQ. Sailors can choose when they start, and for most clubs not constrained by tidal influences this can be over a fairly wide start-time window of say one or two hours - meaning there need not be more than the prescribed numbers on the water at any time, and social distancing is maintained throughout. The only requirement is that sailors will have to download the app (from a link they will be sent) onto their Smartphone, and having received the course from the club lead, just press Start on the app!' For the club leads, there is a bit more to do, in the first instance having downloaded the app, they will set up a library of marks, by sailing to the mark and when next to it pressing 'ping' and then giving each a name.

On the day they choose a course and set it up as their local club's race which has a separated start and finish line and this is transferred by the app to those who are registered for that club. So no need for a briefing, all course details are given right there on the sailors phones.

The event will consist of two races, ideally sailed back to back. Sailors stop the app between races, and then choose race 2 of their local event within the app.

Club leads will also report in to Sailracer HQ on general wind conditions, so that an allowance can be made for local variations. Now the clever bit - Sailracer HQ's database will now calculate the average speed using time and distance tracked via the GPS location of each boat, to determine overall ranking of all of the sailors taking part around the country.

Prizes will be awarded depending on the number of competitors, but at the very least the top 10 overall will be awarded some great prizes from class sponsors Magic Marine and North Sails. In addition to the top places, prizes will be given for top female helm, top Under 25, top Over 65 sailors as well as a number of spot prizes. We would of course like all sailors to be part of the Class Association, but if you are not we will not exclude you but you will not be eligible for a prize. Remember membership of the NSCA provides countless other benefits and the Class Association work hard to keep us at the forefront of UK dinghy sailing, maintaining the value of your boat, and providing opportunities such as this to meet and sail with friends from all over the country.

FAQs

Q. I have entered and appear on the entry list, what happens next?

A. See SailRacer App guide (link) - you will be emailed your unique tracking code in advance of the event. If you are hiring a dedicated SailRacer GPS tracker this will be sent to you shortly, pre-configured to your entry.

Q. I am the point of contact for my club, what do I need to do?

A. We will email you an admin code for your club for the SailRacer App. This will allow you to ping marks for the course. If you have fixed marks, these can be added in advance, laid marks can be pinged on the day. The SailRacer App will also allow you to add race times and courses.

Q. Can my club do a practise event?

A. Yes

Q. Approx how long will the races be?

A. Target time 45 minutes

Q. What is the minimum course configuration?

A. Ideally each course should have an upwind, reach and run legs of similar length. We appreciate this may that be possible at some restricted venues, and using the GPS leg data will endeavour to standardise times

Q. How do competitors for a particular club 'enter' or confirm their participation in each of the two races at their home club?

A. All entries need to be made in advance (link), when going afloat each sailor should start tracking on the SailRacer App (link to guide)

Q. When will the SIs be available?

A. End of June (or earlier)

Q. How does the timing work?

A. When you cross the start line for the first time the clock will start, so important to keep away from the start line until you are ready to commence you timed laps

Q. How many laps do I sail?

A. The format is average laps, so you decide how many to sail during the race window and over a minimum of 30 minutes

Q. How do I finish?

A. After at least 30 minutes you can cross the finish line, this will be offset from the course and should only be crossed when you are ready to finish. Your time of crossing will be recorded and elapsed time calculated as the difference in time between when you crossed the start line for the first time and then averaged to number of laps

Q. How will the difference in lap lengths for the last lap be handled?

A. For scoring purposes we will be using time on distance to compare results, taking into account the different lap lengths

Q. How will results from different venues be compared?

A. The SailRacer App has a function to record wind speed and direction at each club. We will also have an enormous amount of GPS leg performance data to allow comparisons between different venues.

Q. As a sailor, do I need to do anything different for Race 2?

A. If you have left your tracker running, there is nothing additional action required, the system will collect your data and allocate automatically across both races.

Q. What do I do if I have a scoring query?

A. There will be an online form to submit after the race, with any supporting evidence

Q. Is the App safe?

A. The App has been developed by SailRacer who have over tens years experience of GPS tracking. The App only uses location data from the users phone which is anonymised. For those who do not not want to use their phone there is the option to hire a dedicated SaiRacer GPS tracker.

Q. What prizes will be awarded?

A. Depending on entry numbers, there will be prizes for each club event and then national prizes, including a variety of categories: overall, sailor age divisions, top club (best three results), classic boat, fastest sustained speed, furthest sailed, shortest sailed (adjusted to lap length) etc etc

Q. How do I download the app?

A. For Android: enter.sailracer.org/app For IOS: testflight.apple.com/join/LchOlfgF

Q. So how do I get it working?

A. If you are one of the club competitors once you have downloaded the app click on the GPS Icon top right of your screen, then enter your tracking code and press Go, on the next screen click 'Start'. From Settings you can see the details of the races at your club, clicking on the race will bring up the course.

Q. So what if I am the club lead, what do I have to do?

A. Email your details - name, club, phone number to Doug Latta president@solosailing.org.uk, and you will be sent comprehensive details of what you will have to do.

Q. What's next?

A. Enter at enter.sailracer.org/events/entryform-sailracer-app.asp?eventid=216351&mobile=&classtype=Solo&stage=

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