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Go race yourself, or anyone else - The Great British Sailing Challenge National Rankings

by Andy Rice 4 Mar 07:21 GMT 4 March 2021
The Great British Sailing Challenge National Rankings © GBSCNR

What if you could go racing every time you go on the water? Not just when there's a proper course with a race committee boat, a set line and some laid marks. But literally any time you go on the water?

The Great British Sailing Challenge National Rankings (GBSCNR) give you a cost-effective opportunity to do exactly that. Using a GPS tracker on your boat, you can log your speed and distance around any virtual course.

GBSCNR will not only give each participating sailor an overall ranking but also a number of specialist ones such as type of boat, age, gender etc, so sailors can compare themselves to their peers, eg top master/ sailing a fast asymmetric etc, with the option of setting up your own custom groupings.

To find out more, join a meeting on Facebook Live, at 4pm GMT this Thursday 4 March: www.facebook.com/restartsailracing/videos

For more info and to register your interest now: enter.sailingchallenge.org/page/about-the-gbsc

To get the GBSCNR launched, there is a special 'Early Bird' offer of just £5 per month subscription to part of the GBSC rankings. This includes use of a live GPS tracker supplied with waterproof bag, a SIM card and mobile data, along with use of the SailRacer tracking platform.

Of course, there are loads of tracking apps on the market already which you can use to track your speed across the water, but developer of the GBSC National Rankings, Simon Lovesey, explains the added benefits of this system: "A tracking app is interesting but by itself doesn't achieve much. You need the app to operate within a broader ecosystem, which is what we've done with the GBSC National Rankings. Because we've been running races for more than 10 years, in events like the Selden Sailjuice Winter Series, we've got a huge amount of data to work from - more than 10,000 races in the system. With such a wealth of historical information, we're able to apply this data in a number of interesting ways."

Here are some examples of how you can take part in the GBSC National Rankings:

Racing solo in your Solo (or any other sailing boat)

Even if you're going out for a sail-around by yourself, you can track your performance relative to other boats taking part in the GBSCNR. You can enter wind data from a website or local weather station, but you don't even have to do that if you don't want to. The system will still give you feedback on your performance.

Racing with your mates

What if you just want to race with a few mates around the buoys. Using the GBSCNR is a great way of putting more structure around and adding more meaning to your informal races. You can look back through the tracking to see why the winner won and which side of the course was paying, and so on...

Racing in your normal Sunday morning club race

Some sailing clubs are already jumping on board with the GBSCNR, buying their own set of trackers for their members to use for the formal club racing.

Setting Accurate Handicaps

Changing handicap numbers from those provided by the annual RYA review - well, that's what clubs were always meant to do. Yet very few ever DO change the numbers? Why? Because it's a political hot potato. If you leave it to the GBSCNR to recalculate the handicap numbers based on real and unarguable feedback, who is there to get cross with? No one, just the computer. The result? Closer, fairer racing. No more bandit fleets.

Personal Handicapping

The RYA is on the verge of making an announcement about growing Personal Handicapping in sailing. This is the bedrock of golf's success around the world, the personal handicap number based on your own competence. It gives everyone a chance of winning, even a virtual beginner. Working out personal handicaps becomes a breeze if you delegate it to GBSCNR. It will do the number crunching for you. And again, it takes away any accusations of bias or clubhouse politics.

Racing at your class open meeting or National Championship

What's the key to keeping your fleet coming to the big events of the season, year after year? The front of the fleet will always show up, but what about the middle to back of the pack? As well as giving them the best prizes, another way is to use GBSCNR tracking. The Personal Handicapping we just talked about makes it possible for anyone to win a race at the Nationals!

Remote Racing

What about a Sunday competition between a club on the south coast and a club in Scotland? Just like Bart's Bash which has proven the appeal of Remote Racing, you could have a North v South competition, and many other variations on the same theme.

What haven't we thought of? You tell us!

There's a few ideas for you. There will be plenty of other applications that you will think of that haven't even occurred to us.

Interested? What to do next

To find out more, join a meeting on Facebook Live, at 4pm GMT this Thursday 4 March: www.facebook.com/restartsailracing/videos

For more info and to register your interest now: enter.sailingchallenge.org/page/about-the-gbsc

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