The entry list is available not only ashore but also to race teams on the water. The Race Officer can see who to expect on the start line and, more importantly, the team can also record finishers.
I’m firmly of the opinion that, unless and until GPS tracking comes of age, human beings writing on paper is the most accurate and reliable method for recording finishers. However a major obstacle to getting results published quickly is the process of converting finishing orders and times from paper finishing sheets to a form that a computer can understand.
The approach used successfully in Fed Week 2104 worked like this. On each committee boat:
- One person calls out sail numbers as they cross the line; another person calls out times when needed; two people write them down.
- While waiting for the tail-enders the recorders compare their lists and deal with any anomalies.
- One of the recorders then works with a fourth person to tap sail numbers and times into a web-enabled handheld device.
- On demand the software checks entered results against the database in the cloud and identifies issues such as unknown or duplicate sail numbers. These are quickly dealt with by the race team on the spot.
- The software collates the entered data into fleets for the Race Officer to inspect and, when satisfied that all looks reasonable, submit to results processing.
- As soon as submitted the finishing data is automatically transferred to Sailwave, results are calculated and transferred back to the cloud for publication.