Valuable Experience

After its successful debut in 2014 the SailEvent Results Publication Service (the component that handles finish sheet data entry, interfacing with Sailwave and results publication on the web) has been evaluated at several events throughout the summer of 2015. Outcomes ranged from not so good to exceeding expectations. The reasons for ‘not so good’ became clear as the season progressed.

First up was the RYA Youth Nationals at Easter requiring software enhancements to cope with multiple Sailwave files, abbreviated sail numbers and bow numbers. Unfortunately there was little opportunity for training people in the use of the Race Team App so it was a case of learning on the job. Not surprisingly this did not always work out but nevertheless, when the race teams had the time, results flowed ashore rapidly as expected.

There then followed a number of smaller open meetings. I was able to spend time with the race teams prior to the events and/or they did their homework. As a result these were much more successful. However complete success was on occasion avoided by, for example, leaving Sailwave running unattended on a laptop that went into hibernate mode or by an unexpected absence of mobile signal in one race area.

Chichester Harbour Race Week was the big test using results publication, the event management suite and, an innovation for 2015, an event website. The website was well received and well used. Event management was smooth and efficient with much improved competitor communication. The race teams did their stuff though the time taken for data entry gave cause for concern. But again performance got better with practise.

Finally at the end of August, SailEvent was used on one course of a major three day event. Again results were slow coming ashore on Day 1 so on Days 2 and 3 I went afloat on the finish boat to investigate.