Expectations Of Race Management And Admin Staff To Enable The Expedient Production Of Accurate Results

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Repeated experiences over a number of different Regattas highlights the necessity of providing a area where the computer/results persons can be…

  • Where they cannot be accessed by the competitors.
  • Where there is no noise/chatter/radio signals.

All enquiries re results needs to be

  • via the (separate) Regatta Office
  • on appropriate written forms


There are sections of this document that do not apply if users take advantage of TopYacht’s Computer Stop-Watch on the Finish Boat.

Finish Boat Team

Provided that the proper preparation has been put in place before the Regatta, then the key personnel in the results generation process are those on the finish boat.

The odd computer adage still applies “garbage in garbage out”.

It is the responsibility of the finish boat team to provide the computer operator with all the necessary information needed to generate sensible results.

If the TopYacht Finish Form has every section filled in, then all the necessary information is made available. This one form captures the complete race data. If the data is spread across numerous sheets/forms then problems will almost certainly occur.

To enable the generation of a complete results report….

General Information Required.

  • Event Name and the course this finish boat is servicing
  • Race Date
  • First Start time
  • Last boat’s finish time (For protest time limit)
  • Scribe (i.e. who filled in the form)
  • Wind speed and direction
  • Average wave height

For each Division That Finished At This Finish Boat….

  • Course they sailed
  • Beat length
  • Start Time

For each boat that crosses the finish line [even if they are known to be disqualified, out of time, crossed the line previously, etc].

  • Finish time in Time of Day as hours minutes and seconds.
  • If they are flying a protest flag.
  • Indicate if the start boat has recorded any boat as OCS or BFD or ZFP.
  • As soon as the last competitor has finished the finish team should compare the duplicate finish sheets and prepare one that is to be the “agreed” version.
  • The sail numbers should then be checked against the competitors list and any corrections made.
  • Any competitors that have not finished should be compared with the list of know starters.
  • Once these checks are completed the race data should then be telephoned ashore.
  • The person receiving the telephone call will probably be talking to other finish boats on other courses so it is important that the person on each finish boat reads the information in the same way as the other finish boat personnel. If not it can become very confusing for the person receiving the information on shore.
  • The standard method is sail numbers read as a series of letters / number in groups of 3 or 4 letters/numbers.
  • So sail no AUS1367 is read out as “A, U, S,” very short pause, “one, three, six, seven”. While Laser 156342 is read out as “one, five, six,” very short pause, “three, four, two”.
  • [The short pause gives the person on shore time to write. The grouping into 3 or 4 letters/numbers is a nice size to remember.]
  • The times are read out as follows.
  • For 14: 45: 23 read as “Fourteen, Forty Five, Twenty Three”.
  • For 16: 41: 03 read as “Sixteen, forty one, oh three”.
  • By using the above system there is a clear distinction between times and sail numbers and this makes it much easier to write down from the telephone.


  • It can not be emphasised enough how important it is that the finish team complete the form with all the information as detailed above.
  • It is also very important that the information is telephoned ashore very quickly after the last competitor finishes. If the finishers are very spread out then it is sensible to telephone in the early finish times when say 50% of the fleet have finished.
  • If the finish boat has competitors from different courses or divisions finishing at the same time then please record them on a single form rather than one form per group. The later approach may result in boats not being recorded at all and the TopYacht software will do the sorting into their division and courses/races.
  • At the end of the day when you return ashore please take the all finish forms and audio tapes to the Regatta Office. They in turn will pass them to the computer operator so the on water finish sheets /audio tapes can be used to check the times in the computer.

Start Boat Team

  • Before each session please collect the Entrants list (for your course) , Start Log form, OCS forms, Wind Log forms, etc from the Regatta Office.
  • Please help the results process by telephone the following information to the finish boat team as soon as possible after the start(s) is away.

For each Division that started for this session….

  • Course they sailed (E.G.s. Outer trapezoid 2 laps, Course No 3, Short Triangle Course etc)
  • Beat length in nautical miles.
  • Start Time in Time of Day.
  • List of any competitors that were given an OCS, BFD or ZFP.
  • If possible, the number of boats that started at each start and if possible a list of non starter’s Sail Numbers.
  • At the end of the session please return the Start Log, OCS Sheet, etc to the Regatta office.

Mark Rounding Boats Teams

  • Before each session please collect the relevant Entrants list , Mark Rounding forms, Wind Log forms etc from the Regatta Office.
  • At the end of the session please hand your Mark Rounding forms to the Regatta Office.

Computer Operators

  • Prepare a current list of competitors with Sail Numbers, to be made available to each committee / rescue / lap count / etc boat on each course. This list must be available before the committee boats have left the shore and should be passed to the boats via the Regatta Office staff.
  • Set up TopYacht ready to input finish times for each race(s) that is currently being run on the water. Do not set up future races, just the current race for each course.
  • When using the Active Race system do not forget to set the appropriate race to “active” in each Series and to enter the competitors into that race(s).
  • When receiving finish boat information on the telephone, write this on the ‘on shore’ finish form making sure that all sections are complete before you hang up. If a hands free telephone is available then tape record the conversation as well as writing down the information. Do not type the information directly into the computer.
  • Once you are finished on the telephone then input the data into the computer.
  • This is best done with two persons. One reading (using the system outlined above for the finish boat team) while the second person types does the data entry. The reader should put a small diagonal line in the “E/C” column on the finish sheets as each competitor is input into the computer.
  • For sail numbers that are not recognised by the compute, r leave them (do not mark the “E/C” column) until all others have been entered. It is usually not hard to marry the incorrect sail number(s) with Entrants who still do not have a finish time for this race.
  • When all finish times are entered the computer operator opens the ‘View Finish Times screen and reads the finish times back to the person with the finish times form. As the times are confirmed for each competitor another small diagonal line is made in the “E/C” column. This second line forms a cross i.e. a “X” with the original line in this box and confirms each competitor is Entered and Checked.
  • Process the results for each series for that race.
  • Publish the results to the Internet.
  • Print out the finish time sheet. This is very useful pinned on the notice board. It allows competitors (particularly in a mixed class event) to check their relative finish place.
  • Print the results out. Hand both forms to the Regatta Office for the media and the Notice board.
  • Unless something has gone very wrong or several courses telephoned through results at the same time, it should be your aim ( and is quite possible) to have the results on the notice board before the competitors reach shore.
  • After results have been published there may be requests for information about results or requests for changes to the results. These must not accepted in verbal format and must not be accepted directly from competitors. All such requests must only be accepted on the appropriate form via the Regatta Office.
  • If there is an error and it is just a typographic error then fix the problem, note this on the Request for Information form and return it to the Regatta Office.
  • If the error is other than a typo then any changes must be authorised by the Principal Race Officer.
  • Once results have been published and any change has been made then it is most important that the details of that change are logged on the appropriate log form. This provides an ongoing record or any and all changes to results, when they occurred and why they occurred.
  • Changes that result from a protest should come in on a ‘Request for Change of Results’ form which is signed/authorised by the jury chairperson, actioned then stored with the other race data.
  • As soon as a race is processed then all documentation relating to that race must be placed in the appropriate folder under the race date / number. This stops confusion between paper work and provides a quick reference for data if it is needed later.

Regatta Office Staff

  • Prior to the first race you should be confirming details with competitors and updating a single database that will later be imported into TopYacht ready to create results for the competitors.
  • Prior to the first race prepare all the various Race / results management forms on the various coloured papers.
  • Prior to each race the start / finish / mark rounding / etc will need to be given (by you)
  • A current list of competitors on the relevant course.
  • Start Log sheets or Finish Forms or Mark Rounding Forms as befits the roll of the boat.
  • A list of all Race management craft, the Regatta Office and the results office telephone numbers and/ or call signs a radio frequency.
  • After the race you will be provided with results for the Media and to go on the notice board.


  • If competitors have questions / complaints about results they must see you and obtain a ‘Request for Information’ or a ‘Request for Change of Results’ form.
  • The competitor fills in the form, you number the form then log it on the appropriate Log Sheet. You then hand the sheet to the Results Office. Do not allow the competitors to go to the Results Office.
  • Once the Results Office have processed the form they will return it to you so that you can return it to the competitor who raised the request / complaint.
  • All mark rounding sheets, start logs etc must be collected and then passed on to the results office for filing with the rest of the race results raw data.

Further Reading:

Getting fast accurate results at a Regatta.

On Water Team Checklist

Practical Sailing Event Management Tips