Getting Fast and Accurate Results at a Regatta
Results at a Regatta can take in inordinate length of time to produce. Ask any sailor!!
The data entry into the computer and race processing in the computer is probably the easiest and quickest part of producing results for a Regatta. So what’s going wrong??
The Race Committee and the competitors want the results virtually before the last competitor is off the water. Often the pressure is put on the computer operator / results person. I believe this is unfair / unjust and accounts for the great reluctance of most people to take on that job.
Provided that the computer operator has ALL the relevant information and there is a sensible structure in place, then it is not a difficult task to provide quick, accurate results.
Where are the Delays/Problems???
We have worked with many clubs for club events and in particular for Regattas. These Regattas have varied in size from as small as a 20 boat Regattas up to a recent Regatta with over 300 hundred boats. This later Regatta had 16 Series. The 16 different Series were all running the same area and at the same time, often finishing at a common finish boat. Some results were by Handicap corrected time, some were on position, and others were on Class Handicap / Yardstick. Many boats were given multiple results under different HC systems for any one race. Some boats were competing in a race the finish times from which were being used in several totally different Series. But the race number in each of these Series was different as was the mix of competitors in each Series.
What Useful Ideas can we pass on from These Clubs / Regattas?
The two key issues standout. Both relate to data management.
- The Process: There must be a clearly defined and clearly understood process in place to cope with the collection of all the necessary data both prior to and during the Regatta. Similarly a clearly defined system needs to be in place for responding to competitors’ queries about the results. These processes must have easily visible “audit” trails so that it is simple to check on things that were done “the day before”. Both processes must have easy to follow, colour coded forms.
- The People: The team of volunteers doing all the jobs in the data management must be trained and experienced. For example, the finish boat team must be experienced in the kind of finishing that they are undertaking. Further, every task needs continuity from one day to the next. Either all the same people each day / race or a least a sub set of each team must have been involved the previous day so that lessons learnt are then implemented.
Click HERE to download the document containing some detailed suggestions (~ 9 pages)
This is NOT a light read. Only proceed if you really want to consider a “boots and all” solution. Remember that producing sensible results is a multi-step process. Break one link in that chain and it can all come apart.