As most sailors will know or remember, “back in the day” everything was handled on paper – perhaps your club still does? So paper sign-on/off lists, races were manually started, then finish times recorded on paper. Sometime later the results were available on the club website or elsewhere.
For my club, with a focus on fleet racing, this meant up to 6 different race sign-on sheets, six sets of fleet results!
At the end of the day the fleet captains collected the score-sheets and went home to enter the results into some software which computed the race results and re-calculated the series results with discards etc. Finally, the results would be uploaded to the club or sailwave website.
This had a lot of disadvantages, including
- A scrum before the race to find a pen and sign on for the race.
- Scorers recording time and position for each sailor manually.
- If the fleet captain was not at the club on race-day, results would not appear for several days!
- Any later changes (as a result of protests etc) could take a long time to adjust the results.
Although the club had a simple computer system for starting a race, the commodore at the time wanted much more and outlined his “vision for the future”.
- Sign-On: Sailors would Sign-On for a race quickly and simply using a touch screen.
- Starting: To start the race, just a single button press. The system would “know” the right start sequence and automatically trigger sound and light signals for the race, flight recalls etc.
- Scoring: The single ARO (assistant race officer) would click a button as each boat crossed the finish line, and position and elapsed time would be stored
- Results: After the races for the day were finished, a single button press would score all the races and update the series results.
- Publish: The results would be instantly available on the club website, ready to view before sailors got to the bar!
But there was no system we could find that would do all of the above!
So a small committee sub-group was formed and as a result two of us agreed to try and develop such as system…
This became known as the “Race Management System” or RMS.
To see what it actually is (hardware) click here
To see what it does, watch the video below.