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Rant, Rant - Sail numbers and Entry forms...

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JimC View Drop Down
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    Posted: 22 Sep 19 at 5:33pm
I have just spent, I reckon, between 5 and 8 hours sorting out results for a junior event.

Barely half of the entry forms were fully filled in, and most of those were missing fields that were required for allocating special prizes. The class displays a sail number and a championship number (so you'll know which class it was) and one pair of boats displayed the same sail number and three pairs of boats the same championship number.

It was one of those days were multiple boats were finishing overlapped, and I had one set of incomplete numbers from one end of the line using the 3 figure champ numbers with some sail numbers interspersed, and another set of incomplete numbers from the other end of the line using sail numbers, some 5 figure, and some, due to the rapid finishing, just last 3 digits. We managed to award at least one prize to the wrong person due to incomplete data, and I spent half the night and a great big custom spreadsheet trying to reconcile the various sets of results in order to produce a reasonable provisional set.

I now understand more clearly than ever before why some clubs will be draconian about admin breaches and I curse the 'clever' idea that puts two sets of sail numbers on most but not all of the boats. The Laser class concept of a contrasting colour on the last N digits is much more sensible.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 423zero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Sep 19 at 5:45pm
Perhaps give every boat a number for the race, hang it from boom between mast and kicker mount.
Robert
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Sep 19 at 6:12pm
Originally posted by 423zero

Perhaps give every boat a number for the race, hang it from boom between mast and kicker mount.

Cue one of my XKCD favourites [grin]



Edited by JimC - 22 Sep 19 at 6:13pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 423zero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Sep 19 at 6:24pm
Keep flags for handicap racing only, 1st person to sign on gets flag 1, 2nd flag 2 etc, not keep flag for ever.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Sep 19 at 7:21am
Originally posted by JimC

I have just spent, I reckon, between 5 and 8 hours sorting out results for a junior event.

Barely half of the entry forms were fully filled in, and most of those were missing fields that were required for allocating special prizes.

Sounds like a very good reason for going to on-line entry, with mandatory, format-controlled fields. Make it smartphone-friendly, and if necessary set up a couple of lap-top kiosks at registration points if you want to facilitate entries on the day.

The class displays a sail number and a championship number (so you'll know which class it was)

Sounds like the Marketing Department's idea.  Sailing for the lazy-minded.  If I want to know what class a boat is in I look it up in the Boys Big Book of Class Sail-marks, or the List of Entrants.

 and one pair of boats displayed the same sail number and three pairs of boats the same championship number. 

 That sounds like a problem created by the organisers.  If you're handing out numbers, make sure they don't duplicate.

It was one of those days were multiple boats were finishing overlapped, and I had one set of incomplete numbers from one end of the line using the 3 figure champ numbers with some sail numbers interspersed, and another set of incomplete numbers from the other end of the line using sail numbers, some 5 figure, and some, due to the rapid finishing, just last 3 digits.

Sounds to me like poor work by the race management team.

Finish callers and recorders should have been instructed to use consistent numbers.

Course RO and finish boat crews jobs are not finished until they produce 'clean' result sheets.

I thought Sailwave did a pretty good job with partial sail numbers?

We managed to award at least one prize to the wrong person due to incomplete data, and I spent half the night and a great big custom spreadsheet trying to reconcile the various sets of results in order to produce a reasonable provisional set. 

We had a wonderful Laser Class Association Secretary here for many years who could do all that in her head.

She could greet a sailor who hadn't been to a regatta for two years, by name, with their sail number, last regatta sailed, and the amount of membership subs owning.  She could look at partials in a results list, and tell you the right pecking order and sailor for just about any number.

Unfortunately rainmen are a bit hard to find these days.

I now understand more clearly than ever before why some clubs will be draconian about admin breaches and I curse the 'clever' idea that puts two sets of sail numbers on most but not all of the boats.

Well, Yes.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Sep 19 at 7:21am
Originally posted by JimC

The Laser class concept of a contrasting colour on the last N digits is much more sensible.

Can you or someone else please explain the protocol for the Red digits on Laser Sail numbers? 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Sep 19 at 8:18am
Actually on line entry was half the problem, because the CA pn line entry doesn't record all the fields needed for the prize in the NOR.

Yeah, sub perfect organisation in a lot of ways, but then it was just a one day regional event at a medium sized club, not a major championship with all the extra support that implies...

Also with 5 races to squeeze in on the one day there's not a lot of time, no time to go round telling competitors to peel numbers off for instance.

Edited by JimC - 23 Sep 19 at 8:25am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jeffers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Sep 19 at 8:58am
Would videoing the finish help? At NSSA they had people sat with iPads videoing the line and calling sail numbers and then a couple out of earshot just recording sail numbers on paper so they had 2 sources of data should there be an issue.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Sep 19 at 9:08am
I once videoed a finish... It took me over an hour to run through the tape and get it all down with all the stops and starts and rewinds... In the event that might have helped, but overlaps and obscured sail numbers would still have made it difficult even if there had been two cameras.

It was a perfect storm really. It was a large entry, the conditions were such that multiple boats were finishing overlapped with places changing on the line, the class seems to have got a bit slack with their champ numbers, the entry problems were such that I never really properly got caught up - didn't even get lunch - and I'm damn embarrassed about having failed to get a complete set of results finished at the prize giving for the first time ever.

Just needed a rant really. I had not had a lot of sleep when I posted that!

Edited by JimC - 23 Sep 19 at 9:16am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Sep 19 at 9:21am
Originally posted by Brass

Can you or someone else please explain the protocol for the Red digits on Laser Sail numbers? 

I've always assumed that the idea is to make it easy to record partial numbers on the assumption that duplicates are very unlikely, but I've never heard it officially.
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