Friday, 14 August 2020

New look check boxes

The afloat and ashore check box columns in participant lists are about to get a new look. Previously they were a bit clunky and the clunkiness was enhanced by browsers recently turning check boxes blue instead of the traditional grey.

But the main driver has been to show that each status has three settings rather than just the two that check boxes permit. Those three are Yes, No and Unknown. So for example at the beginning of a sailing day you probably don’t know whether an individual competitor will be sailing or not – status Unknown. Subsequently they eTally and their status becomes Yes or No.

So now what you see in the afloat and ashore columns is


The colour if the borders indicate eTallied or marked in the club or race team app respectively.

The symbols cycle round as you tap them:

 tap  tap  tap 

Tap top right of a participant list for pop-up help covering all this. 

There is more detail in club app Help in the Working with Participant Lists topic.

We plan to implement these changes later today. Hope you like them.

Thursday, 6 August 2020

Something new and quarts in pint pots

This was going to be a brief post about a handy update but it has grown!

The handy update is, by popular demand, a new column in the race team app's list of participants. It comes immediately after the afloat/ashore columns and shows the competitor’s declared finish status. That can be fin, dnc or dnf. fin is short for I started and finished the race and, to the best if my knowledge, sailed the course correctly. Of course the column is only there if you have chosen Ask for finish status for the competition and at least one competitor has declared.

On smaller screens, like phones, this declaration column is visible only when your device is in landscape mode. And that led on to thinking about how SailEvent shows a lot of data in a limited amount of space and how best to input that data.

SailEvent uses a number of techniques to get the quart of competitor information into the pint pot of a typical phone in portrait mode. These include omitting some columns, word wrap and variable column widths. For instance if the participant list can potentially show fleet, class/sail number and competitor name columns the last one is hidden in portrait mode. Rotate to landscape to see everything.

Even with these techniques space can be tight because a column always takes the width of its longest content. However there are things you can do to improve matters. You can abbr(eviate) and AVOID CAPITALS. For instance INTERNATIONAL 14 takes up a lot of screen real estate whereas Int14 conveys the same information in much less room.

Then there are competitor names. JOSEPHINE WILLIAMSON may be big and bold but Jo Williamson is barely half the width and much more readable.

Tip: take a look at your competitor list and see where you can trim and tidy.

Thursday, 23 July 2020

eTally Prompts - Part 3

Previous posts have talked about the why, what, how and when of eTally prompts. Here we look at how this translates into reality from a sailor’s point of view.

Imagine it’s a typical sailing day with an 11am start and all done by 3pm. We'll assume the prompts ask something like Are you sailing today? and Have you finished sailing? for afloat and ashore respectively.

Here are timelines for four likely scenarios: 

The organised one
09:00   Receives afloat prompt 1 and responds Yes
14:30   Receives ashore prompt 1 and responds Yes
The relaxed one
09:00   Receives afloat prompt 1 but does not respond
10:00   Receives afloat prompt 2 and responds Yes
14:30   Receives ashore prompt 1 but does not respond
14:50   Receives ashore prompt 2 and responds Yes
The one who’s not going
09:00   Receives afloat prompt 1, responds No and so receives no further prompts

The distracted one
09:00   Receives afloat prompt 1 but does not respond
10:00   Receives afloat prompt 2 but does not respond
14:30   Receives ashore prompt 1 because SailEvent does not know whether this person has sailed or not. Receipt of ashore 2 depends on any response to ashore 1

These are the settings behind the above scenarios.

The sailor is opted in to eTally.

eTally is enabled for the competition being sailed and an initial afloat status has not been set.

For this session:
Start time 09:00
Afloat cutoff time 11:00
Afloat 2 at 60 minutes before cutoff = 10:00
Ashore cutoff time 15:00
Ashore 1 at 30 minutes before cutoff = 14:30
Ashore 2 at 10 minutes before cutoff = 14:50

Friday, 17 July 2020

eTally Prompts - Part 2

In the previous post we looked at the why, what and how of eTally prompts; here we look at when they are sent. 

The decision as to when to send a prompt is governed by the factors listed below but the guiding principle is when SailEvent doesn’t know what’s going on it asks.
Sailors can opt in and out of receiving prompts on the eTally tab of their SailEvent account. If opted out SailEvent never sends them prompts. 

Most often SailEvent starts a sailing day not knowing whether or not each individual sailor is sailing so it asks by sending prompts. However a club can tell SailEvent, at competition level, to assume that all are sailing or none are sailing. That way SailEvent doesn’t prompt sailors to eTally afloat; they must remember to use the eTally app themselves. 

Prompts are normally sent according to the following schedule:
Prompt When sent
afloat 1 session start time
afloat 2 a number of minutes (offset) before the afloat cutoff time minutes
ashore 1 a number of minutes (offset) before the ashore cutoff time
ashore 2 a number of minutes (offset) before the ashore cutoff time

Afloat 1 can be skipped as described above. 

Afloat 2, Ashore 1 and Ashore 2 can be skipped by setting their respective offsets to zero. 

Clubs control the time settings and so too can race officers using the Race Team app. 

That’s the strategy behind when prompts are sent. In the final post of this series we look at the sailor experience of receiving them.

Thursday, 9 July 2020

eTally Prompts - Part 1

This post talks about the why, what and how of eTally prompts. We’ll consider when in Part 2.

Why prompt?

People are an absent-minded bunch. Or perhaps it’s just that there is so much going on in our lives that it is easy to overlook minor details. Minor details like confirming that yes, I am sailing today, and yes, I am ashore and did finish the race.

That’s why eTally prompts are such a good idea – they remind people on their phones to nip over to their eTally app and give it a quick tap.

What prompts look like

Prompts are brief messages to competitors reminding them to eTally. Up to two prompts can be sent for both eTallying afloat and ashore.

Each prompt consists of club-supplied text, a personalised link to the competitor’s eTally app and optionally a time limit.


Please go to by 1100 to let us know if you are sailing today

Tap before 1500 to say you are ashore

There’s a lot of flexibility in how you compose prompts. Clubs, you can read all about it in your club app's >Help.

How prompts are sent

Prompts can be sent either by email or by SMS text.

SMS texts are used when the following two conditions both apply:

  •          A club has an SMS account and has told SailEvent about it.
  •          A sailor has provided a mobile phone number to receive prompts. Sailors, you do this in your Sailor account on the eTally tab.

Email is used when SMS texts cannot be used and email is always available.

SMS texts can appear more immediate and urgent to the recipient however there is a small financial cost to the sending club for each one.

Email requires email software and an account on phones but with 'push' services, such as Gmail, and notifications the user experience is not dissimilar to SMS texts.

For technical reasons email delivery tends to be more reliable than SMS texts. And email is free or, to be precise, the small cost is borne by SailEvent.


That’s the why, what and the how if eTally prompts. In the next post we’ll look at when they are sent.


Thursday, 2 July 2020

New Feature - Additional Users

It’s a tough job being a Sailing Secretary. Long hours for little reward other than seeing the happy smiling faces of the sailors as they heave their boats up the beach.

If you are a Sailing Sec then SailEvent can make your life easier by letting sailors take on a little more responsibility. 

And now SailEvent gives you the chance to delegate some of your work to trusted colleagues by giving them access to the Club App.

We’ve just added a new Additional Users page, opened from the Club App menu via >Admin >Additional Users. There you can add people to a list. Once on the list they can log in in the usual way using their email address. And once logged in they can use the Club App in exactly the same way as the primary club login.

Each user in the list has a name and an email address. The address is used for logging in and the name is simply for identification. When you add someone to the list SailEvent sends them a welcoming email with instructions on how to proceed.

Once in the app a user can give him or herself a password to shorten the login process and confirm deletes.

Unlike a club’s primary email address, additional user addresses do not have to be unique within SailEvent so potentially one person can access multiple accounts.

What’s more you as Sailing Secretary can now have two logins – one for the office and one for home – so you can get on with the job wherever you are!

Thursday, 18 June 2020

Now you see it, now you don’t

I just want to tell you about a handy new setting for competitions that we introduced recently.

It’s called Visible and it controls where in SailEvent people can see each competition. You’ll find it at the bottom of the Competition tab on the >Competitions page.

Visible has three possible settings:

All The competition can be seen throughout. That includes by competitors when they eTally, in the Race Team app, in the public location Viewer and of course in the main Club app. This is the initial setting for a new competition.

Not public viewer The competition can be seen everywhere listed above except in the public Viewer. This might be an appropriate setting for, say, club racing.

Club App only The competition is visible only in the Club app. You might want to use this while you are setting up a new competition or trying something out.

Why no Not Race Team? Because we couldn’t think of a use for it! Plus you can control who sees what in the Race Team app per session with PINs.

And that’s all there is to it. If you change Visible don’t forget to Save it.