Tuesday 18 June 2024


eTally ashore is not just the time to check that everyone has finished sailing and is safely accounted for, it is also an opportunity to find out how they got on. Did they sail the course and finish correctly? Or Did they Not Finish, or even Not Start?

eTally has always accepted declarations for a single race; it can now accept up to four races in one sailing session.

The screenshot below shows how it looks in the eTally phone app for three races back-to-back. eTally Kiosk has an equivalent.


For each event you can set a planned number of races but we all know that things don’t always go according to plan! So ROs can set the actual number of races sailed in the Race Team app and eTally adjusts itself.

Why a maximum of four races? We feel that four is enough for most eventualities and, if there are more than four races a day, it is probably asking a bit much of tired sailors to remember exactly what happened!

Declarations are particularly useful at club racing level when hard-pressed race officers can’t always keep tabs on everyone. SailEvent now provides an easy way to collect score codes and feed them into results.

HalSail Integration

SailEvent can send declarations seamlessly to HalSail in real time. HalSail applies score codes to race results logically keeping in mind that the RO is always right but may not have all the facts!

For example, an RO may have someone recorded as finishing but that person knows they did only 3 out of 4 laps. They do the honourable thing and declare that they did not finish. HalSail scores them DNF.

On the other hand, someone else declares they finished correctly but the RO knows they were OCS. They stay OCS!

Tuesday 5 March 2024


We’ve tightened up fleet naming!

Previously a fleet name could be typed individually against each class in a class list. This approach opened the door to typos and spelling variants.

Now fleet names are entered once on the new >Admin >Fleets page and selected from a drop-down list in >Admin >Class Lists.

This ensures consistent fleet naming across all classes. Filtering lists of competitors by fleet works better and so do interfaces with other apps such as Sailwave and HalSail.

Existing fleet names have been transferred to a list of fleets for each SailEvent account. You may want to check your list and weed out any of those typos and variants.

It’s a small change but ultimately well worthwhile.

Thursday 14 December 2023

The Name of the Sailing Game

Let’s face it, sailing doesn’t have competitions; it has series, meetings, regattas, championships, nationals, worlds, events but not competitions. Even though they all are competitions!

So SailEvent is bowing to the inevitable and, instead of competition, in future will use a new generic term – event.

If event is good enough for the Racing Rules of Sailing then it’s good enough for us. Actually the RRS use the terms event and the clunky race or series more or less interchangeably but we need just one word. Appendix J Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions clearly says In this appendix, the term ‘event’ includes a race or series of races, so that’s the one we are going for. And event does reflect the name of our service!

Something to be aware of is that a series is, in both RRS and now SailEvent terms, an event.  So, if you have 6 races at weekly intervals that’s an event. But of course you can still call it your Spring Series!

Like the mythical country that announced it was changing from driving on the left to on the right, the move will take place gradually but it is going to happen over the Christmas period when everyone will be too busy celebrating to notice.😀


On which note, the SailEvent Team wish you a very Merry Christmas 

and a Happy New Year, both on and off the water.


Monday 27 November 2023

Build your own integrated entry form

SailEvent features basic online entry forms which work well for many events but there are times when more complexity is called for. You may, for example, want to include orders for merchandise or bookings for meals, and then calculate a total entry fee. Or you may need to know a competitor’s age category.

That’s where online form builders come in. You can use them to create just about any entry form you like and, when appropriate, accept entry fees online.

A good example is Jotform. It’s a powerful, well-featured forms app and can collect entry fees via many payment gateways such as PayPal and Stripe.

And so we come to the exciting part of this post!

Jotform entry forms can now be seamlessly integrated into SailEvent. When a competitor completes a Jotform entry form they are automagically and immediately added to the corresponding SailEvent competition and they appear in the entry list. The Jotform itself is listed in your SailEvent entry forms and is subject to the same opening and closing date and max entries rules.

All you need to get started are

  • A SailEvent Plus account.
  • A Jotform account. The free Starter plan has all required features but is limited in capacity.
  • A payment gateway account such as PayPal or Stripe if you wish to take online payments.

We’ve chosen to go with Jotform initially because we know it does the job but other form builders are available. They can be added to SailEvent as custom forms however that’s not the same as full integration.  If you have a preferred option and would like it to be fully integrated then do get in touch

Tuesday 10 October 2023

Kiosk – The Nuts and Bolts and Woodscrews

The challenge – how do you make an app on a tablet computer available to several hundred people daily without them breaking it, stealing it, powering it off, switching it to another app?

The solution – inexpensive hardware and software, and woodscrews.

The venue for Chichester Harbour Race Week with its near 400 competitors is Hayling Island Sailing Club. HISC, like many a club, has a traditional outdoor wooden notice board. Originally the official notice board, but now largely superseded by online equivalents, it is remains the home of paper signing sheets.

That was clearly the place for two tablets – one for each race group.

We used Lenovo Tab M10s – 10 inch tablets running Android 11: good quality, reasonably priced and, importantly, with plenty of battery power. We installed Kiosk Browser, a mobile device manager, to run the eTally Kiosk app in Chrome.  Kiosk Browser hides most (though not quite all) Chrome and Android functions from inquisitive tappers. We applied screen protectors – thin sheets of glass – to both devices.

Connectivity came via a MiFi device in a box in an adjacent indoor area which just happened to be the snack bar.

We screwed a pair of security wall mounts to the notice board adjacent to where the paper signing sheets go.

A tablet powered on, clamped in position and ready for customers.


We’d previously briefed all competitors by email. We sat back and waited.

They took to it like the proverbial ducks to water!

I don’t know who these two gentlemen are but thank you, you look the part.

Was it perfection all the way? Not quite!

The card taped to the top of each tablet not only tells people which to use but also prevents them pulling down the Android settings and causing havoc.

The tablets on/off button needed a couple of millimetres headroom under the security clamps. One enthusiastic tapper managed to slide a tablet up enough to power it off.

A more strict implementation of Kiosk Browser will fix both of those issues.

Finally, the call went out that neither tablet was working. On investigation this was because they weren’t connected to the internet. You remember that the connectivity came via the snack bar? It turned out that someone had, entirely innocently, placed a tray of Coke cans on top of the box of tricks. Problem soon resolved!

So overall, a great success. Lessons were learned, the main one being that eTally Kiosk is a valuable addition to the SailEvent safety portfolio.

Wednesday 4 October 2023

Kiosk - in at the deep end!

With an entry list of nearly 400 in a wide variety of boats, an equally wide variety of abilities and in tidal waters, Chichester Harbour Race Week has to work hard on competitor safety.

Sailing Club Software provides IT support for the event and a big part of that is keeping track of who is on, and safely off, the water. Way back that meant manually comparing multiple paper signing sheets - slow and error-prone.

More recently we’ve used eTally by phone – a great improvement that enables the Safety Officer to wrap up so much more quickly. Nevertheless paper signing sheets were retained for the small minority who couldn’t, or wouldn’t, take the technology route.

This year we introduced eTally Kiosk in the expectation it would prove an acceptable alternative for that minority. The paper sheets were still there and right next to them was Kiosk. (We’ll talk about the mechanics of that in the next post.)

When introducing new technology you can never tell whether it’s going to sink or swim. It’s was gratifying to discover that for Kiosk it was very much the latter! 

Competitors of all ages got the hang of it straight away and thought it was a great idea. 

The number of paper signers went from a diehard handful on day 1 to zero on the final day.

Post-event analysis showed that overall competitors were 60/40 in favour of eTally by phone. That was 70/30 at eTally afloat time shifting to almost exactly 50/50 for eTally ashore. You can see how that makes sense.

So a highly successful first outing for Kiosk and, most importantly, all competitors were accounted for, and the safety team stood down, in record time. Mission accomplished.

Friday 29 September 2023

Introducing eTally Kiosk

In our previous post we looked at why tallying is an important factor for competitor safety, and how eTally by phone is a logical progression. Now we are introducing eTally Kiosk - a new way for competitors to sign afloat and ashore.

Think of Kiosk as a communal, shared version of eTally by phone, available on a tablet computer strategically positioned in your clubhouse.

Before racing, competitors walk up, identify themselves, say they are sailing, make way for the next person.

Once ashore, it’s the same but they can also declare whether they finished, or not.

Here’s the process in pictures

Identify  2:Confirm  3:eTally  4:Next person

Kiosk doesn’t replace eTally by phone, the two coexist and people can mix and match as suits them best.

It runs in any web browser and on any internet connected device but is targeted at touch-screen tablets. Chrome on a 10 inch Android tablet is a good bet.

Looking for an event to give Kiosk some serious beta testing, we decided on Chichester Harbour Race Week at Hayling Island. 400 competitors over a 5 day regatta should be tough enough!

And how did it go? Very well indeed. The competitors loved it and the kit was trouble free.

Or to be precise, very, very nearly trouble free! The gory, and amusing, details will be revealed in a subsequent post.

Meanwhile, Kiosk is available for you now. See the eTally Kiosk Help topic for how to use.