Monday, 1 March 2021

New Menu

This post is just to brief you on changes to the SailEvent Club App menu. The Admin menu has been growing so we are hiving off some of its items into a new Settings menu in order to pave the way for future developments.

The new structure is

Items used frequently – Competitions and Sessions – remain at the top level.

Admin now contains items used less frequently such as Class lists and Logs.

Settings is for items needed primarily when setting up the system and subsequently used rarely.

The old >Admin >Settings item is renamed >Settings >General  but, while we update all the places in the documentation that refer to the old name(!), that item still exists as a signpost to its new home.

Sorry if this news is somewhat underwhelming; it’s simply part of the evolution and development of SailEvent that you need to be aware of.


Friday, 19 February 2021

Tales of Two Sailing Clubs

Despite everything, UK clubs did manage to get some sailing in during 2020. We’ve compiled stories of how two very different clubs dealt with the challenges.

The first is Hayling Island Sailing Club. Big and bold on its own headland looking out over Chichester Harbour, HISC is used to hosting major championships as well as providing a busy programme for its several thousand members. Clearly the former couldn’t happen but you can read here about how SailEvent helped HISC run club racing.

Separated geographically from HISC by only a few miles of sea, Sea View Yacht Club on the Isle of Wight is a world apart in style. Its cosy club house in the heart of the community looks out over the Solent shipping lanes. But the sheltered water right in front of the club is busy in the summer months with club racing, most notably for the clinker-built Sea View One Designs. Read about how SVYC put on racing for this popular fleet here.

Two clubs, each with their own character and ambiance and their own ways of providing safe and enjoyable time on the water for their members. But both required planning and organisation and that’s where SailEvent came in.

Have a good read.

PS We are at the RYA virtual Dinghy Show, 27th-28th February, on the Restart Sailing stand. Do drop by to say hello. Free tickets are available from the RYA. Looking forward to seeing you there


Wednesday, 23 December 2020

Merry Christmas

Ahoy and seasonal greetings.

Sorry the blog has been quiet for a while but we’ve been heads down developing new SailEvent features. We’ll be rolling them out in the New Year so look out for announcements here.

We are also involved in the Restart Sailing initiative. You can read all about it at restartsailing.org.

To all of you in the Northern Hemisphere stay safe and warm and you lucky ones in the Southern stay safe and cool!

Looking forward to better things in 2021,

The SailEvent Team


Wednesday, 21 October 2020

End to End Race Management

SailEvent has teamed up with HalSail to provide contactless, paperless, seamless race management from entry form to results publication.

This is a typical sequence of events:

  1. Competitors enter an event or series via a SailEvent online entry form.
  2. The entry list is synched to HalSail. Boats that are not yet known to HalSail are automatically registered; entries are added to the appropriate HalSail series.
  3. On race day competitors eTally in SailEvent to say they are sailing.
  4. Those who are sailing are automatically preselected on the HalSail results entry page for rapid finish recording.
  5. The race officer records finishers in HalSail as they cross the line.
  6. HalSail calculates and publishes results on the web immediately.

SailEvent’s race team app and HalSail's online finish sheet mean that race officers have a complete and up to date picture at all times both on and off the water. The SailEvent and HalSail apps are in the cloud and phone-friendly for organisers, race officers and sailors alike.

SailEvent has a new >Admin >Integrations page with additional information and simple set up. If your club does not yet use HalSail the web site is https://www.halsail.com. Do take a look.


Tuesday, 6 October 2020

"The members won’t accept it.” Or will they?

 “It’s time for change” is a popular rallying cry among politicians as it goes down well with voters. I find this odd because mostly people don’t like change – they like what they know. And that’s why we hear from time to time when talking about eTally that “the members won’t accept it”. 

But in these different times many assumptions about what people will or will not accept have been shown to be mistaken. Just look at the enormous growth in online bookings, online shopping and, most interestingly, online meetings. Who would have thought just a few months ago how readily people would take to Zooming and WhatsApping. 

And so it is with eTally. When told this is the way it is going to be, sailors find that they can tap an app on their phones as easily, if not much more so, than signing a sheet of paper on a notice board. At least two clubs have reported 95% compliance. And the remaining 5%? The SailEvent Race Team app is the place to tick them off. 

Once you’ve got sailors eTallying then their club knows what’s happening. Everything from showing the race officer who to expect on the start line to reporting for NHS Test and Trace. 

We sailors are a conservative bunch, after all we rely on a means of propulsion which everyone else abandoned as soon as there was a viable alternative, but experience with eTally proves that even old-timers can adapt. And of course for the younger generation the phone is all. 

Friday, 28 August 2020

Visitor Attendance Recording

This post talks about repurposing SailEvent to keep track of all visitors to a club and not just those who are actually sailing. 

To support NHS Test & Trace sailing clubs must maintain a record of all those visiting their premises including club members, their families and friends. (See references below.) That sounds like a daunting administrative task yet by using SailEvent and applying a bit of thought and ingenuity, you can easily implement contactless, digital, self-service attendance recording.

No two clubs are the same so there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution but here are some ideas to get you started.

The principle

The concept of a competition is central to SailEvent. A competition has some facts describing it and a list of competitors. Typically competitors take part in a series, an open meeting, a regatta but they can equally sign up for leisure sailing or simply to visit the club.

So the trick is to set up a competition called, say, Visitors and compile a list of potential visitors.

Compiling the list

This depends very much on the nature of your club. A small club with mainly local members may want to simply put all its members on the list. Alternatively you can publish an entry form and ask members to sign up only if they plan to visit at some unspecified time in the future.

Attendance recording

The final setting up step is say when people can visit the club. Some clubs may want to be open at all times; others may limit visiting to just certain days and times.

Either way the answer is SailEvent sessions which have dates and start and end times. (btw sessions can now be as long as you like.) Thanks to the clone function it is really easy to create, say, a month or more of like sessions.

To prompt or not to prompt

Prompts are brief emails or texts to remind people to record their attendance. If for instance your club is open only at weekends and is always well-attended then asking everyone if they will be on-site seems reasonable. But if your club is open every day yet often used by only a few then multiple prompts may be seen as intrusive.

You can configure the number, including zero, of prompts SailEvent sends so why not start with a best guess and fine tune from there.

Good to go

At this point it’s a good idea to let your members know what is expected of them and to enlist their cooperation. In our experience people take to SailEvent really well especially if they understand that they are supporting NHS Test & Trace.

SailEvent takes over

Either by prompting or self-motivation your members will be asked a question on their phones that looks like this


 Their answer is date and time stamped and securely recorded in the SailEvent database ready to be passed to NHS Test & Trace if asked.

Do I need sailing competitions too?

Maybe not if you don’t need to know who is sailing as opposed to who is just visiting. But yes if you want contactless signing sheets and the race team app.

Is it one hundred percent?

Unlikely unless you have an exceptionally well-disciplined membership! We are dealing with humans here and it seems they are not always capable of following simple written instructions. But it should be pretty good – we have reports of 95% compliance – and NHS Test & Trace is not an exact science anyway. What we want is for everyone to do the best they can.


We have talked in this post about how SailEvent can be used for free to implement easy-to-use, contactless, digital self-service attendance recording. That's one quick way that clubs and their members can help NHS Test & Trace and combat the pandemic. 


References

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/maintaining-records-of-staff-customers-and-visitors-to-support-nhs-test-and-trace 

https://www.rya.org.uk/SiteCollectionDocuments/clubs/RYA%20Sailing%20%26%20Racing%20in%20Mixed%20Households.pdf


Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Supporting NHS Test & Trace

During the coronavirus pandemic the UK’s government guidance is that organisations should keep records of “staff, customers and visitors” in order to support NHS Test and Trace. The RYA’s Sailing & racing with participants from different households confirms that this guidance applies to sailing clubs. The guidance recommends that, wherever possible, this information should be recorded digitally.

From the outset SailEvent has helped clubs comply contactlessly and digitally with these rules by

  • Providing an online competition entry form that members can use to register an interest in sailing in an event or series.
  • Through its eTally app, let members confirm that they are actually sailing on any given day.

Now SailEvent goes one step further by letting members record changes to helm or crew that apply for just one sailing session.

Suppose Annie has entered to sail the Saturday Series in her RS200 with her regular crew Jim. Jim can’t make it one weekend so she recruits Ben to stand in. At eTally time Annie changes the name of her crew from Jim to Ben just for that one Saturday.

All these contact details are time-stamped and securely stored in the SailEvent database where they can be accessed by owning clubs. Clubs should keep this information for 21 days either by leaving it in SailEvent or by downloading to a local computer. If necessary NHS Test and Trace will ask for these records and, with SailEvent, clubs can easily produce them.


PS As part of this development competitors can now also provide a temporarily alternate sail number to be used during the current session. It’s the alternate that is shown in the Race Team app so race officers aren’t faced with an unknown sail number.


References

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/maintaining-records-of-staff-customers-and-visitors-to-support-nhs-test-and-trace 

https://www.rya.org.uk/SiteCollectionDocuments/clubs/RYA%20Sailing%20%26%20Racing%20in%20Mixed%20Households.pdf