Tuesday 19 May 2020

A Booking System

A core component of SailEvent is what we call a competition. "Competition" is a general term for anything like an open meeting, a club fleet, a regatta, a Nationals or any of the multiplicity of names we have for groups of people gathered together for the purpose of sailing.

The term competition, and those examples, imply competitiveness but there is no reason why the concept cannot be repurposed to describe non-competitive groups such as leisure sailors. You could have a “competition” for everyone who leisure sails throughout the year. Or you could have single day “competitions”, for instance one for each Sunday.

Competitions have lists of competitors, another general term. In the initial version of SailEvent competitors were added to their competition either by typing them in or by uploading a spreadsheet. Now we’ve added an online entry form so that members can add themselves to the list. It’s a brand new feature, so new that it isn’t even mentioned on the website, but we wanted to get it out to you because we know many clubs are looking for an online booking system.

So how does this work in practice. Let’s assume that your club decides to open up for leisure sailing on the four Sundays in June but, in order to ensure social distancing, there needs to be a limit of 50 boats on each day. Here are the steps:

1.   In SailEvent set up four competitions. You can call them whatever you like, perhaps Leisure Sailing 1 – 4.

2.  For each competition set the maximum number of entries to 50. You will probably also want to set an opening and closing date for entries and possibly provide additional information.

3.  The four competitions are automatically published on your club’s SailEvent online entry page. The link to that page is something like https://sailevent.net/enter/mysc

4.  You make that link available to members by emailing it in an invitation to book and/or putting it on your club website.

5.  Your members go to the online entry page and fill in a simple form for the day or days they want. They can also see a list of who has already booked.

The list of members for each day can be viewed by authorised persons in the SailEvent club app and in the race team app so you know exactly who to expect. Bookings can be amended, added and deleted.

In this post we’ve seen how easy it is to implement a simple booking system with SailEvent. Next we’ll look at why your members should register with SailEvent, the good things that are available to them once they have done so, and how this helps you manage their time on the water.


  1. You explain that "A core component of SailEvent is what we call a competition". But if you are trying to sell this term to sailing clubs as tey restart the term "Competition" is too limiting;; here are far more activities involved in running sailing clubs than just competitions. Being a member of a sailing club is recreational; not all members want to or can race. There's lisure sailing,cruising,training,event management, even social. Therefore instead of the core term "Competion wny not use the term "Event" afterall you have clled your software "Sailevent". You need to be broadening your appeal not narrowing it! Similarly you introduce the term "Competitors"; again that's too narrow why not use more generic terms like: Sailor, helm etc an indiividual may not be signing on for competitive pruposes. Using the word competitor for someone who' imple intention to liesure sai, or cruise will not use Sailevent - why should they it appears to be irrelevent to them
    Rob Pickering

    1. Hello Rob and thanks for your feedback.

      SailEvent has its origins in dinghy racing and so that’s where the terminology comes from. It’s only now that sailing is restarting often with leisure sailing that we’ve looked at repurposing the service to cover that aspect of our sport. Up until recently most clubs have, in my experience, left the leisure sailor to get on with it and, I suspect once racing gets going again, will revert to just that.

      As to the specifics of terms like “competition” and “competitor”, we did think long and hard before deciding on them. The fact is that the sailing community is very lax, or perhaps flexible would be a better word, in its terminology. Series, meetings, club racing, opens, Worlds, Nationals, regattas are all variants on the same thing; we needed a generalised term and, for better or worse, chose “competition”.

      So “competitors” follows on from that though we might have chosen “entrants”, “entries” even “teams”. We do have “sailors” but they are not quite the same as “competitors”.

      You suggest “event” rather than “competition”. Unfortunately that doesn’t work because a competition could be run over several events, for instance a winter series at different venues. And events aren’t always what you might think – I know one major regatta that calls its fleets (or starts or classes) “events”!

      So to summarise we see SailEvent as of most interest to racing because that tends to be more organised than leisure sailing. But in these tricky times we’ve found that the service can be repurposed for non-competitive sailing even though it inherits some racing terms.