Thursday 21 May 2020

Signing out and in by phone

The SailEvent eTally feature lets sailors sign out and in on their phones. But what is it that they are signing out and in of?

SailEvent defines sailing sessions. Typically a session is a sailing day but equally it could be, say, a morning session or an evening session. A session is what you make it and what people sign for.

Each session has a name, a date and a start and end time. It also has one or more competitions assigned to it. Competitions have competitors so at the beginning of each session SailEvent can list all the competitors who are potentially sailing in that session. We call them participants. eTally lets participants report that they are actually sailing. For the avoidance of ambiguity we call that signing afloat.

SailEvent collates all the eTally signed afloats and presents them in real time as a definitive list in the club and race team apps.

Let’s have a look at this from a sailor’s perspective. Bill Barnacle's club has a Leisure Sailing competition and Bill has entered. Bill has also registered with SailEvent as a sailor and opted in to receiving prompts – simple reminders – by email. His club creates a sailing session, Day 1, on 5th July starting at 0900 and ending at 1500.

At 0900 on 5th July Bill gets an email on his phone saying “click this link if you are sailing today”. Bill clicks the link and sees

Bill taps yes. This is instantly recorded by SailEvent and shown as a tick against Bill's name in the list of today’s participants. (If Bill has a look at the forecast and changes his mind he can go back and tap no.)

It's a similar story after sailing. Bill can tap the same link to say he has finished sailing. If he doesn’t he is prompted as 1500, the session end time, approaches. He sees 

That’s the simplest version of signing ashore; it can also be configured to ask for a Finished/DNC/DNF declaration or even for finish times.

Again Bill is marked off as being ashore and the race team can answer that crucial question – who has gone afloat but isn’t ashore.

In this post we’ve seen how sailors can use their phones to report their afloat/ashore status and avoid the pinch point of signing sheets. And just as importantly we’ve also seen how that status is available to race teams in real time. Next we’ll look at monitoring sailors while on the water.

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