Thursday, 8 April 2021

Sailing with Smartphones

 

We all know that smartphones are remarkable devices that bring enormous benefits to their owners. And we know that the stuff they can do is increasing all the time. SailEvent is part of that trend bringing paperless, contactless technology to the sport of sailing.

But what we know less about is exactly how sailors interact with their phones during a sailing day. So we asked a representative sample via an online survey and this chart summarises what they told us.



If you happen to be a statistician you may question the validity and reliability of online surveys but these results look reasonable and tally with anecdotal evidence. 

The chart shows that a healthy majority have their phones with them during the important signing to go afloat phase. Half take them with them at least some of the times they are on the water.  Most reach for them soon after they hit dry land so they can complete that equally important sign ashore.

It would be good to see more phones afloat as the following true and cautionary tale illustrates.

One afternoon a few weeks ago in mid February, father, son and dog were kayaking up a muddy, tidal creek. They capsized. Dad and dog ended up on the mud. Son managed to get ashore, had his phone with him and dialled 999. The inshore lifeboat, Coastguard helicopter and mud rescue team all went to their aid.  The RNLI brought dad and dog safely ashore - happy ending.

There are lessons to be learnt from this incident and one of them is the importance of keeping your lines of communication open. If son had not had his phone it could have been a very different story. So there are valid reasons for having your phone with you at all times just in case the unexpected happens. The RNLI sells a handy waterproof bag.

And if you do take your phone with you while sailing it is easy to turn it into a GPS tracker* and register it with SailEvent. Then people can see where you are, on the race course or on the mud.

Sail safe.

 

*Just install the Traccar Client app. It’s free, light weight and available for both Android and iOS. More information.

 

 

Monday, 22 March 2021

SailEvent Plans are now available

 As previously announced you are now subscribed to the SailEvent Basic plan.

SailEvent continues to work for you as usual except that you cannot add competitions, competitors or sessions beyond the quotas of the Basic plan. You can view those quotas and compare plans here

What you should do now is review your SailEvent usage and decide which plan is appropriate for you. To upgrade log in to your SailEvent club account and choose >Account >Plan from the menu top right. You can upgrade (or downgrade) at any time. When upgrading you can pay your subscription by credit or debit card.

When on an annual subscription plan you can view and print your invoices at >Account >Subscription. We’ll let you know when your subscription is due for renewal.

I do hope that is all clear and straightforward but if you have any questions we are only an email away.

Friday, 19 March 2021

DSRC Integration

Good news for aficionados of the Dinghy Sailing Race Control (DSRC) phone app – you can now transfer information from SailEvent to DSRC on the go.

A new download button in the SailEvent Race Team app extracts a list of entries complete with their ‘signed to go sailing’ status ready for DSRC to import.

Enable the integration on the >Settings >Integrations page of the SailEvent Club app.

Sailing Club Software policy is to work with all software providers who are open to cooperation. We believe that this is the way to deliver the best possible IT service to the sailing community.  The new DSRC integration is a good example of this policy in action as it joins the existing SailEvent integrations with HalSail and Sailwave.

DSRC website: DSRC(google.com)


Tuesday, 16 March 2021

Implementing the New SailEvent Plans

In our previous post we introduced the new pricing policy for SailEvent and I’m pleased to report that reaction has been 100% favourable. You can see a comparison of the three plans and subscription fees hereThis post outlines how and when the new policy comes into effect.

At the moment everyone is on the Plus plan. Shortly we will convert everyone to the Basic plan but we will not reduce your numbers of competitions, competitors or future sessions even though they may currently be greater than the Basic plan quotas. This does however mean that you will not be able to add further competitions or sessions until you either upgrade your plan or reduce your usage. Note that, in order to comply with the Basic plan, any sessions more than 30 days old will be deleted. If you need to keep data from past sessions you should download it now.

The conversion to Basic is scheduled for next Monday 22nd March at approximately 1200GMT and we’ll let you know the moment it has been completed. From that date on the ability to upgrade to Club or Plus will be available. You need take no action right now and there will be no pressure on you to upgrade. You may decide to do so at a time of your own choosing.

Thursday, 11 March 2021

New SailEvent pricing policy for 2021

We launched SailEvent back in May last year in a bit of a hurry because we saw that it helped clubs restart sailing safely. The service was free to use to get it up and running quickly and to hear your feedback. But a service like SailEvent needs to be commercially viable so we said from the outset that it was our intention to implement a freemium model when the time was right.

That time has come even though this may seem inauspicious given that the pandemic is still with us. But better times are ahead and clubs are making plans so it is right that we lay our cards on the table here and now.

First, and importantly, a free version continues as the Basic plan. It provides all SailEvent’s key features but with limits on its capacity. We see this free option as essential not only for evaluation but also as appropriate for those clubs with financial constraints. Ingenuity and a little extra effort may be required but the Basic plan nevertheless offers a workable service.

Beyond Basic we are introducing two annual subscription plans – Club and Plus.

Club is appropriate for many clubs. It offers everything in Basic with more capacity, a fully functional Race Team app and automated integrations. Plus is for busier clubs with everything in Club and unlimited capacity so you can go ahead and run those World Championships!

You can see a comparison of the three plans and subscription fees here. We have always promised that SailEvent will be affordable and I hope you agree that we have the price points about right.

Look out for another post here soon outlining how the plans will be introduced. Meanwhile let’s have your feedback!

PS The Sailor App continues to be free and always will be.


Monday, 8 March 2021

An Update about Updates

Here at SailEvent we like feedback – it either confirms that we’ve got it right or gives us something to work on. We’re always up for a challenge!

One message that came over loud and clear from the initial release of SailEvent was that more opportunities for fine tuning entry lists were needed. For instance if someone entered online and spotted a typo there was no way to correct it short of contacting the person in charge. Or if an unknown boat turned up on the start line the race officer couldn’t add it to his list.

We set about addressing these issues and a while back made it possible for sailors to make changes at eTally time for that one sailing session. That covered things like a temporary change of sail number or crew. Now we have gone several steps further.

Top of the list is that sailors can now update, and even delete, their own entry forms. This is the place to correct typos and the like. You do it in the sailor’s SailEvent account on the new entries tab which lists all that sailor’s entry forms. Take a look here; you need just your email address to log in.

Next up is the Race Team app. You told us that race officers need to be able to add competitors on the day and now they can.

Finally race officers can make those same temporary updates of, say, sail number for a session on behalf of a competitor. Again this is in the Race Team app.

So now we have a lot of flexibility but there are times when more control is necessary. For instance you may not want to allow entry updates for a championship where the entry list is managed by the class association. Permissions, one for each of the four updating opportunities, provide that control on a per competition basis.  For example if you don’t want race officers to add competitors you can take away that permission. 

The key thing to remember is that all changes, whoever makes them, update the single definitive entry list in the cloud. Different aspects of SailEvent look at this information in different ways but it is all the same data meaning everyone has a consistent and unambiguous view. What’s more, updates take effect immediately so if a sailor corrects his sail number then that number appears right away in the entry list on the club website and in the race officer's list too.

So now it’s over to you – let’s have your next round of feedback! Either comment on this post or use the Contact Us form.


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