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.

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