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Race Result Technology

Editor’s note:  The April issue of All at Sea presented information on Carib Data, a UK-based scoring system used this year at a number of Caribbean regattas.  This month:  a report on another option used in Grenada and at many other international events this season:

Despite all the paraphernalia that accompanies a yacht racing regatta, whether in the smallest of dinghies or the largest of classic yachts, the real reason all those boats, captains and crew are there is to race—and all want to win.

Over the years, all sorts of race results programmes have popped their heads up, coping with the various handicapping systems.  What used to be simply done using good, old-fashioned arithmetic—and then calculators—moved onto computer spreadsheets.  And now, regatta organizers have a choice of programmes which can, if they so wish, take over a lot of the regatta management logistics.

For Port Louis Grenada Sailing Festival 2008, Yacht Scoring was tried out (www.yachtscoring.com).  The huge plus was that anyone with a computer could get preliminary results within minutes of the boats finishing—actually just as fast as it takes to type in the numbers.

Scratch sheets, boat entries and information, daily and cumulative race results were all available—and for the media, in a “media-friendly” format.  The drawback, like any computer programme, is that it is only as good as the information it receives.

The writer of Yacht Scoring, Luiz E. Kahl, came to the Port Louis Grenada Sailing Festival 2008 to be on hand should there be any problems—there weren’t—but with his yacht racing background, he was able to be a handy member of the Race Committee and stand-by Jury member—thank you, Luiz!

The package is fairly inexpensive and Budget Marine was more than happy to be the sponsor, especially as this is one piece of information all sailors look at.

For 2009 regattas, it is hoped that all yachts will not only pre-register, but enter and pay on line whenever they have the option, one less headache for hard-pressed race organizers.

So next time you are “liming” at the racing parties just remember why it is all happening—without racing, there would be no results—and without results there would be no winners!

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