Running a regatta can be a complicated business – gathering, organizing, and sharing information on entries, fees, class assignments and ratings is an onerous task before the racing even starts. Once a large event begins, the challenges increase: competitors need access to official documents, ‘scratch’ sheets showing data about their own boat as well as the boats they are racing against in their class, information about protests and, of course, up-to-date and accurate results. Meanwhile, the race officials need to be able to share information on boats racing while being kept informed about the running of the event.
All those challenges regattaguru.com makes easier. Originally designed to handle the formidable task of calculating results quickly and easily for a complex regatta, regattaguru.com now handles all aspects of racing from regatta entry through registration, amendments, results and protests to generating the script for the prize-giving in a central shared system where every piece of information is available across the globe as soon as it is entered. Because the data is ‘live’, there is no delay between, for example, a protest decision and the changes to the scores that might ensue.
Keeping all the information is now easy but getting it out to the widest possible audience is another challenge. Scrolling results screens were introduced at the Sint Maarten Heineken Regatta in 2010 and have become a feature of the ‘Serious Fun’ event. Having instantly available results on screens at the party venues means that competitors can quickly see how ‘Serious’ their results are on the way to the beer tent to fulfill the ‘Fun’ element, while the organizers no longer have to struggle with printing information that might change just minutes later.
The screens have also allowed organizers to give added value to their sponsors with title sponsor logos shown prominently behind the results information. Of course, the screens can be strategically sited by the sponsor’s stand at the regatta venue or, as regattaguru.com did for Budget Marine last year, have race results on their screens in the store.
Whilst regattaguru.com has been providing instant online results for many years, access is, of course, dependant on an internet connection. New this year is a mobile-friendly layout with offline pages like ‘scratch’ sheets that can be used even when there is no internet connection.
The new layout and features makes it easier for competitors to enter regattas with all the information about the competitor’s boat, crew, and rating details stored in ‘profiles’ that they can use to enter regattas with just two taps on their smartphone. It also presents new information in formats that are designed to provide what the competitors want. For example, every racer has stood looking at results calculating how many seconds they were away from glory on the finish line. Now the results for individual races are presented from the perspective of their boat, with the time differences displayed alongside the results, with color-coding of close results to draw attention to tight races. This not only helps the competitor see how painfully close they were to victory or defeat, but also helps journalists quickly identify the key battles on the water.
Spectators are not forgotten, being part of regattaguru.com’s target audience. Providing information to people that do not know much or anything about yacht racing is difficult, but regattaguru.com’s Spectator Guide, introduced at Antigua Sailing Week 2013, aims to make it easier for spectators, whether shoreside or on a spectator boat, to understand what is happening out on the water with all those seemingly random boats, flags, horns and buoys.
While designing and creating a system that meets the needs of such diverse people as sponsors, organizers, competitors, journalists, and spectators is not a simple task, regattaguru.com provides a system and a service that at least makes regattas easier.
For more information, visit: regattaguru.com