The Race Grid is the main page for tracking boats and recording laps and finish times during the race.
The Race Grid has grey boxes for the grid controls, black boxes for each start, white boxes for each racing boat and light grey boxes for boats that are not racing for some reason, either finishers or those that have retired, been disqualified etc.
You can get around 40 or 50 boats on the Race Grid without scrolling using a typical laptop.
The boats are initially sorted by class and sail number within each start. As the race progresses they are sorted by lap time and finally by finish time. Boats not racing are moved down the order. The sort order is updated by the Update button. It can be confusing to continually re-sort the boats while trying to record laps and finishes quickly – it helps to know which box represents which boat. So recording a lap time or finish time only changes the order of the boats after you press the Update button.
You can often get more information about a boat by clicking once on the boat’s box (it turns to orange to indicate it is selected). Information about it then appears in the notice area just below the top black bar. When the boat has completed at least one lap, this area also displays the latest lap time. Click on the box once to deselect the boat again.
Race Grid – Entries Button
To add or remove boats from the grid you can use the Entries button. This is like the signing-on sheet often used at the start of an event or race. If you have used Boat Timer before then the boats will usually be in the “Boat Park” which is Boat Timer’s way of remembering boats so you do not have to type in their details each time. If this is the first time, the Boat Park will be empty but each boat you add to the race will also be saved to the Boat Park for next time.
To add a boat, find its class in the Boat Park by scrolling down. Initially this is in alphabetical order, but once you start saving boats to the Boat Park you will notice the most used classes are now at the top. Click on the class and either choose an existing boat or click on “Enter an unlisted…” and fill in at least the sail number (the rest of the information is optional). When you press “Enter Race” you choose the start this boat is entering next and then the boat is added to the grid. A yellow pop-up notice at the top of the screen confirms this, and the Add Entries page is shown again in case you need to add more boats. Press “Done” to go to the Race Grid.
If you make a mistake, select the boat in the grid by clicking it once and use the Boat button at the bottom to “Edit Entry”. You can then move it to a different start or change details about it.
Race Grid – Race Button
Boat Timer works on the principle of a “current race”. If no races have been defined, Boat Timer will create one race and one start for that race for you. You can change any of the details by using the Race button which is in a grey box at the top of the grid. This opens the Edit Race page.
On this page you can set up or change the race. You can create a new race, switch the current race to another one, show the race results and change, delete or add starts.
Each race has a name and date, plus one or more starts. A start has a name and a time – and it can also have a rating system (eg Portsmouth Yardstick) if you want to adjust the finish times according to the class of boat sailed.
The red panel at the bottom of the page allows you to add a new start to the race.
Starts can only be deleted if they have no entries and races can only be deleted if they have no starts.
Race Grid – Update Button
We found that when recording laps or finishes, updating the order of the boats on the Race Grid automatically was confusing. It was too easy to lose track of a boat you needed to finish if the boxes changed position. So the Update button is used to update the grid order at a convenient time – perhaps when you have recorded a lap or finish for every boat in a start.
You will notice that when you press the Lap or Finish button the button disappears. This is to avoid recording a time twice by mistake and to help the race officer see visually which boats have already been recorded. The Update button brings back the Lap button ready to record the next lap.
Boat Button (Lower Black Bar)
You will notice that when you select a boat by clicking on it’s box once, it changes to an orange colour and information about the boat appears in the text area just above the grid. To unselect a boat box, just click it again once.
When a boat’s box is selected you will also see a Boat button appear in the black bar below the grid (on the right). This button lets you change the status of the boat, for example to set it to disqualified or over-the-line.
The Edit Entry option is used to edit the race entry in case you need to add or change some information about that boat. You can change its class or sail number, or move it from one start to another.
In the Boat button options you will see Move Up. You may not use this much, but it is there to artificially improve a boat’s lap time temporarily by 30 seconds (it does not change the proper lap time, just the boat’s order on the grid). So if a good sailor capsizes on lap one they may be last at the end of that lap but sail up through the fleet on the next lap. So Move Up pushes their box further up the grid so you can find them more easily at the end of the lap or at the finish.