Boat Timer joins RestartSailing technology webinars

If you have not seen RestartSailing yet, it is an organisation to support sailing clubs during and after the Covid 19 restrictions. From the site they say:

“RestartSailing came together at the start of the Covid 19 pandemic to give a platform for the sailing community to work together and help restart sailing in these difficult times. It has been encouraging to see sailing activity re-establishing itself after lockdown measures were eased.”

I was invited to present Boat Timer at the RestartSailing (race entry, payment processing, track and trace) webinars on November 18th 2020, so if you missed any of it here’s the presentation and videos from the event:

Boat Timer slides from RestartSailing webinars

Boat Timer video 1 – Getting Started

Boat Timer video 2 – Recording Lap Times

Boat Timer video 3 – Finish Timing & Results

Boat Timer update – version 20237

Boat Timer has been updated to version 20237. This update adds Cloud Services – the ability to synchronise Boat Timer information with a internet-based database.

Using Cloud Services means that the race progress and results can be seen on the Boat Timer web site, bringing real-time race information to competitors and spectators. It also makes it easier for the race team to use a different device for Boat Timer as they can get all the latest race information on to the new device from the cloud.

In the future, Cloud Services will be expanded to allow competitors to sign on to a race from their laptop or mobile device so the race team will see race entries appear in Boat Timer as they are added.

This version also adds lap times to results. There is a new tick box in the Boat Timer results page called “Include Lap Times”. This shows the average lap time for each boat in the app’s results table. When exporting results to CSV or HTML files, all the lap times are added as extra columns to allow more in-depth analysis of lap times.

As always, the Boat Timer app is updated automatically to the new version when you next connect it to the internet.

Boat Timer: rating number updates for 2020

Each year the RYA publish the new Portsmouth Yardstick (PY) numbers around this time (March). The new table has arrived and you can see it here. Boat Timer keeps a table of these rating numbers and also has an easy way for you to change the numbers for your club (each club can adjust the ratings to suit their racing) and add boats not on the table. You can even add a new rating system.

The Portsmouth Yardstick is not the only system, other countries such as the USA have their own, though many are based on PY numbers. Another popular system in the UK is “Great Lakes” which is a variation of the PY based on the Great Lakes winter series racing and Boat Timer includes the Great Lakes numbers for many classes. You can see more details about it here.

Boat Timer: Backup option plus revised CSV columns

Boat Timer now has a backup option. This is a significant addition as it allows data to be saved and also moved to another computer. Under Options – Backup are “Export” which saves all Boat Timer information to a single file and “Import” to read an exported file back in.

“Import” should be used carefully: it deletes all Boat Timer databases and recreates them from the file, so anything done in the app after the export will be lost.

In the CSV file created from the Boat Timer results are two new columns: “Status” and “Actual”. Actual simply records the finish time as would be recorded on a clock. Mark at Rooster suggested this would help when using programs such as HAL Race Results. The Status column records codes such as DSQ, OCS, RTD for boats that do not finish. These codes previously appeared in the Elapsed column which made it difficult to import them to another program.

Finally Boat Timer now displays the version number of the app so it is clear what version you are using – it appears just under the black header when you open the Options page. The new version is 20071 – the number is based on the day of the year, in this case the 71st day of 2020.