The latest version of Boat Timer can now produce results for Average Lap Time racing. But why would your club want to use this method of race timing?
Many clubs run handicap races or a mix of class racing and handicap racing. Handicap racing allows almost any boat to join in a race. You often see fast boats like RS100s, Merlin Rockets and Aero9s on the same start as slower boats like Mirrors, Laser 4.7s, Cadets and RS Teras. These races are fairly informal – it is difficult to get a handicap system that is perfectly fair to every boat in every type of weather – but they are great fun and because everyone is on the water at the same time they are great for getting to know your fellow club members.
But one complaint you might hear from the sailors – especially if you are on the race team – is about the length of the race.
If you sail a fast boat, you may have a very short race. If the race team are trying to run a race for about an hour, then they have to finish the fast boats by 45 minutes in order to finish all the slower boats by 1 hour 15 minutes at the latest. A bit frustrating if it is a nice day.
So that is why Average Lap Time races are becoming popular at some clubs. The race team lets everyone race for about an hour and then sounds a finish warning signal, after which each boat finishes as soon as it reaches the finish line on the current lap.
Fast boats might complete 4 or 5 laps in the hour-long race and slower ones maybe 2 or 3, but every boat gets about an hour of racing. And every sailor is happy. Worth trying at your club?