Hello to all
I am a first time user of Sailwave v1.57 and must compliment you on an excellent program. It cuts out 10 volunteers needed to do the job the old fashioned way. As the official scorer for the South African Sailing (SAS), Western Cape Dinghy Championships over the Easter weekend I certainly had a steep learning curve in getting started with Sailwave.
I was asked by SAS to report my findings to them. I have summarised a few comments I made to SAS with regards to my "learning from scratch" process that I feel may be of benefit to the user group and software developers. I apologise in advance for the length and realise that many users may have reported similar findings and made similar suggestions.
At first I could not understand the distinction between Fleets & Classes. (In the end I did not use Classes at all.) For example, the regatta had 16 different types of sailing dinghy's (what I would have referred to as classes) split into 3 different starting bridges (what I would possibly call fleets 1,2 & 3). I realise that I could have started 3 data files instead but ran all as one data file. This did not cause an operations problem at all excepting for the volume of results to enter. It was simply a bit difficult to understand at first. Once I got an understanding of the terminology I was fine.
I tried to but I could not rearrange the order of the columns to suit myself (by assigning new column names) but in the end I found the order was reasonable as it was.
Sailwave lost the ability to auto increment the finishing positions per fleet type. The cause may have been that the "Score" icon had been clicked i.s.o. the "Score Fleets" icon to see what it did and thereafter the problem arose. This meant having to take out all the DNC's that were entered manually.I will send the data file that has this problem if you request it.
Importing the entry list in CSV file format may need a bit more work. Even when column headings are exactly the same some headings were not recognized. The assigning of these during import did not work.
Scoring a fleet of 250+ boats took a long time for one operator. Three bridge boats would run 2 or 3 races each during the morning session and only hand in the finishing sheets when they came off the water at lunchtime. This results in having to score up to 750 finishes for the morning session alone an I was still busy on day one when the results came in for the afternoon races. To solve this I attempted the following. Using a wireless network of two laptops with Sailwave loaded, I could open the same data file residing on both laptops. Either user could update the data but it would not combine the data. (Much like spreadsheets.) I then worked out how to split the data into two files and score on two laptops and then merge into one file. Scoring became easy and quick to do with two data capturers. In hindsight, if I had split the fleet into the three start bridges, one data file of each fleet, I am sure I could have worked on the three data files residing on one laptop from two more laptops. In the end the "merge" function worked fine anyway.
When entering race results some classes in the fleet had more races than others. The wizard could be programmed recognise that you were skipping race numbers for a particular class in the fleet when entering results. With running finish score sheets you do not automatically know how many races each class has sailed.
A future enhancement might be to provide a method of uploading the "order of finishing" data sent from a finishing boat by for example, a mobile phone or PDA. The results file sent to the scorer on shore could be a simple CSV file showing the running finish order. Raw finishing sheets do not need to be transcribed onto final sheets to separate the fleet as Sailwave simply needs the "order" of finishing data to update the results. The problem of the fleets having sailed a different numbers of races would need to be addressed first to enable automatic updating of results.
There are many fine features in Sailwave that certainly makes life much easier. My next challenge will be to work out how the ratings function and I am looking forward to the challenge.
Second Skins Manufacturing (Pty) Ltd
P.O.Box 2071, Clareinch 7740, South Africa
Telephone : +27 21 762 2322
Local Fax : 086 673 8944
International Fax : +27 21 762 2434
web site : http://www.secondskins.co.za
email : firstname.lastname@example.org
time zone : GMT: +2
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]