I am a relatively new Sailwave user, but early impressions are that it is tremendous! I have been applying the system to a number of areas where there are gaps with our current scoring application (which has served us well for countless years!)
I have recently applied the system to a number of different regatta situations locally and find, as expected, that it comes up trumps in most situations.
While one must respect Colin’s intention to consolidate the system as it exists, there are a number of opportunities that we have identified here, that I submit for consideration. These are:
**Ability to group the same boats in more than one way. ** This is often an issue for us. A recent example was an Open Regatta which was split into two “Open” fleets, Juniors and Seniors. This itself is quite straightforward from a scoring perspective. The complication comes when you ALSO want to produce results by Class or different class groups (eg Laser plus Laser Radial) from the same results set for, say, Grand Prix purposes.
To score this, I had to capture the entries using Junior / Senior as the “Fleet” criterion and produce the results first in this format. I then must save the file and then do an “edit all” change to classify the Lasers, the Mirrors and the Optimists as separate fleets, and then re-score the regatta. While this works OK, the problem is that it involves manual modification (which is an opportunity for mistakes), and which is also irreversible as one can not reverse the process to get back to the Junior and Senior fleet groupings, except to re-load the file. To save all of the results one would need to have two files, which have to be kept “in sync” during the regatta, as results are amended, etc.
If one had more than one fleet field, you could (in this case) use the first fleet field to differentiate between Juniors and Seniors and a second one to identify or group the various boat types. If one were to extend this further, if you could also use “Class” as a control field, you would be able to score the same boats on the basis of Junior/Senior using the first “Fleet” field, class groupings using the second “Fleet” field and by individual class, using the “Class” field.
Ergonomics of New Competitor EntryUse of the new competitor entry window could possibly be made easier. I would suggest that only the fields relating to displayed columns on the main “grid” be enabled on the input window, so that the cursor tabs only to the required input fileds and not to all of them. One could possibly grey-out the others. I realise there could potentially be a problem here with currently hidden columns that do have information in them, but there should be a way around this.
Also, in Ver 1.40, the new “Exclude Competitor” button comes after Tally in the tabbing sequence which is disruptive during input. Perhaps this button should be moved to the bottom, or to the very top, so normal input tabs past it.
Another scoring variant
There are a couple of events we have per year (inter-school / inter-club) that use a fleet racing format on handicap, but the overall result is based on the combined points of the best “n” boats from competing clubs. For example, each boat is entered in the normal way with Fleet (Junior/Senior), Class and Club as key input fields. The regatta is scored as normal fleet (individual) racing. After this, the best (say) 3 boats per Club per Fleet (ie Juniors and Seniors separately) are taken and their points combined to arrive at a Club score which is then ranked in the usual way. Where there are less than the required number of boats, the missing boats are scored DNC. I have developed an Excel spreadsheet to do this automatically, but obviously this would be a useful extension to the system if it were felt this has broader application.
By using a modified version of the Competitor List, one can produce race recording sheets for lap times, finishing times, positions, etc. The problem is that where there is a large fleet, one typically likes to split the classes across a number of recorders. To facilitate this, it would be nice to be able to get the report to start printing each class on a new page. If not possible, due to the inadequacies of page control in HTML, just selecting one class at a time would be useful. This selection capability could be extended to a number of the other reports, also.
If it were made possible to score classes separately as well as fleets, one would then need to be able to choose between selecting a class and selecting a fleet on the first publishing window.
I would be really interested to hear views on these ideas. In the mean-time I remain greatly impressed by the system and wish all involved well. I will be more than happy to participate in any beta testing that may be required.
IAN W JONES
Visit the South African Optimist Class Racing Association website on