Thursday, 17 August 2023


When I updated the website a couple of days ago I made a number of improvements to the way data is imported from Excel files. Unfortunately in the process I inadvertently removed the ability to import from csv files. Sorry about that.

It is fixed now so that you can import racing classes, boats, races and results from either Excel files or csv files.

Wednesday, 16 August 2023

Mid-Season Update

 I have updated the HalSail website with a number of improvements.

  1. Scoring penalties are no longer limited to 20% when the result status is SCP, XPA or ZFP. You now specify the percentage penalty when you input the result, although the default continues to be 20%.
  2. There are improvements to the way data is loaded from Excel spreadsheets or csv files to make the process more robust. This applies to importing racing classes, uploading boats to the register, importing races to the schedule, or importing results.
  3. The default type of redress is now RDG2 - average of all races except DNC, which is the recommended option for boats that cannot take participate in a race because their crews are part of the race-management team. You can, of course, still specify any of the other options if you wish. This FAQ gives details.
  4. There are new options on the public links page to go straight to the latest results for each racing class. You might use these on your own website to provide bespoke links for each of your classes.

Thursday, 22 June 2023

Result Caching

The HalSail server gets very busy on weekends when there are lots of regattas. There were a couple of occasions last year when it slowed to a crawl, due to hundreds of boats finishing at about the same time and entire crews using their mobiles to see how they had done.

The immediate availability of new results is one of the big advantages of HalSail, so I have been working hard to build more resilience into the system. I have done that by storing results on other computers on the web, as well as the HalSail server. So when people ask for the results of a particular series, the request goes to one of the other computers in the first instance. That computer gets its results from HalSail once every five minutes. This is known as caching.

The net result is that HalSail should be much more resistant to high work loads, but that results may be up to five minutes late. In other words, if a race officer updates the results of a race, those results may not filter through to sailors on their mobiles for up to five minutes. That seems to me to be a reasonable compromise between speed and reliability.

A race officer who is logged in can use the result editing screens to see results. They will not be cached, so what the RO sees is the latest version.

Monday, 27 February 2023

Updated PY Numbers

The RYA released the 2023 Portsmouth Yardstick numbers over the weekend. They are now in HalSail.

If you add a boat to a PY class and it is on the RYA's list, its handicap will default to the new value. But the handicaps of existing boats are not updated automatically. To do that go to the Boats menu, Standard handicaps, click to see your PY classes and then Update all.

Alternatively you can update boats individually, either on the Boat-class crosstab page, or by editing each boat's details.

Thursday, 5 January 2023

YTC Handicaps

YTC is a free handicap scheme for cruisers that is increasingly popular for club racing. It is free and the RYA supports it. So I have added it to the list of built-in schemes for any racing class.

Last year you had to use PY handicaps with local name YTC, now YTC is on the drop-down list. Please give it a try.

Wednesday, 9 November 2022

Design Improvements go Live

As you will have seen if you have visited the site today, the improved design is now live. There is a new home screen for full-size screens (laptops, for example) and a separate one for phones. In addition, there is a simplified home screen for race officers once they are logged on.

Friday, 28 October 2022

Design Improvements

HalSail's website has always been austere in appearance. That is no bad thing. I do not want it to appear like a game, but nevertheless I have decided to give it a bit of a tweak. You can see the result at

There are separate designs for the phone home page and the full-size version. After you have logged in the design changes to show you which features you can access, depending on your role. In particular, race officers get a page designed explicitly for them, cutting out all the menus that are only relevant to administrators.

Please give it a try. It connects to the same database as, so all your data is available. Any changes you make on the beta release will be there in the main release.

I welcome your comments and suggestions.


When I updated the website a couple of days ago I made a number of improvements to the way data is imported from Excel files. Unfortunately ...