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 beta.halsail.com

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 www.halsail.com, 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.


Sunday, 21 August 2022

Increased Server Capacity

The number of clubs using HalSail for large regattas continues to grow, which is great. Of course all those sailors checking their results put more load on our server, which is why things ran a bit slowly yesterday. So I have this morning increased our computing capacity at our website hosting company, which should keep things running smoothly in future.

Saturday, 23 July 2022

Slow service on Saturday 23 July

The response time on the HalSail website became very slow on the afternoon of Saturday 23rd July 2022. This was due to very high demand for results from several major regattas running at the time. The problem resolved itself by the evening.

In order to prevent the same thing happening again, I have updated the way results are handled on the server. If somebody requests the results of a particular series they are calculated and then kept in a cache for one minute. If during that minute somebody else requests the same results, they are sent a copy from the cache without recalculating them. That relieves the pressure on the server considerably. If somebody requests those results more than a minute later, after the cache has expired, the results are recalculated.


Friday, 10 June 2022

Redress for doing Race Duties - Average Points

Many clubs give compensation for taking part in support duties, such as being race officer or driving the safety boat. This is achieved using one of the redress (RDG) status codes described on this help page.

A common one is option RDG 2, which gives the average of the points that the boat received in other races in the series excluding DNC results up to the maximum number of races it is allowed to discard. This seems pretty fair as the boat will neither be given an advantage nor be penalised for doing their bit to help the club. 

But people often forget the bit about only excluding DNC results up to the maximum allowed by the series discard policy. If a boat were allowed to exclude any number of DNC results, you could have somebody getting a first in a single race in a ten-race series, then getting RDG of 1 point for a race duty even though all their other results were DNC. That would not be fair.

Tuesday, 7 June 2022

RYA YTC Handicaps

I have been asked whether HalSail can handle the new RYA YTC handicap system for cruising yachts from the RYA and RORC. The answer is yes.

First of all the mathematics for calculating results is the same as that for the RYA Portsmouth Yardstick scheme. It uses a time correction factor expressed in such a way that the scratch number is 1000 and faster boats have lower numbers while slower boats have higher numbers. To set up a racing class in HalSail to use RYA YTC handicaps do the following:

  • Set up your racing class to use the Portsmouth Yardstick handicap scheme.
  • Set the local name for the type of handicap to YTC.
Your results will be correctly calculated and the type of handicap will appear as YTC.

Sunday, 5 June 2022

Showing DNC Boats

I have had a number of queries recently about whether it is best to include or exclude DNC boats in results. This is one of the switches when you set up a series and it can make quite a difference to how your results look. 

  • If you Include DNC Boats then each boat in the racing class will be have an entry in the results for each race. That is probably what you want if you are publishing the results of an event, such as a championship, with a well defined entry list. Each boat would expect to see a result in each race, even if it never made it to the starting line and it only got DNCs.
  • If you Exclude DNC Boats then only those boats that have a result (ie, something other than DNC in at least one race) are shown. That is probably what you want in club racing where there may be a lot of boats in the racing class, but many will not participate in a given series. If you were to show all the boats you would have a long list of results for each race, most of which were DNCs.
So for the average club it is best to set the default to exclude DNC boats and only change it to include DNC boats for particular events with bespoke entry lists.

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 ...