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.

Sunday, 15 May 2022

Disappearing Logos

A number of clubs have contacted me to say that the logos they display on their HalSail pages have disappeared, to be replaced with little grey rectangles. This is due to a recent attempt by the authorities to increase internet security. Most browsers now refuse to show images that are not hosted on secure servers (in other words whose web addresses start with http: not https:) on pages that are otherwise secure.

If your logo is hosted on a non-secure server it will not show on HalSail pages. To restore it you will need to move it to a secure server and alter the URL in your HalSail account to start with https:


Saturday, 16 April 2022

More space for archived results - up to 20 years worth

When you send your results to the archive server (see this FAQ) you take a snapshot of everything that is in your account so that it remains visible for posterity. Typically people do that at the beginning of the season, prior to doing a spring clean to remove old results and boats that are no longer relevant.

Several clubs have built up lengthy histories of results in the archives, going back many years. Until now the limit on the number of result sets each club could have on the archive server was ten, so they had to delete their oldest results in order to put the latest ones on. The good news is that I have increased the limit to twenty, so you can have up to twenty years of historical results available online, in addition to the current year.

Tuesday, 22 March 2022

HalSail and Data Protection

I am frequently asked whether HalSail complies with the General Data Protection Regulations. The answer is yes.

HalSail keeps it data on computers in the UK and complies with the UK GDPR. The EU has agreed that the UK GDPR is equivalent to the EU GDPR. You can see details of the agreement on the EU website here and on the website of the UK Information Commissioner here.

Further details of how HalSail keeps your data protected are in this FAQ.

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 ...