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.

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.

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 ...