Monday 31 January 2022

Can I use tandem series to amalgamate several shorter series?

I have recently been asked a common question. How do you use tandem series to amalgamate several short series into a long one? For instance, a club might divide its racing into spring, summer and autumn series for each class, but also wish to compute overall results for the whole season. How can it do that?

The first thing to say is that a tandem series must derive its results from just one base series, so you cannot use tandem series to amalgamate several base series into one. The HalSail help page makes that clear in its last paragraph. But there is a way around the problem.

The trick is to think about it the other way around. Make the base series cover the whole season and use tandem series to pick out spring, summer and autumn components. Make up a base series covering all the races in the season, with appropriate scoring and discards. Then create the first tandem series from that, choosing the same racing class as the base series and picking just those races that constitute the spring series. Assign appropriate scoring and discards. Then repeat for the summer and autumn series.

Race officers enter results into the base series, but you can send links to the tandem series for everybody to see.

Friday 28 January 2022

Server Update

The company that hosts the HalSail website has informed me that they are going to move it to a new machine. I am assured that this will not affect anything, except that there will be a downtime when HalSail is not available for about half an hour.

This was supposed to be done on Thursday 27th January 2022, but it did not happen. The latest information is that it has been rescheduled for Tuesday 1st February.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Saturday 15 January 2022

Archive and Spring Clean

With the old season finished and a new season a few weeks away, at least for most of you in the northern hemisphere, now is a good time to archive your results and spring clean your data. That way you will remove all the clutter from your account, but still retain access to your old results for historical purposes.

There is a help page on the subject giving all the details. Basically the procedure is as follows:

  1. Save your data to a Hal file (Admin menu) so that you can restore everything if anything goes wrong. You can also open the Hal file with the offline version of Hal (Hal's Race Results - available from the Microsoft Store) and do any analysis you may wish.
  2. Send your results to the Hal archive server (Admin menu) so that they will always be visible on the web for posterity.
  3. Copy any of this year's series that will be repeated in next year's schedule by opening the series in edit mode and copying it to the same racing class 52 weeks ahead (Schedule menu). Note 52 weeks not 1 year, because that will keep the races on the same days of the week.
  4. Spring clean your data (Schedule menu). Remove all series whose last race was before a certain date, say 1 January 2022.
  5. Go through the racing classes and boats removing any that are no longer needed.

You should now have a slimmed-down set of data that is easy to work with in the new season.

Tuesday 11 January 2022

Welcome to the HalSail blog, where you will find news about HalSail and Hal's Race Results. It will take over from the bulletins I published on MailChimp, which has recently become very expensive to use.

The latest updates to HalSail include:

  • I have added a new page in the Boats menu to see various kinds of standard handicap, including IRC, RYA PY, NHC base numbers, Small Catamaran Scheme and Australian Sailing yardsticks. The IRC numbers are downloaded automatically from the RORC database and contain those boats that have renewed for 2022. I update the others whenever new values are published.
  • Printouts of results are now done by pdf, rather than printing the web page directly. This improves the formatting. So when anybody, whether they are logged in or not, clicks the printer icon on the overall results of a series, or on an individual race, they get a pdf file sent to their download folder.
  • Logged-in users can get a zip file containing separate pdfs of the overall results and the results of each individual race in a series. They can also get a zip file containing all the results on a given day. The zip files are sent as an attachment to an email.
  • When  you print any page using your browser's print function the timestamp at the foot of the page is now local time, rather than the time in the UK where the server is located.
  • I have improved the archiving process. Your account on the archive server is now set up automatically, so you no longer need to search for an existing account or do a manual setup.

If you have recently paid your subscription you will have noticed that the money now goes to HalSail Ltd, a company I have set up to help take the project into the future. My intention is to bring in one or two new people to ensure the long-term development of the website.

May I wish all my users a happy new year and good sailing in 2022.

Peter Hopford

One more thing

There is a new handicap-analysis button on the public results pages. Open the results of any handicap series and look at the right-hand side...