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Timing Clock Ė Dinghy Pursuit Races

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: General
Forum Name: Race Management
Forum Discription: For race officers and competiors to discuss the topic
URL: http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=13872
Printed Date: 23 May 22 at 5:59pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 9.665y - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: Timing Clock Ė Dinghy Pursuit Races
Posted By: Midge
Subject: Timing Clock Ė Dinghy Pursuit Races
Date Posted: 17 Nov 21 at 9:15am

We run a weekly Pursuit Race, currently holding up boards to indicate competitor start times Ė The time has come to make this easier for ROís and look into a waterproof rechargeable clock for the back of the committee boat that can count up and competitors can see.


~~~~~


Rather than spending hours researching this, I bet someone has already looked at this, it needs to count up to say 30min, be a decent size for competitor visibility but not huge, be OK with being occasionally knocked in the drink, rechargeable battery powered and in an ideal world cost less than 500 quid Ė anything useful for normal sailing races would be a bonus.




Replies:
Posted By: Grumpycat
Date Posted: 17 Nov 21 at 10:46am
Iíve sailed mostly pursuit all of my sailing life and Iíve never come across a system like this. Itís the responsibility of each sailor to know his own start time , what ever the type of racing . Thatís why we all wear watches. It no more difficult for pursuit races. You set your watch for your start at first gun and away you go .
It seems like you are making the race officers job more complicated than it need to be . At my tiny club all the sound signs are computerised so the race officer can watch the start line with out interruptions. 
Any way please ignore my grumpy ramblings and feel free to run your club however itís members want it to be run Big smile


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 17 Nov 21 at 10:53am
Having boards or similar to announce start times is very common for pursuit races. With a longish pursuit race and a wide variety of classes some competitors in the last starts may not even have arrived at the club when the warning goes off!


Posted By: Grumpycat
Date Posted: 17 Nov 21 at 11:53am
I do understand the difference in py between a oppy and a international moth. But most clubs donít have anywhere near this gap.Lots of clubs still have a 1000 py limit. 
Also if your pursuit racing at a small club regularly, you will not be sailing full length pursuits as they just take to long . 
I think we sail half length ones . Start time 11.00am. First boat off is the topper at 10mins , last boat off is the Aero 9 or me in a Dzero at 29.45. Last boats off get to race for a hour.  Race finishís 12.30pm.
Tbh most of our boats are starting between 19.00 to 26mins.
Works for us . 


Anyway I with try and stop this thread drift.
Does anyone know where the op can get his timing clock ? 


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 17 Nov 21 at 12:50pm
We've got a computer system ties to a bank of four lights which I guess could be manipulated, we've only ever run one pursuit race at hythe and I missed it, so not sure wether the programme that comes with the system does it, but I do tend to agree with Grumpyfeline it kind of is your responsibility to set your own watch..

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https://www.corekite.co.uk/snow-accessories-11-c.asp" rel="nofollow - Snow Equipment Deals      https://www.corekite.co.uk" rel="nofollow - New Core Kite website


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 17 Nov 21 at 1:00pm
I suppose you could do something with a large screen (old TV) link it to a laptop will show time and when a boat is due to start it could show Topper/whatever.

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Robert


Posted By: GML
Date Posted: 17 Nov 21 at 1:37pm
Something like this? http://www.kitst.co.uk/kitst-clocks.html%20" rel="nofollow - http://www.kitst.co.uk/kitst-clocks.html They can be configured to count up from 0:00:00 if that is what you want. NB These are "weather resistant" but NOT waterproof.


Posted By: maxibuddah
Date Posted: 17 Nov 21 at 1:58pm
You could use a large screen/telly that displays the output of a website like https://www.bigtimer.net/ - this would allow you to set the 5 minute countdown to the first start and then you set it to countup from there, with each minute being the relevant starts. You could output it on a smaller screen on a committee boat as well I guess, run from a phone or the like.

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Everything I say is my opinion, honest


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 17 Nov 21 at 2:26pm
The point that I should have made earlier is that the displayed numbers serve the purpose of class flags. In a conventional sequence you know where you are by the flag display. Your watch tells you what second the signal will happen, but the flags tell you which signal the next one will be. I suppose it would be feasible for a club to use numerical signal flags, and change the number every minute but the boards are easier for most folk. In our club SIs we don't mandate that the number display is accurately timed, just that its displayed from around 20secs before the matching start to about 10 secs after.


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 17 Nov 21 at 3:34pm
A cheap 9" tablet in a waterproof case? At L&LSC we display a countdown (shown by number boards on the committee boat) with boats starting on the nearest minute. It could be done with a tablet or a relatively simple clock but I'm guessing that as we need several people to log finishing positions it's easy enough to do manually.

Or maybe one of these  https://www.amazon.co.uk/BOBLOV-Training-Interval-Stopwatch-Workouts/dp/B08BCPX778/ref=sr_1_4_sspa?keywords=basketball+timer&qid=1637163865&sr=8-4-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEzUUZUTVNLVFg4T1o3JmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwMTc3NzAyM1Q0R1pBSE1ROVhVTSZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwNzg3OTM3T1kxN0lZUjZXSUtKJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==" rel="nofollow - https://www.amazon.co.uk/BOBLOV-Training-Interval-Stopwatch-Workouts/dp/B08BCPX778/ref=sr_1_4_sspa?keywords=basketball+timer&qid=1637163865&sr=8-4-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEzUUZUTVNLVFg4T1o3JmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwMTc3NzAyM1Q0R1pBSE1ROVhVTSZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwNzg3OTM3T1kxN0lZUjZXSUtKJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==


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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: Brass
Date Posted: 17 Nov 21 at 8:36pm
Originally posted by 423zero

I suppose you could do something with a large screen (old TV) link it to a laptop will show time and when a boat is due to start it could show Topper/whatever.


That won't be waterproof.

How about trying to source one of the individual cells used for "big screens" at outdoor events?

Might have 240v power problems.


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 17 Nov 21 at 10:08pm
Perhaps a digital projector, can be shielded from the elements, display on a large screen, obverse side to view, so will need image reverse.

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Robert


Posted By: H2
Date Posted: 18 Nov 21 at 8:50am
At Burghfield we use an old ipad linked to a digital display and auto hooter which is either mounted on the club house or on a committee boat. It has a three or six minute count down to the start for an oppie (datum) and then continues running up to 90 or 100 or however long the pursuit is. You need to know at what time past datum your class starts but the system lets out a hoot every 30 seconds over the period that most people start. Seems to work reliably and I think it is now even linked into the GPS trackers that we use on each boat so at the end of the race everyone can go see where they finished by simply watching the GPS tracking

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H2 #115 (sold)
H2 145
OK 2082


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 18 Nov 21 at 11:25am
It occurs to me that the problem with most of those displays (including, possibly, the one I linked) is daylight viewability. The seven segment display elements used for marathons etc are available from RS for under £20 each and a half competent programmer should be able to get an Arduino set up to drive for or five of them but nobody seems to do a simple minutes and seconds display that can count up or down without hours, hundredths, or goals on there as well.



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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: Grumpycat
Date Posted: 18 Nov 21 at 5:49pm
Sorry still think itís easier for a sailor to look at his own watch .

I have no  idea why so many sailors seem to need to have their a@@e wiped for them when they are doing pursuit races.
They are just so so easy Wink


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 18 Nov 21 at 5:56pm
Worst racing in sailing history, totally waste of time and effort, never been in one and never intend to either, won't run one either.

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Robert


Posted By: A2Z
Date Posted: 18 Nov 21 at 7:03pm
Gosh, what a cheery bunch. 
4230 - how do you know pursuit racing is so bad if youíve never tried it?
Grumpcat - by that logic you donít need any signalsÖ just declare the first start to be 1100hrs GMT and tell competitors to sync their watches to the speaking clock. 
Quite glad I donít sail with all you miserable sods!


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 18 Nov 21 at 7:08pm
LOL I always try to have a laugh LOL, sit back and watch the debacle of a 'pursuit race', training RO's is difficult enough, without trying to get them to run a pursuit race.

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Robert


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 18 Nov 21 at 7:16pm
Oh Smile and not forgetting RO trying to explain they needed to pass the 'Mirror' twice.

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Robert


Posted By: Grumpycat
Date Posted: 18 Nov 21 at 8:20pm
Originally posted by 423zero

LOL I always try to have a laugh LOL, sit back and watch the debacle of a 'pursuit race', training RO's is difficult enough, without trying to get them to run a pursuit race.

For a RO a pursuit is simple compared to a handicap race . No yardsticks to work out .No times need to be taken . Everyone knows where they finished before they have even come off the water. 

Only one difference between handicap and pursuit races.
Handicap races favour fast boats.
Pursuits races favour slow boats. 


Posted By: Grumpycat
Date Posted: 18 Nov 21 at 8:37pm
Originally posted by A2Z

Gosh, what a cheery bunch. 
4230 - how do you know pursuit racing is so bad if youíve never tried it?
Grumpcat - by that logic you donít need any signalsÖ just declare the first start to be 1100hrs GMT and tell competitors to sync their watches to the speaking clock. 
Quite glad I donít sail with all you miserable sods!

Err I never said  you didnít need signals ie guns and flags, that would be stupid .But thatís all you need. 
All a sailor needs to know is his start time and set his watch to first gun, SIMLPIES .
What you donít  need a great big timer on the back of the committee boat, itís total overkill for something so simple .
 BUT if thatís what OP club wants , thatís fine .Smile


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 18 Nov 21 at 9:15pm
GC, very hard to see that pursuit is easier to run than a handicap, please explain.

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Robert


Posted By: Paramedic
Date Posted: 19 Nov 21 at 8:08am
Originally posted by 423zero

GC, very hard to see that pursuit is easier to run than a handicap, please explain.

Anything is easy if you know how to do it............

With a pursuit race once the start sequence is out of the way its sit back at watch almost. If your course/lake is too small and slower boats have sailed a lap before faster boats have started it becomes a bit more problematic but other than that the race finish is a simple work/motor back through the fleet and record positions. No times, no entering results into a computer to generate the result with the associated risk of getting it wrong.

Race system choice is horses for courses. They work brilliantly in some settings, abysmally in others. If your RO is incompetent you stand little chance with either.

Re the original post assuming a committee boat start whats wrong with an analogue kitchen clock, set to midnight and released at the race start? You only need to give the competitors a clue as go when the next start is and when they should start their watch. If its shore based this simply shouldn't be a problem unless you're late arriving and thats not the fault of the race system.


Posted By: Grumpycat
Date Posted: 19 Nov 21 at 10:56am
Originally posted by Paramedic

Originally posted by 423zero

GC, very hard to see that pursuit is easier to run than a handicap, please explain.

Anything is easy if you know how to do it............

With a pursuit race once the start sequence is out of the way its sit back at watch almost. If your course/lake is too small and slower boats have sailed a lap before faster boats have started it becomes a bit more problematic but other than that the race finish is a simple work/motor back through the fleet and record positions. No times, no entering results into a computer to generate the result with the associated risk of getting it wrong.

Race system choice is horses for courses. They work brilliantly in some settings, abysmally in others. If your RO is incompetent you stand little chance with either.

Re the original post assuming a committee boat start whats wrong with an analogue kitchen clock, set to midnight and released at the race start? You only need to give the competitors a clue as go when the next start is and when they should start their watch. If its shore based this simply shouldn't be a problem unless you're late arriving and thats not the fault of the race system.

Paramedic thanks  very much for posting this explanation. You did it much clearer than I would have done and with out my innate grumpiness Wink

Re RO s . This is a thankless job and clubs need to organise as much help as possible for them both with training and with auto starting systems . Not only does our m/c do all the starting and finish guns .When doing handicap races all club members are already entering in to the m/c( with a manual override if people are swapping boats )  so all the RO has to do is click on their name to enter them into the race and at the finish all the RO has to click on their name again and the m/c automatically records their time and works out the results.


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 19 Nov 21 at 11:35am
The technical side isn't the issue, it's the dozen different boats and humans.

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Robert


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 19 Nov 21 at 2:25pm
I'm in the 'pursuit races are easy' camp here. For a small <25, casual fleet they are an absolute doddle, big fleets make things a bit more complex but still no more difficult that handicap. At my holiday club we run several each season, beach starts and we time to the second, it's pretty easy for non-sailing friends/relatives to understand, run the starts and log laps then everybody remembers who they had last passed or been passed by to fine tune the results as the RO's work from the shore.

I do get that there may be disputes if the racing is in a competitive fleet due to the lack of a fixed finish line but for (relatively) friendly club racing I think it works well.

I'm looking forward to the day we can pit our young Int Moth sailor against a Topper or two, I think hell only have to pass then about 5 times Ouch


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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: H2
Date Posted: 19 Nov 21 at 2:40pm
At my old club it was pretty common for the RO to set the course, start the clock which was automated with hooters and a finish hooter and then join in the race so long as everyone remembered who was directly infront and directly behind them its easy to then just get people to write the results on a piece of paper when they come back in. That has to be the definition of simple?

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H2 #115 (sold)
H2 145
OK 2082


Posted By: Grumpycat
Date Posted: 19 Nov 21 at 5:06pm
Originally posted by 423zero

The technical side isn't the issue, it's the dozen different boats and humans.

Really sorry but I still donít understand your problem as the above statement also applies to handicap races too.

The only time pursuits can get complicated is when you run personal handicap pursuits when every boat can have its own start time and the gap between the slowest and fastest can get to be excessive. ( some clubs limit the amount a handicap can move to mitigate this problem .)

Pursuits are not perfect but neither are handicap races ,they just have different strengths and different weaknesses 


Posted By: A2Z
Date Posted: 19 Nov 21 at 5:58pm
How many clubs run pursuits on a regular basis rather than just once or twice a year?


Posted By: Grumpycat
Date Posted: 19 Nov 21 at 6:25pm
Originally posted by A2Z

How many clubs run pursuits on a regular basis rather than just once or twice a year?
 

Great question Smile

In my case I have been a member of three clubs in my 30 years of sailing.
All three clubs ran mostly pursuits with the odd handicap race mixed in. 

Tbh I would think most clubs run mostly handicaps with the odd pursuit mixed in . 


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 19 Nov 21 at 6:42pm
My club run a handicap race then a pursuit, then another handicap, every saturday all year, no closed season. Paper and pen, hooter and flags with a digital countdown clock.

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Robert


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 19 Nov 21 at 8:35pm
My home club run three or four pursuits a year but 6 handicap races* nearly every week during the season and two races every Sunday most of the winter.

* Some club races and the open winter series' have a fleet start for Solos.


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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: patj
Date Posted: 20 Nov 21 at 8:41pm
Our club has run a pursuit as the sunday morning race for over twenty years. Now there are very few sailors the RO can join in the pursuit because the starts are so easy and people know their start time.



Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 20 Nov 21 at 11:15pm
When I was helping run club racing for Raceboards (windsurfers) we had about 8-10 racers on a Thursday night. We avoided the problem of duties by running gate starts on the water, 3rd in the last race was gate and off we went. Pursuit races are easy to organise for casual handicap racing in a similar way but equally benefit from a suitable mindset from the racers



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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 20 Nov 21 at 11:27pm
Like a room full of toddlers, take your eyes off them for a second...

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Robert


Posted By: Grumpycat
Date Posted: 21 Nov 21 at 4:27pm
Really enjoyed my pursuit race today , the fact I started a whole lap behind most of the other boats in no way reduced my enjoyment. Or caused the RO any problems. 
Finished 5th which is my normal position lol LOL


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 21 Nov 21 at 4:57pm
Originally posted by 423zero

Like a room full of toddlers, take your eyes off them for a second...

LOLLOLLOL


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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: The Moo
Date Posted: 03 Dec 21 at 9:55am
Just caught up with this thread. I sail at the same Club as Grumpy Cat. Interestingly on the odd ocassion we don't run a pursuit race, RO's and competitors all start getting nervous and asking questions. They really do run like clockwork for us.


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 03 Dec 21 at 3:51pm
The Moo, probably one of the most amusing posts of 2021 Smile, can picture your members lighting cigarettes to calm their nerves, Alex Higgins springs to mind.

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Robert


Posted By: The Moo
Date Posted: 03 Dec 21 at 8:33pm
Originally posted by 423zero

The Moo, probably one of the most amusing posts of 2021†Smile, can picture your members lighting cigarettes to calm their nerves, Alex Higgins springs to mind.


Not quite like that, but on the odd ocassion we do not run a pursuit race the competitors have to think about remembering to write down finish line, no of laps, possibly counting laps, especially if finish line is off the course and a shortened course is unlikely, a different start time to normal, more boats on the start line, longer start lines etc.

Similar for the race officers too, lots more to think about, although now our bespoke race machine now does the handicap calcs for them. Those doing the catering have to cope with people coming into Clubhouse at different times to normal.

In a pursuit race we all finish at the same time and get into the bar at the same time for the "apres sail" which is great for both competitors and duty teams. (We are by and large a very sociable Club)

I accept it is not for everyone, but at our Club, pursuit racing is what we have done week in week out for many many years ( more than I care to remember) and it is so easy for us to administer and works well in our multi fleet environment, anything else seems a bit alien.

I can't imagine we will change things anytime soon.


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 03 Dec 21 at 10:13pm
We are looking into moving our pursuit race from the middle of the day to first race of the day, so everyone comes off the water for lunch together. This sounds a little like what The Moo is describing. Not sure I want more than one a Sunday, though - crowded start lines are a proper skill, though the Mirror struggles more than my slightly faster boats. Yet to do a pursuit in the Mirror, might be stressful!

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446 Mirror 70686


Posted By: Grumpycat
Date Posted: 03 Dec 21 at 10:36pm
When ĎThe Moo Ď talks about Ď apres sail Ď he means the odd glass of wine or beer/lager and loads and loads of piss taking . LOL


Posted By: The Moo
Date Posted: 23 Jan 22 at 8:24pm
I was talking to the member that created our race timer (see posts above) very recently and mentioned the discussion on this forum. Whilst he has no desire to develop or support it commercially, he tells me that he is more than happy to release the coding to anyone who is interested to have a go themselves.

If anyone is interested, please send me a PM with your contact details and I will ask him to get in touch with you.


Posted By: Grumpycat
Date Posted: 24 Jan 22 at 12:09am
If anyone is interested in this please follow it though . Our m/c works perfectly for pursuits and handicap racing and clubs could do a lot worst than copy this coding . Big smile

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D-zero
Ex Laser x2
Ex British Moth x4
Ex Lightning 368
Ex Supernova



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