Re: Race timing

zeke_hoskin <zeke@...>

I wrote a race timing system as an exercise in interactive
databases. It wasn't particularly hard to do, but it would gave been
an inconvenient amount of work to use it the first time, and it
would have required a laptop that could run for the length of
registration plus most of the time when boats were finishing. (It
could be turned off after registration was cleaned up and turned
back on when boats started to finish.) Using a computerized system
would cause added stress to any volunteer who happens to fear and
hate computers. I discussed it with Michael Lampi before the Lk
Sammamish race and he decided not to use it. I don't know if anybody
else looked at it seriously.

There's a lot to be said for providing timers with big stiff
waterproof timing sheets with boat numbers and lines painted or
printed on them before the race. On the other hand, reorganizing
race results between overall and class layout is trivial on a
computer, time-consuming and error-prone done by hand, and a total
pain in the butt if timing is manual and information then has to be
keyed in after the race.

I'd be willing to work with anybody who wants to try it out. I'd be
even more willing if it could be linked to the member list -- once
somebody is in the database (including his/her most probable boat
class), registering a single is a matter of two or three keystrokes,
and a double not much worse.

I wouldn't be willing to provide the laptop (ours died) or skip the
race (but I could help with registration, since I usually get a lot
of help with launching). Once registration is done, all the timers
have to do is turn on the computer and click the race start icon
when the race starts, turn it off, turn it back on near the end of
the race, and click the number button for each boat as it finishes.
When the heat dies down, they can fix up the ones they missed (or
clicked the wrong number).

As long as nobody drops the computer into the salt chuck, it is then
simple to display the results.//Zeke Hoskin

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