The San Juan
Challenge has used a computer program for a number of years, that includes
tapping in the time on the laptop at the finish line. It’s a program
that was custom designed for us by George Mauler, a friend of Lew
Plummer’s. It is also intended to sort by overall place, as well as
place within a class. In addition, it adds the times together for the 2
days of the San Juan Challenge to produce results for the two-day race, or for
either day alone.
When it works well,
it has been wonderful. One can make changes in a racer’s class easily and
reprint new results. The downsides have been: it hasn’t been foolproof,
it has required quite a bit of tweaking over the years, it has required George
to attend and help out on race day, and there have been issues of
vulnerability to weather. There can still be errors from data entry,
such as putting someone in the wrong gender, wrong boat class,
has held promise to simplify the 2-day calculations, but the problems noted
above are still there.
have been a factor in my favoring the SJC going to a one-day format, at least
for now, and going back to the relative simplicity of non-computerized
The Ski to Sea race,
because of its size and complexity, uses computerized timing and results
generation. Larry Bussinger may want to comment on their
Lew, would you care
to comment about our experience with the computer program for the
SoundRowers@... [mailto:SoundRowers@...] On Behalf Of Michael Lampi
Sent: Friday, October 21, 2005 6:52
Subject: [SoundRowers] Re: Race
--- In SoundRowers@...,
finish line is the battle zone for the volunteers. When I heard
> of the timer
programs[...]. One of the programs uses
hand-helds to record
> finishes, then when they are
synchronized to the main laptop there is
> a way to arbitrate or make corrections. This way
you can use a
> couple of
volunteers doing their thing at the finish line and pretty
> much capture most finishers
in some way.
> The finishes are easy for
the hand-held. The user just taps the boat
> number to capture time/place order of finish.
For larger races the
may have to page to the boat number. One of these programs is a
> shareware deal. So the
only expense is the hand-held. I guess that
> is a BIG only.
this is great. But Michael's observations are well considered.
> I agree with him: it's
just probably not time for SR to get on this
> particular bleeding edge. We need a real gung-ho
race director with
> a stack
of savvy volunteers to show us how.
Maybe we can corner Michael after a race and talk
A handheld PDA can be
obtained quite cheaply these days, especially if
it is purchased from the used market. If the battery can be
or supplemented so that
it can last for the duration of the
registration process and the start and finishing of the
it might be an
option to be explored.
an older iPAQ and an ancient HP Jornada that could be used
such things along with
keyboards for each. Both would need replacement
batteries, unfortunately, as they would not be up to the
powering the PDA's for a
long enough period of time. Yes, I *could*
take along their chargers and a UPS or two if that was the
option, but that would be a
pain in the posterior.
laptop were considered desirable for the data entry and
editing, then we would
probably be able to do that on most any laptop
without requiring the PDA keyboards - or possible in
we could have
multiple data entry positions at registration.
Zeke's program pretty much required a laptop only. I don't
available with adequate
battery life or that is modern enough and
still expendable. A laptop at the finish line (end of a
would also be a pain
in the arm to hold onto.
shareware timer programs I saw last year were pretty good,
each had their own problems
and none seemed to be able to sync with
other PDAs for merging results. Reivers, could you point me
Otherwise, we do have
some technically savvy folks around here who
might be cajoled into coming up with something. (Yeah,
yeah. I'm a
too, and could probably come up with something if
only I had the time.)
Anybody game to try?
P.S. We could give this scheme a try at the winter series