Dalgety Bay Sailing Club

Instructions for using the Race Control Computer


New Instructions for 2001

If you are asked to do the OOD duties then you should use the race control computer to control the starting and to get the timing correct.  These instructions tell you how to set-up and use the computer.

It is assumed that you know what the OOD duties are and the basic principles of setting the course, running the race and calculating the results.

Sound Signals

New for this year is that the horn is finally wired into the control box.  In fact there are two horns (I am trying to make up for lost time!).  For the best results set up the air horn which is stored in the green box.

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Turn the mains power on.  Make sure the circuit breakers (to the west of the door) are both on.  Above the window there are two sockets on the right and one on the left, make sure all of these are on.  Turn the computer on by pressing the power button.  Make sure that all the light switches are in the 'off' position.

  2. Wait for the computer to complete its boot process.  It will come up in Windows 98.  The race control program is automatically started but may not be visible.  If the window does not appear on the screen, use the mouse to click on the 'RaceBox' task in the taskbar at the bottom of the screen.

  3. The initial screen shows the current settings.  With the new starting sequence the time intervals are fixed.

    • If you want to change the number of starts press the + and/or - keys until the required number of starts are shown.

  4. At the set-up screen the 'T' will quickly test that all the lights are working.  Each light is switched on in sequence (mirrored on the screen).  The 'H' key will test the horn(s).

  5. When ready to start the sequence press the 'S' key.  If the starts are to be synchronised against a clock time, press this key 6 seconds and 5 minutes before the time of the first (or only) start in the sequence.

  6. The screen then shows a count down clock giving 6 seconds to the start of the sequence.  To abort the sequence, exit the program by pressing 'Q' or the Escape key (this can be done at any time).  During the start sequence the status of the lamps is shown on the screen.  Watch the screen at the appropriate times make the sound signal.  Note that the status line below the clock changes to inverse just before the next signal is required.

  7. During the start sequence monitor the progress of the boats and ensure that none are over the start line at the actual start.  If boats are over then you must manually do an individual or general recall.  If necessary quit the program and start the sequence again.

  8. After the last (or only) start the screen changes to shows a count up clock.  This shows the elapsed time since the last start in the sequence.  Simple instructions are shown on the screen.

  • To record the time of a boat (without any sound or light signals) press the 'L' (lap time) key.  The current time is then recorded at the end of the list of times.  The time is displayed as h:mm:ss and in brackets as the number of seconds (useful if calculating handicaps).

  • When a boat finishes press the 'F' key or space bar.  The time is recorded and a sound signal is made.  Note down the time on the race results sheet.  If you are recording handicap times from other than the last start of the sequence you must add compensation for time difference between the boat's real start and the last start in the sequence.
  • If the list of times becomes full press the 'C' key to clear the list.  Remember to write down the times first as they are lost after the list is cleared.
  1. When the last boat has finished, press the 'Q' or Escape key exit the program.

  2. Finally with the mouse select 'Start' (bottom right of the screen), then shut down and confirm that you want to shut down the computer.

If things go wrong quit the program using the 'Q' or Escape keys.  The program can be restarted by double clicking on the RaceBox icon (looks like a ship!) on the desk top.  Then go back to step 3 of these instructions.

Calculating Handicaps

Handicaps are easy to calculate provided you know the handicap number that should be used.  Most people should know their handicaps, if not there is a list of handicaps in the race officer's pack.

Non-Average Laps

Use the calculator and enter the elapsed time in seconds (this should have been recorded direct from the computer).  Divide this number by the handicap and multiply the results by 1000.  The result is the Corrected Time.  Record this number on the race sheet (one decimal place is sufficient).

Average Lap Races

Use the calculator and enter the total time in seconds (this should have been recorded direct from the computer).  Divide this time by the number of laps that this boats (different boats can do a different number of laps).  Divide the result by the handicap and multiply the answer by 1000.  The result is the Corrected Time.  Record this number on the race sheet (one decimal place is sufficient).

Phil Walter
14th June 2001