The Club
Hayling Island Sailing Club (HISC) in Hampshire is a leading competitive sailing club and one of only four RYA coastal Centres of Excellence. Founded in 1921, the Club has grown to 3,000 members who enjoy a wide range of water sports in a social and family-friendly environment. Although managed by professional staff, all members contribute a few days a year to help run the sailing activities.
"It definitely saves me time and makes race management easier"
Club racing
The Club’s location at the entrance to Chichester Harbour offers a choice of sheltered harbour and open sea conditions to suit novices through to professionals. Racing takes place from March to December, with one design, handicap, keelboat and cruiser fleets on the water. Solo, Fireball, RS200, Foiling Moth, RS Elite and Flying Fifteens get their own starts, and the Club supports another 15 or so active classes.
The quality of sailing, superb shoreside facilities and friendly atmosphere make HISC a popular host for open events and class championships, attracting sailors from across the UK and beyond.
"We know how many people are taking part"
Why SailEvent
Like many clubs, HISC had contemplated a move to digital event management, but there was no real appetite for change. The traditional paper tally forms and courses pinned to the Club noticeboard appeared to work well. Until Covid-19.
"When Covid started to bite we realised that we’d have to do things differently," said Vice Commodore Sailing, Graham Williamson. "The critical issue was to eliminate gatherings, and digital sign-on was the solution."
"It is really easy to use. I set-up the event and make it available for the sailors."
In practice
Racing at HISC re-started in late July 2020, with SailEvent in active use for all adult dinghy classes. Sailing Secretary Leah Brooks publishes the usual race documents on the Club website alongside a link for participants to sign-up in SailEvent. "It’s really easy to use," she explained. "I set-up the event and make it available for the sailors."
On race day, there is a single, accurate entry list visible for officials and sailors – a great improvement over much-amended paper lists. Leah uploads courses and notifications which are displayed in the sailor app.
Members sign on and off for the race via the sailor app on their mobile phone, promoted by emails or text messages. "Once we got used to it, members liked it," said Graham Williamson. Initially, around 90% of race participants used the app. Increasing familiarity and confidence delivered almost total take-up in all age groups after a few weeks.
"I can see who is registered and know who’s on the water. If they don’t sign-off after the race, I can check they’re back and OK."
The benefits
"SailEvent enabled us to meet Covid requirements and to run compliant, safe racing," said Graham Williamson. With the majority adapting to the software, only a handful of members chose to sign-on manually, minimising footfall in the office.
Beyond the Covid-compliance, the software has also delivered efficiencies for the Club. In the paper-based system, Leah would type-up the entry list for the race officers, dealing with poor handwriting and last-minute amendments. "With SailEvent, all I have to do is refer to the list. It definitely saves me time and makes race management easier," she said. "I can see who is registered and know who’s on the water. If they don’t sign-off after the race, I can check they’re back and OK."
With the software now embedded in the process for dinghy sailors, HISC is looking at extending it to the keelboat and cruiser classes for next season.
"SailEvent enabled us to meet Covid requirements and to run compliant, safe racing"
To find out more about Hayling Island Sailing Club visit hisc.co.uk
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