The Rowing Data System is a web-based regatta management software tool. It hopes to make things simpler for organizers and clubs attending regattas by providing a common interface and experience for regattas across BC (and beyond!).
Regatta hosts can use the RDS for online entries. They can set up the events that they wish to run, the dates on which competition will occur, and deadlines for making entries.
Clubs who wish to attend the regatta can put in their entries, and identify athletes for each entry. This allows the regatta organizers to accurately count the number of athletes that may be competing on each day of racing.
Regattas can define rules to be applied to their entries. Examples of this are: ensuring that each entry has the correct number of athletes, and enforcing age restrictions for an event (such as for Junior or Masters events). More complex rules are often developed for specific regattas.
Scheduling a draw
Once entries close, the regatta organizers can create a draw. Events within a single regatta can have different progression rules and use different numbers of lanes, allowing the organizers to customize their regatta. The draw can be scheduled programmatically and manually altered if desired. Once finalized and released by the organizers, the draw is available online.
At the regatta
During the actual regatta, there are a number of different areas of functionality. In each case I have worked with Rowing Canada umpires to make these useful.
- A scratch page allows the regatta organizers to indicate late scratches.
- A weigh-in page, whose data is immediately available to other parts of the RDS.
- An outdock page allows Control Commission to indicate who has boated and when they left the dock.
- A start line page, showing the crews for each race, any scratches, and when the crews were checked in by Control. Race timing can be started from here.
- A splits page, which allows timings to be taken at some intermediate point on the race course.
- A finish line page allows for the timing and placing of crews within a race.
Once the race data is all entered, results are calculated automatically and progression rules are applied to send qualifying crews to the next round. Results are available on the internet immediately after the race result is deemed official. % of gold medal standard times may be calculated agains Rowing Canada's standards if required.
Benefits for clubs
Other areas of functionality are scheduled for completion in the near future, or could be built upon request. The intent is to be able to provide a wide range of features for as many regattas as possible.
I hope the benefits for the rowing community at large are that we use a common system for a number of regattas, allowing us to become familiar with the RDS. Once a club has entered its athlete data, along with their RCA or USRA membership number, that data is always accessible for any regatta using the RDS.
For full race day functionality, the host club may wish to look into whether it can access the internet from various locations on site. The finish line is best run on a computer with a keyboard, although the iPad does a good job of most parts (the Victoria High School City Championships finish line used an iPad with a 3G data plan and a stopwatch backup).
Pricing for the RDS
There are two pricing structures. You can choose the lower of the two. These give you support and a licence to use the RDS for the purposes of administering and running your regatta.
- $2 per athlete registered to race. This means that clubs have to register athletes for particular crews, which would happen anyway if the regatta were going to use the rule-checking modules.
- $20 per race scheduled to run (including time trials, heats, semi-finals and finals).
If you are interested in finding out more, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We can also provide assistance with the technical aspects of accessing the RDS at your regatta site.