Thinking of deleting Facebook but you are worried about missing these tips and tricks? Check out our blog https://blog.railmeets.com/ There is also a link on the bottom of every RailMeets page. We post the same content in both places but the blog usually has the addition of a witty headline. Sorry you will have to go elsewhere for funny cat videos.
Earlier this week I received a message via the RailMeets messaging system from Alex. He was in Chicago on business and was looking to get out for a race. We had a spot on my boat so I added him as a guest. You can add guests by going to the Change My Signups screen. For any event tap on the two people and a box will open, there you can indicate the number of guests.
Alex showed up at the appointed time, gear bag in one hand six pack of good beer in the other. He helped us rig the boat for the first CCYC pursuit race. For those of you that don’t know what a pursuit races is the Race Committee takes everyone’s handicaps and calculates the start time based on everyone finishing at the same time. So every boat with a different rating starts at a different time. We slot in after the T-10’s but just before our main rival a Farr39.
How did it go? We started late, had a decent upwind leg, passed a boat on the reaching leg. We then headed downwind into heavy fog. During a botched spinnaker take-down in the fog we lost sight of the fleet and the next mark. We missed the mark and realized our mistake when we sailed out of the fog and noticed everyone else on a different angle. We withdrew, opened some beers and sailed around a bit before heading in. On the way in we hit the heavy fog again. Predictably the GPS batteries died but fortunately one of the crew had his phone on him. Google maps, the ships compass and going slow got us home.
After we hung out in the club with our new friend Alex, a good time was had by all.
Do you have a RailMeets success story? Send us an email and tell us about it. If we use your story we’ll send you a nifty new RailMeets hat.
In a sure sign that summer is coming to a close this weekend is the Tri/Bi State regatta. For those of you not racing on southern Lake Michigan. This race has been around forever, is always on Labor Day weekend and is one of the most beloved races in the area. Sponsored by Jackson Park and Michigan City Yacht Clubs it starts Friday night from a point just offshore of Chicago near downtown. You watch the Chicago skyline fade over the horizon with the sun setting behind it as you head to St Joe, Michigan. If it is an average race most boats will finish as the sun rises over the Michigan shore. Spend Saturday relaxing on the beach, Sunday race back to Chicago or keep on going for the short hop to Michigan City Indiana. Then on Monday race from Michigan City to Chicago. Always a good time.
As you may know RailMeets has partnered with CASRA to provide a place to store LMPHRF rating certificates and as you know as part of the notice of race you are required to upload them to the site. Go to chicagosailracing.org and select Rating Validation at the top of the screen. That will take you to the login screen. If you are a RailMeets user you can log in the same way you do with RailMeets. Once you are in click on “My Boats”. Then click on your boat name. That will bring up your boat profile, scroll down and you will see a blue box that says “Edit Certificates” that will bring up all your certificates, scroll down and you will see “Upload New Certificate” use the browse button to find it on your hard drive. Don’t forget to select share with CASRA and click on submit. You are now in compliance with the NOR. New to the site visit our blog for other tips and tricks including creating your boat and uploading your crew as well as using the crew finders. https://blog.railmeets.com/
Best of luck to our Tri/Bi-State racers and stay safe
So I was hanging out at the Sailing Club last night and a user stopped me and asked when the “app” was coming out? Because of the way we built RailMeets an app is not necessary. It exists in the cloud and was built from the ground up to be mobile friendly. We routinely test on iPhones, iPads and various Android devices. Just use your phones web browser and getting a “app” for RailMeets is a simple as adding us to your home screen.
A couple of months ago I posted on our blog how to add RailMeets to your home screen. The instructions were for an iPhone but they they are similar for an Android device. check it out…
The events that happened at the start of this past weekends Chicago to Mackinac race were very sobering to us and the sailing community. Here at RailMeets our thoughts are with Jon’s family, friends and shipmates. We did not know him other than meeting once at a party but I am positive he will be remembered fondly and be missed.
Every one of us has moved around on a boat only to have a wave kick the boat sideways or push the boat up or down sending us into a tumble. Sometimes we get a nasty bruise or cut, we put some tape on it and keep going. Once in a while we get a leg in the water but we grab a lifeline or one of our shipmates manages to grab us as we go flying by. Rarely do we end up in the water.
Every so often a perfect shit storm happens. A slip leads to a fall which leads to a person in the water in difficult conditions. Equipment malfunction stacks the odds against them.
Most sailing tragedies we rationalize away. We think we wouldn’t have made that navigation error or that my boat is perfectly maintained or I don’t sail on a science project or I am in shape and my body can handle the stress. This one hits home because missteps and falls have happened to everyone that has ever stepped on to a race boat. It’s the nature of the game and part of the risks we take to pursue the sport we love and are passionate about.
Kudos to the boats and sailors that were able to be part of the search. It will be a while before we see a report on what happened but till then I ask that you go into your gear bag and check your equipment. Do your shoes and boots have enough traction? Check your life vest, is it in good condition? If it’s an inflatable, have you checked if it inflates? Is the trigger expired? Are your sailing gloves in good condition? How about your shipmates equipment?
This is not a reason to stop racing sailboats. I doubt Jon would have wanted that. It is a reason to pause, check our equipment and make sure we always have one hand for the boat and one for ourselves.
Chicago to Mac race. This is the 110th edition of the 330 mile freshwater classic. Looking at the entry list I see RailMeets users in just about every section. With a northerly breeze setting up on the race course this one looks like it it could be a challenge. Bring your long underwear and remember one hand for yourself and one hand the boat. Good luck, sail fast and sail safe!
Another one for skippers and crew bosses. This week we tweaked the messaging. Now you can select who you send a message to based on their status. Try it out, from the dashboard click on your boats schedule, then click on the envelope in an event. That will bring up a window. Type your message and select who you want to send the message to. Your choices are crew that is Confirmed, on Standby, Available but not confirmed, the Maybe and the Unavailable. Checking all the boxes will send the message to everybody that changed their status for that event.
Did you know there is a Super User Mode? There has been one for some time but we didn’t say too much about it as we didn’t like it and depending on what computer and browser you had it was sloooow. This week we revamped the Super User Mode (SUM) to be as fast as the man of steel. Why use SUM? We all have that one friend or weird uncle that just ain’t computer literate. To keep track of him on your crew go to the confirm signups page. If you are a Skipper or Crew Boss you will see a pencil after the event name in the events column.
Click on the pencil, that will bring up a new screen just for that event. From there you can edit your crew’s signups for that event. Don’t forget to click on Confirm to finalize the changes
This week we made some changes to the log in. Now you can use any of the three ways to log in as long as they have the same email address. Lets say you use the user ID (email) and password method but if you use the same email address for Facebook you can now use either system to log into RailMeets. Same deal for Google+. Confused, think of it this way, your email address ties everything together and your records, info, signups etc are grouped by email. Use a different email and the system thinks you are a different person.
Based on user feedback we made some tweaks to how the crew for your events are displayed. Now the first couple of leftmost spots are always the boat owner and the crew bosses. Next the the crew is listed by most active to least active, if there is a tie then the order is alphabetical. What was happening was there were a few owners /crew bosses that have busy travel schedules and had a habit of signing up late. The crew boss would confirm crew but accidentally leave off the owner because he was on the far right side, doh! Remember from left to right – owner and crew bosses first then crew with most activity listed to the left. Crew gets more points for being confirmed or standby, then available, maybe and unavailable. No points for not entering anything, aka “unknown”.