RailMeets is proud to announce that we have been selected as the official North American crew finder for the 2020 Newport to Bermuda race. With RailMeets you can add to your profile that you are available for the race. Go to My Info, then Crew Finder Profile, update, check Newport Bermuda Race and click on update. That’s it, ready to go.
Prospective skippers can search for crew that would like to do the race by using the filters. They can also search on specific skill sets needed to round out the crew.
It was great seeing many of you at this past weekends Chicago NOOD regatta. Thank you for your comments suggestions, complements and of course how can I forget sipping rum drinks on a T-10 while giving some training on the RailMeets dashboard. Thanks! But my favorite comment was from a J/109 skipper telling me how RailMeets changed his program, from finding crew to tracking the crew schedules. As he told me, when he gets a text from a crew saying they are available for a race he texts back “Don’t tell me, tell RailMeets!”
How did the boat I was on do? Well after sitting in the fog on Friday we got in four good races on Saturday. We were tied for second (with two other boats tied for first). We really needed a race on Sunday but more pea soup fog prevented that and after all the tie breakers were applied we ended up fourth. Not bad for a new program and a good chunk of the crew picked up from RailMeets.
There are some sailboat races are special because of where they start, some are special because of where they finish and some are special because of their inherent challenge. Few are special because of all three. The Chicago Yacht Club’s race to Mackinac is one of those races. The race starts with the spectacular Chicago skyline as a backdrop for the start. Then the fleet heads north up Lake Michigan where conditions can range from dead calm with the nasty black fly to major gale force winds and tall choppy waves. 333 Miles later you are transported back in time to Mackinac Island, it’s a race like no other.
RailMeets has partnered with Chicago Yacht Club to provide the official crew finder for the Chicago to Mackinac race. To get yourself set up sign in to your RailMeets account then click on the silhouette (or picture) in the upper right corner, select My Profile. Scroll down to the Crew Finder Profile and select update profile.
Make sure Show on Crew Finder is selected and then scroll down and select Chicago to Mackinac in the Special Events Wanted section. Don’t forget to click on update.
It’s a similar procedure for updating your boats profile if you are looking for crew
This week we added the Chicago Corinthian Yacht Club Offshore fleet schedule to the RailMeets database. You can now add CCYC Wednesday night and weekend series races to your schedule. Go to My Boats, select Events then Add Events From List. Searching on CCYC will bring up all the events. These guys race a lot so to narrow it down even more search on CCYC Wed to bring up just the Wednesday night stuff or CCYC Weekend to see the weekend stuff.
CCYC is a RailMeets Partner and you can also access CCYC.RailMeets.com from the corinthian.org Offshore fleet page. For 2019 you can pay your Offshore Fleet dues on RailMeets, from your Dashboard scroll down and click on MyDues and select Purchase. We will let then know you are all paid up.
Today we posted the Chicago J109 fleet schedule. Here is how to add preset events to your schedule. From My Dashboard click on your boat name, then click on Back To Events, then click on Add Events From List. On the right side you will see a search box, put something in there to narrow the choices, Chicago, CASRA, T10, J109, NOOD etc…
Next click on the events that you want to add to your schedule, don’t forget to set the default times at the top. Top tip – add the events in groups like all the Wednesday night stuff then the weekend stuff. If needed you can also change the times later. Then scroll down and click on Transfer Selected Events. That’s it you are done the selected events have been added to your boats schedule.
It’s been a few weeks since I posted here but rest assured we have been busy. We exterminated a few bugs, been talking to OD fleets about future features, introduced SMS or text messaging (more on that next week) and what has been keeping us real busy is Race Committee Volunteer Management. RailMeets can now be used to manage your clubs race assets, volunteers, PRO’s, marks , boats, heck even the party areas. It’s designed to make your Race Committees life easier. The best part if your club is a RailMeets subscriber and you volunteer your assignments will appear on your Dashboard right next to your sailing commitments. You can view your clubs entire RC schedule at a glance. Is your regular boat out of town? You can now check and see if your RC needs some help. Tracking tools for the RC to see who had done their assignments and who still needs to volunteer. Want to learn more send us a note firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is a cool use for RailMeets. Do you have any four legged crew members? No I am not talking about your rabid bow man but that k9 that always seems to be hanging out on the boat. It’s easy just put them on as a guest or if they have skills set up another account for them. Then your crew will know when to bring the doggy treats. Here Captain John and “Sailor” discuss tactics.
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
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.