Sailing is a something of a passion, from dinghies to yachts I try and get out on the water as much as I can. Wanting to give something back to the sport, seven years ago I took over as Chair of the Royal Escape Race Committee, managing an amazing team of volunteers from the Sussex Yacht Club to run the largest yacht race on the south coast outside of the solent.
With around 80 yachts racing from Brighton to Fécamp in France for historic trophies, this is a major event for the club and I'm proud to play a part. It was early on in my stewardship that in my spare time I began putting together a Royal Escape Race website, allowing skippers to both understand the race and enter online, following up with a race results package.
The success of the Royal Escape Race website did not go unnoticed and I was approached by the Royal London Yacht Club in the Isle of Wight to consider a similar provision for their prestigious Cowes Classics Week. Billed as the Goodwood Festival for boats, this was a challenge I could not refuse and I am proud to report that Electric Farm now has an ongoing contract to look after the online needs of Cowes Classics Week.
But the project involved much more than providing a cost efficient ecommerce website, it also involved looking after the racing results, and with arecord number of entries in both 2014 and 2015 competing for five days on multiple race courses with multiple races each day, this involved a lot of number crunching. Part and parcel of the service was working alongside the RLYC team in the Race Office for the week-long regatta managing the results, calculating, publishing and adjusting as the international judges delivered protest verdicts, and also delivering overall results according to long standing formulas.
Hard work indeed, but hugely rewarding.
Providing a complete package to fit the budgets of a regatta largely run by volunteers was just as much of a challenge, but by focussing on the core requirements Electric Farm delivered.
Cowes Classics Week was approached as a special project for Electric Farm and if you think we might be of use on something else you have in mind, please get in contact.
To keep costs under control we focussed on using open source systems and worked to a fixed price contract rate.