Saturday, February 11, 2017

RaceQs Regatta Sailing App

Application: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, iOs 6.1 or later
Function: Sailboat Racing, Race tracking and recording
Rating: *****
Cost: Free

RaceQs is a fairly new app aimed primarily at sailors who either run regattas or race their sailboats.  The app can be used by all the sailors in the fleet to record their track and data during the race. The RaceQs website is then used after the race to review the play back in 3D. If you have ever watched the Americas Cup racing, the same graphics and analytics can be performed on your races. The app has many great analytical capabilities that can help any sailor improve their racing performance. Even if you don't race the apps tools allow you to record your tracks and help improve your sailing ability.

The app can be use to record your boats speed and movements using the phones internal, GPS and gyroscope and accelerometer. You can link you GoPro footage to the recording also to improve the playback experience.

Features:
  • Race Organization and Management
  • Free app and RaceQs account
  • One touch race recording
  • Max and average boat speed
  • Course
  • Velocity Made Good (VMG)
  • Roll
  • Pitch
  • Yaw
  • Drift
  • Track
  • Race Analytics
  • Wind direction from meteorological data
  • Real time upload
  • 5 minute delayed play back on website
  • Works below deck
  • Privacy controls
  • Website 3D race movie playback
  • Race analysis
  • Personal website journal page
  • Add crew list and duties
  • Notification email of events
  • Social Media Sharing

Download the App from iTunes to get started. The app is free so encourage all your crew and other sailors in your club to do the same.

Create an Account:

Creating an account is needed to be able to access all the features of the app and and RaceQs website. You can skip registration and use it to just record your tracks but you will not have access to the website features.

Having a user name and password will allow you to access your personal journal page on the RaceQs website to be able to review all your tracks and saved race data.

The website also has some social media and networking features which allow the users to organize races and contact crew members.

Record the Race:
Recording a race or track is done with a push of the Start Tracking button in the app. Only one person on board the boat needs to record the race.

A phone or tablet can be use to record the race. Make sure the device is secured so it does not slide around. The top of the phone should be facing forward towards the front of the boat. The device will then record the correct direction, pitch, roll and yaw of your boat.

The Live Streaming function can also be turned on in the app. This features allows the data from your phone to be streamed to the website with a five minute delay. Your friends or the crew back at the yacht club can watch the race in almost real time. The data is delayed for five minutes because other boats can also view your performance, tactics and data on the website.

Cell service for your device is required for live streaming. If you do not have cell service the data is still recorded and can be uploaded over WiFi when you return from the race.

Accessing the apps functions are done through several buttons at the bottom of the app. Preset Start allows the user to set up the time to automatically start recording data in the app.
Tracks is a list of all your boats recorded tracks or races. These are listed by date, time and included miles sailed and time.
Settings include, Auto shutoff, roll, pitch and yaw settings, a setup for an external data connection via TCP/IP or UDP WiFi protocol is also provided. This would be used if you had an external GPS source for this data.

The real time display shows a map of your boats track as it records your data. The real time data and track are displayed below in digital form.

Real time data includes Elapse Time, Distance, Average Speed and Maximum Speed.

The track display has a Compass in the upper right side of the screen.  This displays when the app is in the Course Up mode.  The Blue Course icon in the lower right let you toggle between Course up and North Up modes.

The Marker icon in the lower right of the map let the user drop a marker on the screen to note the start line or marks on the course. Once you drop a mark you cannot move it. If the mark is not in the place you want it, delete it and drop a new one in the correct location.

These markers can the be used on the website to set up the race course and place marker buoys for an accurate depiction of the course.

Fleet Race Replay:

This is where is gets fun! Once the race is completed everyone should upload their boats track data to the website. A 3D movie replay of the race can then be created and viewed by the whole fleet.

The RaceQs app works with any type of boat. The app uses your phones GPS to know which boats are sailing in the same geographic area at the time of your race. Boats can be divided into different fleets if needed by entering the start times for the different fleets.

The virtual course can be set up by anyone who has access to the replay. Once it is setup it can be viewed by all race participants. Setting up the course involves placing the start line and marks around the course.  The playback allows for an in depth analysis of each boats performance and analytics during the race.

When viewing playback of your tracks or races you can select between course view, fleet view, match view, front or helm view. This display is similar to the Americas Cup graphics and views of those races. Course view is the most general and provides an overall view of the boats and the course. Fleet view shows the view of all boats in the race. Match view allow comparison of any two boats performance metrics side by side.


Analytics:

RaceQs has many powerful analytical tools to review the performance of your boat. Color coding can be added to each track of the boats in the race. This allows the viewer to easily track the different boats around the course.

Groove line analysis shows when the boat is sailing the fastest and areas when it was showing instability.

Two boats can be selected during the playback to show the distance and separation of the boats as they tack and progress around the course.

The Dashboard is another tool to analyze SOG, VMG, heel and drift. This performance data can be displayed for any boat as it progresses around the course. The Wind shadow is another analytic that shows the boats lee bow zone and aft wind shadow of your boat. A complete list of video tutorials can be found on the website and YouTube to set and use the app and website features.

I have not had a chance to use the app yet because it is still winter here in South Dakota. As I look out at the our lake it appears to be more of an ice rink right now. Is anyone using the app? If so, please comment below and share your experience.

The sailing season will soon be returning for us in the higher latitudes.  Get your sailing club members signed up for RaceQs to be able to record your races and use the analytical tools to become better sailors.

~~~ Sail On ~~~ /)
Mark

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