SMS during Cowes Week


Details on how it will work and how to sign up for it
During Skandia Life Cowes Week, Cowes Combined Clubs will be transmitting course information to boats that have registered with them to take part in an experiment using SMS text messages to their mobile phones. How does it work? - each course is worked out manually by race officers on charts with string and pins. - these are then input into special course setting software. This ensures there are no course or mark rounding clashes with other classes. It also calculates mark rounding and finish times. - Once a course is finalised for a class, the software outputs the course data to a separate computer file in the correct format for a text message. - At 10 minute warning times, the CCC operator pushes the button on another piece of bespoke software to send this data out as a text message. This software will include all mobile phone numbers sorted by class, it will pick up course details from other software and send both phone numbers and course information to an SMS service provider's internet site. From here the actual text messages are sent to each mobile phone in the list - messages should be received by boat mobile phones usually within 30-40 seconds of the operator on the platform pushing the 'send' button. - The system will also allow CCC to text other messages, either to individual boats, classes or to the whole (registered) fleet - either for safety or administrative reasons re squall warnings, race abandonments etc. As this is an experiment, CCC points out that: - Normal methods (VHF radio and course boards) will stay as primary data source. - No redress allowed if it fails but CCC is asking for feedback. - If successful, popular through the whole fleet and robust, it could end up being the only method adopted at some stage in the future.

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