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Windsurfing Event safety check-out / check-in board

Problem: Keeping track of windsurfers and making sure no-one is left on the water unaccounted for.
These days there is much more accountability required when sporting events are run, and organisers are being held more accountable when things go wrong.

Windsurfing NZ makes insurance cover available to all its members when running an event provided they have a suitable risk management plan in place a stick to it. One of the main issues is keeping track of sailors; the ocean is large and its difficult to spot someone down in the water, they drift quickly, and being a relatively solitary sport they may not be missed, or may be assumed to have left the venue. It may only be when their vehicle is seen in the car park or a family member raises the alarm that a search begins.

To counter this events usually require a check out and check in system to track sailors on the water. The plans for a simple but effective system is outlined, and the basic rules on how to operate it are described below.

Check out / check in board

Materials:
Board - just find one that suits
Cup hooks - I found these in the $2 shop in packs of 20 (hardware store was 30c-90c each!)
Silicone wrist bands - I just contacted a few likely sources, companies that run events etc. and asked if they had any left over - got 2 bags of 50 from a company that were the wrong colour for them. POssible sponsor opportunity?
Paint, permanent marker

Construction:
Do your own thing, the things to remember are:
Space your hooks far enough apart so the bands don't touch
Write the numbers so that when the band is hanging the number is inside the band - otherwise people may get confused as to which hook goes with which number.
You can try writing numbers on the bands as well if you want.
Different coloured bands can be used for additional id, ie what class the sailor is in.

Operation:
When sailors register they are assigned a number (you could also write this on their hand) - ideally 3 copies of this should be made:
1. Scoring sheet
2. Display next to the Check-out/in board
3. Safety copy, in case other copies go astray (blow away, water damage etc.)

Race instructions:
Bands must be worn at all times while on the water. If a sailor is not wearing a band then their result will not count (DNS)
Bands must be returned to the board at designated times - usually during scheduled breaks and end of racing.
Encourage sailors to remind each other to wear and return bands if they notice someone has forgotten.
If a band is unaccounted for (ie during break/end of racing) then event will not continue until the sailor has been located.
Possibly have an additional penalty for failure to do so.
Possible reward based on correct use.

Comments suggestions feedback welcome

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