The Royal Geelong Yacht Club (RGYC) has become the first sailing club in Australia to jump on board SailConnect – an interactive communication platform for boat owners, clubs and crew.
Supported by Australian Sailing, the SailConnect app was launched earlier this month and aims to simplify the way boats, crews and clubs interact, engage and communicate with each other. RGYC invites boat owners, skippers and crew to download the free app and explore the benefits.
The sailing specific app provides a single point of contact for the sport, especially around major sailing events such as the Festival of Sails. It allows boat owners to find and register for events of interest, manage all crew communications in one place, even find crew if required. Individual sailors can register their interest in events and outline their experience, ready to be found by boats needing crew.
During events such as the Festival of Sails, SailConnect will also be a source of critical event information such as wind warnings, start delays or navigation warnings as well as club social information.
SailConnect’s creator Brad McMaster said his vision was for SailConnect to become the “single point of contact for sailors worldwide”.
“It’s a complete engagement and communications platform for the sport, and something that hasn’t existed until now. The ability to communicate in such a meaningful way, in real time, is something we just haven’t had in sailing but have really needed,” he said.
“It’s vital because engagement, between boat/crew and club, is fundamental to getting long-term commitment from every participant, current and future.”
Sailing clubs around Australia are quickly following the Royal Geelong Yacht Club’s lead, with more than a dozen clubs now working towards providing their content to the platform.
Brad said he was confident SailConnect would be of great benefit to participants of the 2018 Festival of Sails, including first timers and regulars, locally and abroad.
“SailConnect is an incredibly simple platform. Boat owners can register for an event and invite their crew in less than 20 seconds. By registering interest in an event, crew can give themselves the best chance of getting on boats and clubs benefit from a great technical solution allowing them to communicate with all event participants in an efficient and discreet way.”
2018 Festival of Sails Chairman, Peter Alexander, said the Club was looking forward to seeing SailConnect being used by boats and crew in the lead up to and during the 2018 Festival of Sails.
“SailConnect is a huge bonus to us for attracting visiting sailors. It gives boat owners and skippers the ability to put out requirements for crew, and for visiting crew to register, and say what they’re looking to do. Basically it gets them on a boat”.
As well as working to solve participation challenges in the sport, SailConnect can also aggregate all participant information, such as contact and emergency details, insurance and audit and compliance documents.
“This results in a single source of information for individual and boat data which can then be passed on to clubs and associations anywhere in the world via the app’s club portal feature,” Brad said.
Sailing enthusiast Brad developed the SailConnect app based on his experience being part of a crew, racing competitively and skippering on his own yacht.
The idea for the app originated from experience he learned when off-shore racing in the UK and coordinating crew to compete in the famous biennial offshore yacht race, Fastnet in 2007. The following year he also coordinated crew from around Europe as he sailed his yacht Ghost, from the United Kingdom to Australia, which he did over three years.
“I see SailConnect as a collaborative project and really welcome all feedback to make the app as effective as possible for everybody,” he said.
SailConnect is free to download and use via the App Store and Google Play.
Download via ITUNES https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sailconnect/id1168570079…
Download via GOOGLE PLAY https://play.google.com/store/apps/details…