Timing is everything, as the saying goes, and when it comes successful competitive event production, it is high on the priority list. It is critical to deliver accurate results in order to present awards to top finishes, but all racers want to know where they placed and compare their results with their ski buddies. It is incumbent on race organizes to deliver clean, accurate results as soon as possible. Timing can be a complex matter, however, requiring a great deal of technology that needs to be deployed and managed efficiently with expertise.
The North End Ski Club had been fortunate for many years to utilize the services of White River Timing – our good friends Chuck and Cyndy Olson and their daughter Jessie Hirsch. The Olsons retired from the timing business three years ago and we moved on to another timing company to take care of our ski race results. After two races with the new company we decided to move on and tackle the timing element of the race in-house. This is a huge step, and one that most small events are reluctant and not equipped to tackle. The North End had been using the Webscorer online timing platform for our snowshoe and trail run events. For events their size the system was quite manageable, but the ski race was a different story. Webscorer, however, also has a chip timing system that looked good and after some research, we took the plunge. The initial set-up for the system: hardware, software, RFID chips, etc. was not cheap, but the savings realized by doing the timing ourselves will offset the initial start-up costs in only two seasons, plus we will be able to use the system for the smaller events as well. Ongoing costs will be minimal, with only a modest annual licensing fee.
The 2022 North End Snowshoe Classic provided an opportunity to test our new timing system and iron out a few wrinkles. A subsequent trial on a very cold day with a couple dozen volunteer skiers gave the system its final shakedown before this year’s ski race. Kudos to John Uffenbeck for his efforts in acquiring, learning to operate, and putting the system to use. On race day, John, his wife Kathy and our volunteer crew hit it out of the park! Thanks to everyone in helping the club take this big step.