"Race Start" is a free Windows program that provides precise timing and prompts for the starting sequence of the Racing Rules of Sailing, Rule 26. The author routinely uses it for timing starts as it minimizes errors due to erroneous reading of the watch or loss of attention. Use of the program requires a (laptop) computer in a protected location on board the starting boat or site.
The user announces the computer-displayed time and evolution to the starting crew. The program provides for various starting situations: Start at a Set Time, Start as Soon as Possible, Start after General Recall, and Start after Postponement. It provides for any of the various Preparatory Flags. The interval from the Class flag to the Preparatory Flag may be adjusted as may the duration of the Preparatory Flag. "Rollover" starts may be used. Some have found the program useful just to understand the starting sequence of rule 26. It includes Help notes.
Download "Race Start", version 3.5.1, November 20, 2009
After "RaceStartInstaller.exe" has been downloaded, install it by double-clicking it in Windows Explorer.