David, I also swear by a $10 kitchen timer from any dollar store or kitchen supply. Runs a couple of years on a AA battery, makes a loud beep, has a big display, and stays in the galley when it is not abovedecks doing race timing.
You CAN actually find some that will count down and then count UP again to keep track of the race duration. But for the price, and being "hands free", and visible to everyone in the cockpit...sure is hard to beat. And cheap enough to make a gift to the skipper of it.(G)