The six race 2017 40′ Series Championship Q1&Q2 requires skippers to choose among three boats:
The Ker 40
The Class 40
The SOTO 40
Each boat must be raced twice in the six races scheduled for Q1 & Q2 of 2017. Sardinia was our first opportunity to test our ability to choose.
The Sardinia course was a great choice to kick-off the series. The legs of the course cover all points of the compass — testing the polars of all three boats.
Here is how the race developed, plus some comments on skipper strategies in the series: Continue reading 40′ Series 2017 — The Sardinia Cup→
The Hawaiian ZigZag race is a personal favorite for me. It’s a long sprint through warm waters that bring back great memories. This year, I was excited to test the Delay Command Checker software (DCC) during the race.
The DCC software surprised me both by how easy it was to use and by how many useful or time-saving features it offered. DCC fit right in with my routing software. That said, it would work well [perhaps providing even more benefits] for SOTP skippers
Where to begin?
What an extraordinary race! A race that just has everything that SOL has on offer for the (seriously?) ‘serious’ on-line yacht racer, including in this case:
the wind puzzles of the Black Sea,
the hunt for balance between angle and pressure in the Etesian winds of the Aegean,
a big ask on boat-handling skills through the narrows of the Bosporus and Dardanelles,
and through the maze of the Greek islands,
and lots of stamina and dedication and sleep management.
And of course, the race takes us along the coasts of pre-history where mankind’s first empires were founded, as well as its last and most long-lived, The Empire of The Ottomans. Continue reading Turkey Time !→
By now, many SOLers will have heard one or other competitor speak of ‘hopping’ or even ‘hopping the polar’. What are they talking about!? IRL we gybe and tack, but hop, hmmm? Deep Thought (a.k.a. Earth acc. to Slartibartfast) might have come up with it (didn’t) but the answer is ‘sail change’. A ‘hop’ in SOL is an IRL sail change accompanied by a change of course. Continue reading Hop to La Rochelle→
Here is one more example to illustrate VMC, and how targets change. We start with a cyclone. A perfectly well behaved cyclone.
The storm just sits in place and maintains it’s strength. It’s not even that unrealistic, the tropical storm near Madagascar in SWR Leg 2 behaved like this, as do coastal effects. Now imagine that you have to sail a loop around the cyclone as fast as possible.
I’m sure the more astute followers of ocean races have noticed that leaderboards are a poor way of judging positions in a race. Here I will outline why, how there is no fail-safe method and how I approach the problem vs my competitors.
In the last chapter I’ve explained my approach to VMC-sailing, now let’s poke some holes into it. I do believe that a constant VMC target is the optimum solution for wind changing over time. That however leaves one mortal flaw: wind changes over space!