In this post I will talk about the routing process. I will use BWR (Bluewater Racing) to generate isochrones. Isochrones are to me the major reason to use routing software.
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 ending my SOL year with the Boxing Day Classic, the first half of the Tasman Double. A night start in Sydney, across Bass Strait and round Tasman Island, before steering into Hobart. Tasman Island is of course the relevant routing goal.
As a rule for the Southern Ocean in general, and the whole Tasman Sea / NZL area in particular, forecasts tend to be less then reliable. In last year’s edition I split from the main group in Bass Strait, and by sheer luck won the light air lottery. And then there’s my favorite, Sail Fiji. This year’s forecast was soooo bad. Anyway the forecast for this race is… amazingly stable. Ok.
Just before the start, I checked out the final Sprint race of the year, a quick downwind trip off California. The big pressure gradient looked interesting, and the Class 40 takes off with some wind… A good opportunity for some SOTP fun!
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.
WOW! this was one of the best sailing I ever done in SOL.
And this thanks to the challenging and changing wx along the route and to all the person that enter in this crazy long leg with a boat.
And of course to the hard fight with Lolla, to nominate the biggest opponent.
Lolla sailed a superb legs, applying the sailing strategic manual to the letter, and giving me only one risky chance that turned well at the end.
So as I pick up him as my reference opponent I will mention him more than others.
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!
Let’s tackle the big one, VMC. To be blunt, the big difference between the top SOLers and the fleet is simply sailing faster. Here I will explore how.
Hitting islands is an easy and entirely too common way to ruin your race. The best SOLers do it once in a while. And of course there was the much talked about Vestas grounding. So how do we avoid this?
First off, no, Team Vestas were not taking any ‘risks’. To hit a fairly wide reef right in the middle, they had to be blissfully unaware of the obstacle.