Exploring SPINNACER 1.1

SPINNACER (SOL Polar Inspector, Nautical Navigator And Calculator to Enhance Racing) is a java program that should help its users understand the polars (as used by sailonline.org) better, and performing (more accurate) calculations, e.g. for setting DCs. The “NN” part in SPINNACER is still in development, polar inspector and calculator are available :)

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Plum Gut

Plum Gut
Looking past Orient Point Light, across Plum Gut.  Plum Island Light is in the background. — photo by SOL skipper Jlink58

At the north-east end of Long Island Sound a string of small islands extends from Point Orient on Long Island, past Race Point on Fishers Island, to Watch Hill Point above Little Narragansett Bay on the Rhode Island shore. Any skipper exiting LI Sound must decide how to pass through these islands. Often, the choice is to go through Plum Gut.

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The Vineyard 2014 — Pre-Race

Pre-Race update:

With less than 24 hours to go, the wind at the start is forecast to be out of the NE and under 5kts. Total time for the race looks to be about a day and a half.
StartAtTheCows_titledThe wind is forecast to clock 90° in the first six hours, giving racers a port tack start, and then a long reach up Long Island Sound on starboard.
Slipping through Plum Gut, the starboard tack continues until the clocking wind forces a tack toward the sea. By that time, TWS is just over 6kts.

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Sailonline Race Around Turkey 2014

The 1430nm Sail around Turkey race has become an epic annual challenge for SOLers. The Black Sea often has shifting light winds and the middle section has both the Dardenelles and Bosphorus Straits, both tight twisting channels that after difficult to navigate under any weather conditions. The course is not much easier in the Mediterranean Sea where near shore marks require close attention. The final couple of days are easy in comparison, but lack of attention can easily result in ruining the effort of the previous few days.

Rumskib won in a time of 6 days 12 hours 53 minutes. I was 1 hour 7 minutes behind in second place. The map below shows Rumskib’s and my course (from hmm’s excellent site http://sol.hmm.iki.fi/sollog/comparemap/722/NZL_Scotsman/rumskib/)

Overview

Let’s have a day by day look at how the race played out.

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Wisdom of the Crowd

A race report on race #691 – Tokyo to San Francisco 2014

I started of as if it were a practice race, but soon we reached open ocean and I had no idea what to do. Luckily there were lots of boats around me who knew. I checked the wx slider and decided that the boats going south were probably right. I followed them. Every evening I tried to predict what the boats around me would do, and set DCs to keep me in the group. I wasn’t always right (example, I tacked about 2 hours too soon, thinking the winds were turning more than they actually did), and often ended up a bit too far north or south. I lost some hours to the leader in this process.

Here you see me (red) tacking too soon.
Here you see me (red) tacking too soon.

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