Friday, 30 December 2011

Boats on a Ship

The 5 Volvo Ocean Race Sailing boats that finished the 1st stage of Leg2,  have been loaded on a Ship to be transported into the Arabian Gulf.


Telefonica being lifted on board the transport ship. 

They will be off loaded and sail the last 400 Nm for an End-Sprint into the Abu Dhabi Finish. This is all done, to prevent sailing through the pirate invested waters off East Africa. The start of Leg3 will see a similar action. Too bad this is necessary.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

CHRISTMAS time on the VolvoOceanRace(Game) Boats


MERRY    CHRISTMAS


The sailing continues, notwithstanding it is XMas today. The Doldrums is making it not that easy sailing, and that shows as the last days have seen some 3 different leading Boats!

It will all come down , who gets the first out of the Doldrums and picks up the better western winds to the  North of it. 

All boats have now  entered the Stealth zone and it is not possible to track their routes, only the relative positions and distances are shown. 

In  the Virtual boats it is about the same, stuck in a zone with changing but mostly very calm winds. Last night got me stuck for 3 hours at about zero speed, to make some   best of the 5 hrs at a slightly better speed, but not prepared to loose my sleep on it. It was a matter of choice, 3hrs sailing with  3.5 kts speed and 5 hrs of about 0 or 3 hrs zero speed and 5 hrs of 4.3 kts; choice is easy though it does not give the required progress. :( 

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Disaster again for Sanya Lan in Volvo Ocean Race

Again a boat in the Volvo Ocean Race has suffered severe damage to the rigging. 


Sanya Lan, this time, discovered a damaged part D2 on their rigging, just before making a tack while preparing a sail change. Had it not been in daylight, it would not have noticed and they could have lost their mast as well. So a little lucky they are. 


Sanya Lan: Temporary fix on D2 of their rigging
Now heading to Tolagnero on the SE coast of Madagascar for repairs. For sure they will try to re-start and make the sailing till the  pick-up point, as this will still bring in a number of points: 5pts. 
On top of that, they will earn some points for the 2nd part of Leg2, the In-Port race in Abu Dhabi and the 1st part of Leg3 and will be able to continue sailing with the fleet on the restart of part 2 of Leg3. see this for more details. 


The other boats have now all broken thru the  weather front and sailing a N-NE heading towards the Doldrums with their  secrets. 

Saturday, 17 December 2011

A Good Start of Leg 2

Now 4 days into the Leg 2 and ALL boats are still sailing in the Volvo Ocean Race! So we can say that the start of Leg 2 is better  than in Leg 1. 


Camper searching for the better winds




Tracking the VOR boats is made easy this time with a nice and detailed tracker. 
The boats are today still very close together and mostly sailing East. Benefiting from the Northerly winds. The big question will be , When to turn North?   I think that some boats will be using the stealth mode to surprise the competition and maybe  even wait for the night time. 


The Virtual boats are sailing closer to Madagascar and the first boats have reached the SE point of Madagascar. I expect them to turn north and enjoy the eastern winds, though there is an area of calm wind NE of Madagascar as well. 

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

VOR Leg2 Start in Cape Town to Abu Dhabi

Cape Town - Start Leg 2 

Isn't is a perfect sailing, nice winds, sunny and the background the Tafelberg, while Starting VOR Leg 2 Cape Town to Abu Dhabi?


The fleet has progressed and sails now just South of South African Coast. The 1st night contrary to the 1st night in Leg1 showed calm winds but luckily all Boats are still in the Race. It seems the navigators have big dilemma's with the  wind systems and while  following close the  SA coast, which at least shortens the  distance , still have to make up their minds on the best route to Abu Dhabi. 


The virtual boats are far ahead, see the TAB Progress Map , but that is also due to a start in another bay some 100 Nm more South. They could  jump on  a wind system that offered good winds for the   1st full day. 

Sunday, 11 December 2011

VOR Leg 2 START in Cape Town

A picture of In-Port Race in Cape Town. 

After sailing an exciting In-Port Race in Cape Town harbour , yesterday, it is time to set sail to Abu Dhabi. A video will be available and you can find a link to the Video in the TAB Videos above.  


Today Sunday 11 th December 2011 at 13:00 GMT the 6-Boat Volvo Ocean Race Fleet will START. 


This is not the Start of the Real Boats sailing the Volvo Ocean Race, but also the Start at the  same time for the Virtual Game Volvo Ocean Race Game.


Where the Real Boats have a special arrangement to come to Abu Dhabi, the Virtual Boats will actually sail the whole distance. 


In the Virtual Game you may purchase some options to boost the boatspeed and try to win the Race, BUT.........


there is a group of Players that prefer to sail the basic  boats and as a maximum use the free credits offered in ea ch Leg. The No Money Sailors 
have their own ranking list and communication channels. If the conditions of The No Money Sailors appeal to You, you may contact and request to be registered also. 



Thursday, 8 December 2011

Activities for VOR Leg 2 are heating up in Cape Town.

Sanya Lan, lifted back in the water after completing the Hull repair.
This Image is typical for the Volvo Ocean Race city of  Cape Town. Half the fleet arrived Sailing while the other half had serious damage and had to be shipped in.  Azzam (Abu Dhabi) and Puma both lost their Mast, while Sanya Lan suffered a large hole in the Bow section of the Hull. 


All boats have been repaired and in the water ,as we speak. Hopefull they all can participate in the coming events in Cape Town. 


Activities during the Cape Town Stop:


Friday , 9th December - a Pro-Am Race - Start at 11:00 GMT
Saturday, 10th December - the In-Port Race - Start at 13:00 GMT
Sunday, 11th December - Start of Leg 2 - at 13:00 GMT.


For the In-Port Race and for the Start of Leg 2, a live Video stream will be made available. I am not sure for the Pro-Am race, but you can give it a try at same link or always you can visit the Volvo Ocean Race site. 

Paradise Finished VOR Leg 1 into Cape Town

It is a little late to make this report , but the party at Paradise's arrival was toooo good :)


My total Sailing time was 24 days, 5 hours and 10 minutes. 


What to say, as I Finished in 24376th place; in a fleet of over 100.000 registered boats, that is still in the First quarter. But not Good enough, even not considering I have sail in the principle of The No Money Sailors. 


In the 0$ competition, I finished on the 47th place. It is remarkable that the best Sailor on the basic boat, so without purchase of any addition option, finished in 465th place; that is very good considering that the option sails give upto a 30% higher Boat-speed. I do wonder how much money the winner of this race would have had to pay to get the 1st Podium place ?


What did I learn this race?
- Do not blindly follow the leader in the fleet; I looked at the weather for a short while, looked at some virtual boats and saw Groupama take the West Africa Coastal route. I followed only to discover that I was too late to  catch a wind system and fell in a calm that forced me to change course and lost a lot of places. 
- In the South Atlantic, I made a Southern route which looked promising just after passing Fernando islands.  The St. Helena High got some development and suddenly I though it would be  better to sail North of it. This change in tactics against costed me dearly. So make a route and stick to it, unless........


OK , now preparing my boat for the 2nd Leg that will start Sunday at 1300UTC, from Cape Town to Abu Dhabi. The Leg2 description will soon appear in the TAB above. The Progress Map , also above in the TAB's, will soon also show the marks to round and the Finish location. 



Wednesday, 30 November 2011

VOR In-Port Race Cape Town



The 2nd In-Port Race in this VOR 2011-2012 will be sailing around the harbour of Cape Town. 
The Start will be on Saturday 10th December at 13:00 UTC - 15:00 local.  {this is 24 hours ahead of the Start of Leg 2 !}


This, if all hard work is finished, will be Race between 6 Boats. And a first event again for the 3 boats that had suffered major damage in Leg 1. 
It is almost guarantee for a challenging Race for the  Boats and an exciting spectacle for the visitors. The internet visitors, when not be able to be present, can see the spectacle via the internet. 






A 3-D race tracker is available on the VOR site
also a life video will  be available to follow each minute of this race on Livestream


I think it is amazing how little or none information is given on VOR web-site on starting times of events. Above information I read in a news article on VOR site only. I urge VOR webmaster to put the  starting times on the events,such that clicking on Schedule these can be found. 

Groupama has Finished VOR Leg1 in Cape Town.


GROUPAMA has Finished VOR Leg 1 as 3rd in Cape Town, South Africa. 

GROUPAMA finishing in Cape Town.     IAN ROMAN/Volvo Ocean Race
Elapsed time is 24 days, 4 hours, 28 minutes and 31  seconds. She earns 20 Points on this Leg; see the TAB VOR scoreboard for the complete summary of results. 

Groupama had a good start of Leg1, choose the route along the African Coast to the Canary islands, which looked promissing when passing  Gibraltar. However winds calmed and just North of the Cape Verde islands, Groupama change strategy to go West but saw all other sailing VOR boats passing her. After that , Groupama could never really catch up and some unfavorable wind systems in the Southern Atlantic threw her even further back. However, Groupama did finish in Cape Town, where 3 other boats failed to finish. 

Monday, 28 November 2011

Camper, 2nd to Finish, VOR leg1 in Cape Town, South Africa.


CAMPER 
2nd in VOR Leg 1. 


Camper on the last Nautical Miles before the Finish.


Some hours after Telefonica, it was Camper that Finished the 1st Leg of the  VOR on a good second Place. 
Campers sailing time for VOR Leg1 is :  22days,  14hours, 2minutes and  40seconds. 
In the Overall leader-board, she has earned 25 Points; and sits now in 2nd place. 



Sunday, 27 November 2011

Telefonica, Winner VOR in Cape Town, South Africa.

CONGRATULATIONS to THE CREW OF TELEFONICA !!!

You have done it! Winner of the 1st Leg of the VOR (VolvoOceanRace). You have shown the capacity to choose a perfect strategy thus outclassing the other boats. 
Well , one Boat was able for a long time to sail up with you, but apparently they did not handle their boat properly and broke its mast. 

Telefonica, the Winner of VOR Leg1. 

Telefonica sail this VOR Leg 1 from Alicante to Cape Town in a time of  21days 5 hours 14 minutes and 25 seconds; she is earning 30 points for the VOR leaderboard. 





Friday, 25 November 2011

Approaching the Finish in Cape Town, South Africa.

On Friday early morning, the Boats are approaching Cape Town form the West. The First Boats, Telefonica and Camper, have less than 1000 Nm while Groupama has still over 1000 Nm to sail. 


Telefonica has the best Chances to the 1st Place, as she is leading the 3 boat fleet and has a location with a better wind angle; thus has a higher Boat-speed. 
However, Iker Martinez said it already, you win only when you have passed the Finish line. 


The image tells it all; PUMA suffered a broken Mast and receives some assistance of a container vessel.




Another victim of a Mast failure. 


PUMA has suffered a mast failure, while sailing in 23kts winds and wave heights of 8-10 ft; for sure not the harsh conditions that these Boats should be able to withstand and which will come to them later on the Southern passage to Cape Horn. Why is 33% of the fleet suffering from Mast failures? Would there not be too much compromise on proper and safe design for these Boats?


A BIG container vessel came to Puma's rescue and transferred some 500 ltr of diesel such that Puma can motor to Tristan de Cunha with some help of the jury rig on about 700 Nm distance. A further plan is made to transport Puma boat to Cape Town for repair. Hopefully the repairs will be in time, to start at the next VOR event: The In-Port Race in Cape Town. 



Wednesday, 16 November 2011

No Even Playing Field in VORG

Its now about a week and half sailing and the difference in capabilities of the Real VOR boats, the VORG boats on Options and the No Money VORG boats is becoming very  much clear. 


For a comparison, please see the map under the TAB Progress Map.


The fastest Boats are the VORG boats on Options, followed by the Real VOR Boats and the No Money VORG boats are now capable of producing the same speeds. 


The VORG boats on Options are about 100 Nm away from Fernando de Noronha. 
Puma, the leaders in the Real Boats is about 300 Nm away from Frenando and the first of the No Money VORG boats  is about 800 Nm away. 


So my fear is confirmed that the Winners in the Virtual VORG can only climb the Podium , because they have bought so many Options. These options like turbo sails, auto angle, waypoint scheduler and extra energy for their boat engine give so much extra's that even a poor sailor will be able to win from a good sailor that is using only the Basic features of the VORG boats, including the free credits; with do not give you e.g. the better sails package.


It is a pity for the VORG , that companies like VOLVO are so money hungry that they made the Game so much "off equal playing fields". Only the big spenders can climb the Podium :(



On the other hand the club of The No Money Sailors is growing by the day and  0$ sailors having a lively discussion and a lot of fun. 


Sunday, 13 November 2011

No Money to Spend on VORG

The VOR has also made a New VolvoOceanRaceGame (VORG), a virtual sailing game, in which you can sail your own boat on the same Route as the Real VOR boats and match or maybe even beat their speed and strategical decisions. 






It is a virtual sailing game that is reasonably easy to learn and sail with. It is de-bugged to a great extend and runs well at the moment. Compared to other virtual sailing games like LiveSkipper or SailOnLine it still miss some essential features but you can at least sail your boat. 


There is one (1) LARGE PROBLEM




TO SAIL FAST 
WITH THE VOR BOATS 
YOU HAVE TO SPEND A LOT OF MONEY! 

So the Winners in the VORG virtual game can only be winner after purchases that helped them to gain from other less fortuned sailors!.

HOWEVER

You may also decide that virtual sailing is nice but need not to be that expensive. 

VORG is FREE as a basic game, and why to buy the extra's if you can sail with a group of other sailors that also have declared to sail for FREE and not to buy themselves up the podium. 



So join The No Money Group 


You find us look on Facebook under The No Money Sailors 

The Group is having some guidelines and a list of participating boats. There is a lively discussion on sailing tactics and some kind of progress chart. 
The first prize for the No Money Sailors will be somewhat older type of Volvo car. 


Thursday, 10 November 2011

Good News on Repairs

The VOR is going steady but relatively slow for the 4 Sailing boats.

Groupama is the only boat that is following the West African Coast searching for potential starting trade winds. She has this morning the lead on the others with about 40 Nm.

The other 3 boats have headed West and hoping for stronger winds and a good place to confront the doldrums.

GOOD NEWS 1
Azzam the boat from Abu Dhabi is Sailing again!
During the first day of VOR , she was sailing in strong winds and high waves and unlucky broke her Mast. Back in Alicante the spare mast was mounted and since early this morning, Azzam is Sailing again, about 820 Nm behind the Leader. Will she be able to catch up with the other 4 boats?


RELATIVE GOOD NEWS 2
Sanya suffered a whole in the bow section of the hull. 

Sanya Lan, the entry from China has a repair plan that shows that she can be repaired and ready for sailing before the start of next Leg in Cape Town. 
The plan comprises of a transport to Gibraltar by truck, a transport by ship to Cape Town, departing late this weekend and ETA around 28 November. 
A new part for the damaged Hull  is being made and will be mounted in time in Cape Town.



Monday, 7 November 2011

Rough 1st Day

Just 6 hrs in the race, Abu Dhabi boat Azzam  broke her mast in three places. The boat was sailing in 30kts of winds  and waves said to be 10 m. hight. Luckily no crew members were injured by this accident  and the boat is motoring back to Alicante. A spare Mast has arrived in Alicante and I read that the Boat is hoped to be sailing again in 3 days.



Another casualty.




An image of the damaged Hull of Sanya Lan. She had to suspend the VOR last night and is now in the  harbour of Motril, Sp. to assess the damage and make a repair plan.

So after 1 day into the  race only 4 boats managed to sail through the Strait of Gibraltar to reach the Open Ocean , where the big winds and waves are waiting.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

VOR has started!

The VolvoOceanRace as well as its Virtual player VORG has started, yesterday, 5th November 2011 at 13:00 GMT. 

Sanya Lan during the Start in Alicante. 
Strong winds accompanied the Start of the VOR in Alicante. First a circuit around  some buoys in front of Alicante Beach had to be sailed. 
In the strong winds, the teams had to work hard and  were struggling at times. Camper was the fastest around and  could as the first boat set sail to  Cape Town. The winds made  speeds upto 22+kts (as reported) possible and water was splashing all around.

During the night the first casualty happened already, Azzam the Abu Dhabi boat lost her mast, broken in 3 places. The crew is luckily unharmed and the boat has suspended the Sailing race and motoring back to Alicante to replace the mast. 

In the VORG it looks that many boats sailed away properly but also here some casualties as I read in news media that many sailors were not able to log-in. Gradually more and more joined and now I see already 46000+ boats participating. 
The boats are following the spanish coast and try not to loose too much height in the Western winds. 
Now sailing towards the Strait of Gibraltar ,which the first boats will pass later today. 
I have to look more in detail, but for now it looks like the VORG boats are sailing  faster than the real VOR boats :)
I am recovering from a bad nigt, where I could not make the required heading change and lost too much height. Also I will sail with the  basic sails only and thus  will loose out considerable speed over the boats that purchase extra sails and extra energy, most likely to use their engine.

For the route see the Tab Route above,
In the tab Progress Map I will try to indicate the daily position of my boat Paradise and of the 1st of the real VOR boats. On top of that I will  follow my boat sailing in LiveSkipper , just for comparison. 


Saturday, 5 November 2011

WARNING

In short ONE HOUR the VORG will start in Alicante for the 1st Stage of the Round the World VolvoOceanRace. 

Hoist the Sails, but do not pass the Start line before time :)

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

VORG - Virtual Sailing in VOR

This weekend also a pre-race was sailed on the New Virtual VORG player. Route was from Alicante to the passage of the Mallorca and Menorca and back to Alicante.

The winds were NE , like for the In-Port Race, so it was a game of tacks at the  right moment to get the front of the fleet. The game worked alright, but I missed some decent sails and a W.P. for a good sailing in my night. Both  were to purchase, but me as pensioner will not go for that, so I will use only the basic VORG player and  see how many paying skippers I can beat.

A large discussion erupted as some skippers had a favorable approach to the 1st gate: from the SW to pass the gate line and return over the same gate line towards the Finish. This is a normal way of Sailing in most virtual sailing players like LiveSkipper or SailOnLine, but some skippers lacked this experience and started complaining, to their succes as the VORG race committee succumbed to these plea's. Anyway some of these clever experienced sailors were dsq'ed while others not?
Reason given by VORG  r.c. was, that the estimated path on the map showed the route around the islands; strange is however that none of the 10 declared winners followed this route on another island passage either.

A big controversy and I really hope that VORG r.c. will learn from this. Next Race Instruction shall be clear and explain in detail the requirements for the route without any ambiguity. Also it shall be made clear whether the route indication around islands etc, is compulsory or assistance only???

You can find the VORG in their own web-site.

Another BIG un-known for the VORG is still not solved:  
how much will this game cost?
The free player is very basic and for any modern virtual game feature they ask  money: some extra sail like Genoa and Code0, for the WayPoints, for auto-angle and even to buy extra energy !
Energy on a sailing boat? It looks like VORG has left the idea of sailing Green and is more promoting to use the motor. A real pity for this VORG.

You will be set back for each leg about $1000; comprising of an extra sail set for $250, a heavy weather sail set $250, the auto angle and auto sail features 2 times $150, some Waypoints at $20 each (or bought in volume it can be reduced), and candy bars for crew energy of $25 per candy bar, which could add with 30 days a leg and 6 crew members. The prices are now mentioned in $ but the game also speaks on credits, for the survival of the VORG I hope that the exchange rate is about 1:100 .


These purchase options have ruined the level playing field and it looks like you have to buy your place for the Podium.

The first VOR activities

Over the weekend the VOR started off with an In-Port race in Alicante.
It was a tight battle , with sad for some boat a DSQ for early starting.

A tight battle during the Alicante In-Port Race 
The ultimate winner was Abu Dhabi, CONGRATULATIONS. She is now also leading the leaderboard.

A video is available to enjoy it all once more : Alicante In-Port Race

This week will show some Legends events with some famous Sailing boats from previous VOR.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Start of VOR is approaching!

Tomorrow 29th October will be the START of the
VolvoOceanRace 2011-2012. 


At 13:00 UTC the VOR In-Port Race will Start in Alicante. This is the first Race counting in the Overall Classification. 

This years event will have even more life coverage and media attention than the VOR of 2 years back. For In-Port races a life 3D- tracker will be available from the VOR website. The Trackers will work only during the races, so lets watch it tomorrow.

The crew members for the  Alicante In-Port Race has  been announced, see the VOR website. 

Tomorrow 29th October the NEW VORG player will start a short Pre-start race at 12:00 UTC as announce on the VOR games website. The route will bring us from Alicante to the Islands of Mallorca and Menorca. Sailing in between those islands and return to Alicante. This pre-race will close on 2nd November to prepare the Player for the start of Leg 1 on 5th November.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Ways to follow the VolvoOceanRace

The Starting date for the VolvoOceanRace 2011-2012 is nearing. It will all start with the In-Port Race in Alicante on 29th October at 12:00 UTC.

VOR is doing a lot on promotion, communication and provision of information this Race.

This is a summary of all methods to be used for the information before and during the VOR.

There will be on-line 3D live trackers for the In-Port and 2D trackers for the legs.
VOR is active on Facebook and Twitter and puts some interesting video's on Youtube.

A blog with daily news is maintained as well reporting on the  progress of the Boats, the special news and some insight in the weather on route.

Documentaries will be on TV via several stations and some radio reports as well.

And of course there is the VolvoOceanRaceGame, where you can sail your own Boat alongside the 6 real Boats and try to beat them. This year also App's for iPhone and Android mobiles will become available.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Last Training with New VolvoOceanRaceGame Player

The Volvo Ocean Race is coming closer to its start on 29th October with the In-Port race in Allicante.

Alongside the Real Sailing Race, there will also be a Virtual Sailing Player to sail the legs of the VOR alongside the real Boats.
Registration for this player has started here : Registration VORG 2011-2012



A Training with the new VORG will start TODAY with a Sailing Race from Auckland to Muscet Cove, NewZealand.
Start: 14 October 13:00 GMT

Sunday, 2 October 2011

The Official Start is coming closer

At the moment 6 Teams have confirmed for Participation in the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012.

These teams are:
  • Team TELEFONICA
  • Team SANYA
  • GROUPAMA sailing team
  • CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand
  • ABU DHABI Ocean Racing
  • PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG Propulsion.

The Official Start of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012 will be on 29th October with an In-Port Race in Allicante.

All Boats have reached Alicante by now and making the last preparations.

A Short Qualification Race will start from Alicante on 7th October with a length of about 600 Nm. So All Teams can see their Competition and start comparing their Chances.

Monday, 15 August 2011

FASTNET ROCK Race with 3 VOR boats.

The Rolex Fastnet Rock Sailing event has Started Yesterday with 314 participating boats in different categories. 

Special on this Race is the VolvoOceanRace inside of this, with 3 VOR boats participating: Groupama4, Abu Dhabi and Sanya.


see the link above for a tracker to follow the progress. 



This is seen as a nice opportunity for the 3 teams so make a kind of race among themselves and learn to sail the boat in the future competitive field. 


Now , about 22  hrs into the race, the 3 boats are still close together, some Nm apart only just South of Lands End. 
Sanya Lan is now indicated as firts, she just has made a tack to NW and is closer to the Rhumline, with Groupama4 on a 2nd and Azzam (AbuDhabi) on a 3rd place. 

Saturday, 9 July 2011

FINISHED in STOCKHOLM

HURRAY  HURRAY  HURRAY 


Paradise has Finished the VORG BETAIII race from Goethenburg to Stockholm in 26th Place. 


This race was meant to test the Android App. But as I have none application with Android, I cannot tell you any results on that. 


I found no real other bugs in the player this race. I do however questioned the fact that after I disengaged the WP autopilot , the player did not automatically dis-engage the auto-sail, while this is engaged automatically while engaging the WP autopilot. 


The final arrival list has some time effects , as it takes at least a full 10 min. period after your arrival that the standings around you are in a correct order. 


Waiting for a next test for further improvement of the VORG player. 

Friday, 8 July 2011

VORG BETA III - Android App. test

The leaders of the Nordic run , started in Goethenburg and finish in Stockholm, have turned around the South point of Sweden and sailing now North to the Finish. Now sailing between Sweden and the island of Oland, where a gate is placed. 


The test of the Android App. is on-going but I am not participating, simply because I do not have an Android application. 
I do read however quiet a number of problems with it; but that seems to be standard with new software. 
One solution I see recommended frequently is to clean the cache of the machine and then winds etc are shown. 


Well for me sometimes the PC monitor screen is too small to see it all correctly, so I guess I will not that quickly move to a phone to play the game. 


 

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Next VORG Beta test race

Just now I learned from facebook that a new test on the VORG player has started, 5 July 2011 at 11:00 GMT. 


This test is mainly aimed for testing the new Android app., but luckily can also be played on the computer. 




And the AbuDhabi boat is launched and sailing. A beautiful state-of-the-art boat , painted black with the silhouettes of a Falcon, the embleme for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. 

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Abu Dhabi new boat for Volvo Ocean Race

from the hidden camera : a view of the new Sailing Boat Type Volvo Open 70 for the Team Abu Dhabi .
Apparently the hull build is finished and now it is looking for some water or maybe first will visit a shop to get some extra, like mast, deck, keel, rudder, sails etc to make it a real Sailing boat. :)


AND...................
If you look from the other side it even looks a Sailing boat already a little! 

That is  a long boat, it even spills over the post width 

Friday, 24 June 2011

HURRAY --- FINISHED VORG BetaII

Welcomed by traditional Abu Dhabi sailing dhows, I could Finish the VolvoOceanRaceGame Beta II this morning.  
The winds stay calm but with almost reaching 10 kts it was sufficient for a smooth sailing end to this reverse Abu Dhabi - Sanya leg of the coming Volvo Ocean Race. 


I finished in 285th place, after a successful end-sprint that won me 38 places in the last day !
Had it not been for the disaster with the still not understood Crew energy losses in one of the first WP schedule nights, I could have done better. But this is a good training for if the real races will start. 


Abu Dhabi is preparing itself well, for the arrival of the VOR fleet by end of the year, early next year as you can see on this picture.


This Beta II race was an interesting one, notwithstanding the frustrations of the Crew Energy but lets hope that  VOR can improve that in next races, as there are enough complaints raised on this.  


Upto the next Beta trials. 

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Cleared the Strait of Hormuz

It some time that I updated but first my internet knocked off for about 48 hrs and then there was not too much to report on the Indian Ocean. 


Coming into the Gulf of Oman things got interesting again. First passing the SE point of the Arabian Peninsula is the Turtle beach of Rass Al Hadd. 


. These are endangered species, so please treat them kindly, better leave them alone. 


The winds got variable in the Gulf of Oman and some sail changes and heading adjustments got the energy out of the crew. This resulted in reduced boat speed and how unnatural for a racing sailor to continue with a less optimal sail just to prevent further boat speed reductions. :(


Now passed the Strait of Hormuz and trying to sail head wind towards the Finish in Abu Dhabi. 


Rank: 323 

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Passed Cape Comorin, India

Last night on the WP's autopilot, I did pass Cape Comorin another milestone on this Beta II race.This is the Southern most point of the Indian peninsula. 





The wind in the coming days looks very stable, as it's the Western Monsoon winds that make the rain come to  India. It is stated that the yearly monsoon always starts in the 1st week on June in Bombay, and I can confirm that it did the years I lived there. 


The Crew has an easy time and I start thinking of selling off some of the Crew energy that for the next two days is hardly required and quickly refilled. Anybody interested in buying some 10% at a time ?


The leaders in this race are in stronger winds and even a better wind angle, so I think not the catch them before the Finish. No problem that takes the tension down and will increase the pleasure of the sailing. 

Friday, 17 June 2011

Team Sanya from China enters Volvo Ocean Race



Just now I read the news on VolvoOceanRace web that a 7th boat has registered for the VolvoOceanRace. 



Team SANYA  from China has entered the VOR.

The captain will be Mike Sanderson, who before has won a VolvoOceanRace. 

Have to search for more details. 


Passed Sri Lanka gate

The beach looks inviting, but this time I have to pass as not to loose out in the BetaII



Yesterday in a veering westerly winds I could pass The Sri Lanka gate and later also the SW coast of Sri Lanka. 
It was a busy day with looking for the best moments for a tack, go SW not in this block but better the next block and thus this un-realistic sailing strategy works out in the ranking list.
Major advantage of these stable winds is that no sail changes required which saves a lot of energy for the Crew, leaving some for an additional tack to round the coast at closer distances.
Rank this moring : 342

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Sailing the Indian Ocean

The weather in the Straits of Malacca was variable with mostly weak and variable winds. Large difference in the wind speed in different blocks and even the wind direction could change 180 degree with a wind update. So very intensive study of the wind  in different blocks and for wind updates were required to sail the optimum course. This resulted often in sailing the block borders.

Now I am sailing towards Sri Lanka in far stronger and most welcomed more stable winds. With the strange Crew energy issue there is no problem here as sail changes are not required, while a heading adjustments does not cost that much energy.

I was using the Dutch weather widget, but that one did not show the wind conditions, and for sailing that is the most important weather data. So I went searching of alternatives, which I found and published on the right. 
Typically, the Dutch one, now for Colombo also give the wind conditions. Anyway temporary I will publish both, hope they do not contradict, and you may let me know which one you prefer.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Weak Winds in Straits of Malacca

The last day I am sailing from Singapore NW in the Straits of Malacca in mostly weak and variable winds. 
The strategy for optimal sailing is now looking mostly to the block weather patterns now and in 12 hrs, as it is hardly possible to sail more then 1 block per 12 hrs weather update. 

Luckily UG have given some information on Crew energy reductions per actions and the recovery efficiency. 

sail change  - 12 % energy (this is UG info, my observation is 9%?)
heading change - 3 % energy
WP and auto sail - ? % energy, but be sure it cost you, pity that not more information on these are given. I count on the reductions for single actions + 3%. 
Recovery - 0.5 % per 10 min cycle, so 3 % per hour if you don't touch anything.
So a sail change is recovered in 4 hrs and a heading change in 1 hr. 

At least this is something to work with and set out the best strategy.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Sailing again and .... to Singapore

After all the misery with the reduced Crew energy and Boat-speed, all is back to normal again. The game developer has stated that there were some too many options that all reduced the energy and boat-speed levels. I guess they were scared off by so many bad comments that they were re-considering and I understand they have decided not to reduce energy while on auto-sail and auto-angle.

Still this does not explain the large energy drain in my one night!. And I think it is important as this might be a bug, e.g. sailing close to a weather line and auto-sail is constantly changing the sail ??? 

Anyway I will approach Singapore today and that is a pleasant thought. I always liked this city!. 
. It is a pity we can not stop but we will great the lion looking over the Singapore waters. 

It will be very busy with other ship movements around here, so switch on your AIS (if you have one on-board) and look out for the other ship movements. 




Rank had improved to 602, but all the energy drama's has thrown me to far backwards. 
.

Monday, 6 June 2011

This Crew Energy looks bugged

Yesterday I had a bad message in the morning, the Crew were not feeling like working. They had only  13% of their energy and I still have not figured out how this comes.
The evening before I had steered the boat in position for a good night-sailing on the auto-pilot and the Crew Energy came down to I think 107%. I set the WP scheduler with 3 WP's only and two heading changes.


This apparently has drained the Energy down to 13% and what is worse the boat speed dropped to 75%; and this after a 9 hrs period of not making any changes.


Yesterday I made only 2 heading changes to save energy and set the autopilot with 2WP's for one heading change. 


This morning thus 24 hrs further the 13% has increased to 62%; mind you in this 24 hrs only 2 heading changes and a WP setting. 
The Boat speed has increased from 75% to 85% this morning. 


I fear that I will need another 24 hrs without real steering and sailing to come to the 100% energy level and full boat speed. 


My RACE is over and I have asked the Game Developers to check whether this is a bug, or this is normal behavior. In the latter case I have to think twice before registering for the real VORG race. 
In any case I hope that some more information will be given on how this damned Crew Energy punishment works, such that you can "work" with it. 


My rank is now 638, though this is hardly relevant anymore. 

Saturday, 4 June 2011

VORG Beta II On its Way to Singapore

The VolvoOceanRaceGame Beta II is well on its way. 
Boats are sailing along the Coast of Vietnam and now at the latitude of Ho Chi Minh town, soon to start the crossing to Singapore.

A group of Boats has found a way to follow the coast and jumped a weather block before the wind in that block died out. Now the front runners seems to sail into an area with headwinds. 
I was not that lucky and to prevent my boat coming to a hold, stayed more east in the stronger winds. I hope to get in the nect 12-24 hrs a more easterly (SE) wind and might be able to change the sail to Code0. Maybe even tomorrow change to the Spinakker :).
But lets not be happy to  quick, as I also have seen some wind changes that were different as the forecast made me believe.

On the BetaII player, which has some additional functionality.I have done some tests with the "auto-angle" and found mixed results.


The screen showing winds bars and gridlines.
The information on wind, and where the game have the wind-varietions located is far better than in Beta I. Now it is very clear where the borders of a block of identical wind conditions is, so planning the boat with the WP becomes possible.
The wind barbs give also a good indication of wind direction and wind strength. The latter with changing colors and length of the barbs and additional vanes for strong winds. 
It is however still a pity that this game does not use interpolation of wind conditions in between the grid points, whick would make it far more realistic and resembling real world wind systems.


A test with Auto angle while sailing from one weather block into the next one.
This worked for me, partly only. The indications on the screen, in the navigation circle as well as in the boat information at the bottom of the screen is NOT changed. However the course of the boat is following the NEW heading. 

 The auto angle is engaged.
The boat is sailing on heading 144 degree, with a speed of 10.14 kts under Genoa.
The wind in this block is 186 degree and 13.59 kts. 


The white horizontal line is the border of weather block.


So I sailed into the new weather and even waited another 10 min before taking this screen shot. 

The wind is now 190 degree and 11.51 kts. 
The boat is still sailing 144 degree and 10.42 kts. 
The TWA indication has changed from 42 to 40 degree?

The course of the boat however is changed with 4 degree at the point where I put the mouse pointer.


A test with auto angle during a wind update (600 and 1800 UTC)
This new functionality is NOT working. I tested is twice now and there is not adjustment of heading while the wind is change 10 or today even 24 degree. I hope this bug gets fixed as it is a very welcome function.

 


.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

The VolvoOceanRaceGame BETA II - Started

The VolvoOceanRaceGame BETA II has Started Yesterday 1st June 2011.
This is a closed 2nd test of the new VORG player, and I can see already some improvements from the 1st test. 

I see addional buttons:
-for "Enable auto-sail" selection. This will come handy if you have to set the WayPoint scheduler when away from the computer. I expect that the game will select the best sail or the given wind-conditions and the heading set for your boat.
-for "Enable auto angle". This, I expect, will lock the angle of attack, angle between the wind direction and your boat heading. So if the wind changes direction, you boat heading changes as well in order to keep sailing at the sail's most effective heading.
-When re-opening the game, I now see in a window a text stating whether the selected sail is the optimum selection for given wind conditions and choosen heading.

I will have to work with these and see that the effect is as expected. I guess today behind the computer is a better moment to test it as during the first night or later in the test-race.



I intend to follow the progress that I make in this race with my boat "Paradise" and plot it in a Google map. On the TAB above 'Route' you will be able to see it.  


Fair winds to all.