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Board » General Discussion » Sailors with routers

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Hello all SOL sailors
All over the World we love to race the virtual races that SOL creates all over the World.
I´ve been doing this for a couple of years, and i just love to race against other people in other places over our globe, i think we all do.
I just Think that it is little boring, that its allways the same people that wins the races.
Routers are good and nice to have, but there are a lot of other sailors that don't want to use them for a lots of reasons.
Is it not time to do the same in SOL as in Formula 1, have different classes, but race the same race ???
I'm thinking of two classes, one with routers, and one without.
We could all race the same race, but with a flag/marker Before our boat, like R, for racing with router, or L, for racing live without racer, that could be simple to do when you register to a race.
We could then race in the same race but in two different classes, but on the same track, so as speach.
At the finnish there is two classes, R & L
I Think that we all engaged in SOL are mature enough to register in the right class, we all should see if somebody goes into a L-classed race with a router, that should be R-classed.
Thats up to the person who is the skipper, i'm just sure of that everybody who*s sailing SOL should register to the right class, it's just more fun to race against people with the same chanses.
As it is today, we who likes to race without routers, don't have the same tools to do the race at an equal level with those who have routers.
Great idea Husse! Who can participate with a nice technical solution? Because this is an excellent idea.
Sorry, I was inlogged as Husse (my friend). Last comment was from me (Mega30). We without router help each others!
Good idea, I hope someone has the ability to be able to implement it.
Have never even thought about using a router myself, don't intend to either - and very rarely use anything other than the client itself.
Ideas like this have been discussed, and it's great to see that there's really demand for such a thing. But there are some problems (or at least, I see some problems).

"I Think that we all engaged in SOL are mature enough to register in the right class."

I think most of us are, yes. But there are so many we don't know. Certainly when looking at future growth.

Other than that, what is routing? Of course, there are things called "routers", so if you use them, you're routing. But what about WxInspector, not really a router, but shows isochrones. There's also software that's not technically routing, but certainly helping with the boring computations.
In the end I believe we are all routing, everyone uses software to help them with that, at the very least the predictor line. How much software is allowed in L class?

Personally I sail some races with router some without, and some "in between", and I'm not always consistent with that during the race:
Can you change flag from L to R during the race (i.e. do you have to decide whether or not to route for the entire 3 weeks at the very start?).

I support the idea, but I see problems in executing it.

I believe sprint races are set up, with (partially) the idea that routers don't have an advantage in those short races. But I understand that for some/many SOTPers, the ocean races are more fun.

--- Last Edited by kroppyer at 2014-11-06 09:33:50 ---
I do not use a router for a very specific reason--I'm almost 81, and I want to keep my mind as active as possible. Trying to work out the best route to follow and maintaining contact and control of my "boat" will (I hope) do me some good. I use the Wx Inspector, which does have the Isochrones and the Optimal Angles tool, but neither gives much information beyond the six hour weather situation.
The weather prediction itself is quite variable, and not trustworthy past it's six hour limit. I frankly do not see how a router can produce a future course of any precision beyond six hours, unless the router has better weather info than is available to the non-routing SOLer.
I have concluded from my experience with SOL that the best performance is achieved by staying awake 24/7, and adjusting course every few minutes. As I do have other things to do in life, including sleep, I have to trust to my DCs, with a notable lack of success.
I realize that these comments do not really clarify the "router question", but I suspect that my experience and conclusions are not much different from those of most SOLers.
I do have one observation that may interest some of our sailors---Those who always win, soon get bored, and drop out, and are rarely heard from again.
If it breaks, it's not strong enough--if it doesn't, it's too heavy.
Calculate change of direction in advance. That is a huge advantage for those who are able.

Maybe I'm way off, because everything will be figuring out by the math, I know.

But I think it would be more fair to us who can't / bothered / have time / will pay for a software router to get a greater chance of getting a place on the podium.

There will always be someone that defend the routers in a sailing game: Among other things that it is used IRL, and the difficulty of putting a definition between using it, or not. And more.

This is expressed almost always by those using a router...because of course everyone wants to win! But...

I think it would not be that hard to identify the "R" sailors and the "L" sailors!
I've not used any router (yet...) but I think the advantage is that it is possible to predict cog or twa changes in advance, and put them into a delay command, so you can go to sleep or work or whatever. Am I right?
That is not possible using the Wx Inspector, you have to check it quite often and do the changes "live", not in advance. Also, the isochrones is almost impossible to use as a strategic help just by looking at them. About the predictor line, it is a part of the game so I think we don't have to discuss if that is a router or not.

Not all races have to be divided in R & L class, but the long ones I think.

In a race with R & L class you have to decide if using a software router or not. If you register to the R class you may use the router as often or seldom as you wish during the race. If you register to the L class you promise to never use other tools than the "official and free" like Wx Inspector, or brainaid Tools, and those not calculate change of direction in advance. Quite simple roles. Agree?

I think we can trust people doing a honestly choice.

If there is doubt, why not testing it by start a non-router-use race without any implementation of changes in the interfaces and databases, to see how people react? Then we can decide to proceed or not.
I use a router, BWR by the way.
This friend of mine has sent me several times the wrong way, but most of times it gets me in the right direction. Without it, I'll have to make fastidious calculations, not compatible with the time I can expend "soling".
I don't mind distinguishing players - I'll always be "R" - although using it with criteria.


I do not "use" a router, I have coded my own. From scratch. And I regularly use it for IRL fleet racing and for planning my routes when I have to move my boat for long streches. As IRL, weather routing can point you in the good direction or in the wrong one (see my position in the 1st SWR leg). Nevertheless I can calculate routes from wx patterns without using a software. It's just as nacrr said, more time consuming. I am playng with SOL since 2007 and, if time allows me, I will enjoy winning and loosing as many races as possible. But, given the little spare time, it is only possbile for me to use the software help.
Final comment: all routers are equal, but we make different choices and never finish at the same time. Exactly like IRL offshore sailing where everyone has software of some kind....
Al right, I think I've somewhat changed my mind.

The perfect solution in my mind: Let's create a groups of solers, each group with it's own restrictions.

So we can have
- a group of diehards, only using official sol software (everything on sailonline.org).
- a group of SOTPers, only using official sol software and a set of freely available software (WxInspector, hmm's sollog, opt.angles, brainaid's toolbox, grib viewer, my performance calculator, (spinnacer?), and maybe more).
- "everyone", no restrictions

Where everyone is automatically registered in the "everyone" group.

So, how does ranking work then?
1. The "everyone" ranking stays as it is
2. You are ranked DNF in groups in which you are not registered.
3. If you register in group A, you are automatically registered in all groups for which the restrictions are a subset of the restrictions of group A. So diehards are inherently SOTPers.

As long that we can't enforce people to stick to the restrictions, the group rankings (except the "everyone"-group) stays somewhat unofficial. With that in mind, such a ranking doesn't have to be implemented by sol itself. I can (in theory, not promising anything) make such rankings (and registration form) on sol.kroppyer.nl, if it works maybe sol will take over.

Since officially ranking this way is more than a small change and somewhat complicated, I support organising races in which only a limited set of software is allowed as an official alternative.

Let's hear what you think.

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