Support Sailonline

If you haven't already - join the SAILONLINE YACHT CLUB!

Please also consider making a donation - all amounts are greatly appreciated!

Board » Sailonline Yacht Club » brainaid

Page: Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6

I have to say "Wow!", too. This is a very interesting discussion.

As I have some friendly requests to race again on Facebook, I decided to do so starting with the next race longer than 1000nm.

As promised, I will make my tools available for everybody. I made a start with my Sailonline Toolbox. Enjoy!
The sea is lovely, dark, and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to sail before I sleep, And miles to sail before I sleep.
Thank you Eddie. You are most generous and honourable. You certainly did not have to give everyone your intellectual property, but I for one am most appreciative. I very much look forward to having you back in the fleet and racing hard.
Sorry I didn't interact on facebook, because I don't use it much. :-) but I love to see you back online. I agree 100% with Simondo. I feel you are not to blame about anything. I admire your ability for creating and using these tools to sail this races successfully and that you are sharing it. Even if I am probably to lazy to use it ;-)


Great to hear you'll be coming back Brain.

As far as what I think about routers/non-routers/different divisions etc, quite frankly I don't really care. I race on SOL for the personal challenge as well as the social interacion in chat (one of the tings that helped kept me relatively sane when away from my family in Africa last year and waiting for them to join me in Saudi Arabia this year). I tried SailPlanner a few times during VOR, mainly to hav a go at using it for in a few years time when we are planning to do some blue-water sailing. I've also used a spreadsheet from time to time to calculate best VMC's, but mainly sail SOTP. Can you get good results from SOTP? Absolutely! Croc managed a 3rd (I think) in a Sydney-Hobart (or Hobart-Sydney) nearly a year ago, and I just placed 4th in the Dubai-Muscat race. Sure there were a lot of big-hitters/A-graders/1st-division (or whatever you want to call them) skippers not in the race, but ther were also a reasonable number of regular high performers, and I know I worked the grey matter hard to achieve it.

Seeing the other boats and their tracks is one of the good learning features of this game/simulator too. I like to study tracks of others who I try to compete with, and those of the regular high performers, to try to learn why they perform better (or worse) in order to improve myself. I try hard to not let the route of others influence my course decisions, and plan my own track as see no benefit to myself in just following without knowing why. If someone wants to be a lemming and follow someone else blindly purely to try to place better than they are able to by doing their own thinking, thats fine by me.

I get out of SOL what I want to, and don't think splitting the fleet or others using software will change that.


--- Last Edited by Spindrift X5 at 2009-12-15 15:00:43 ---

--- Last Edited by Spindrift X5 at 2009-12-15 15:01:13 ---
I agree whole heartedly with Spindrift - very well put.
I too use SOTP. I have looked at SP, but don't use it as I enjoy the challenge of plotting my own way based on the wind info available in SOL.
It does not affect me whether others use software or not.
NB the predictor line reflecting the coming wind has been a tremendous innovation.
I have to say "Wow!", too. This is a very interesting discussion.
I decided to do so starting with the next race longer than 1000nm.

As promised, I will make my tools available for everybody. I made a start with my Sailonline Toolbox. Enjoy!
Why the 1000Nm limit?
And instead of stopping racing, why didnt you simply limit yourself to using the SOL client for command input? Better than not racing isnt it?
**{Edit: just reread your original 'long' post in this thread, sorry to suggest something you already said}
You said fairness is very important to you, so your word would be good. No need to verify you werent using the tool...

But NOT racing definitely isnt the answer Eddie...

I had a quick look at the toolset page you link to, and it appears to be a way to take text DCs and have them input into SOL, yes? Well typing those date/times and then the command is probably more time intensive than doing it in the SOL client... It seems your main advantage there was having the DCs output directly from your routing software, no?

But is not the most advantage gained from your routing software, ie having the exact same weather as SOL, rather than being able to input a DC for every 30 seconds (or however often)? As SOL interpolates the weather more aggresively than it does in SP?

Also, regarding the fun aspect, do you consider you are still sailing your boat Eddie? Or are you just inputing the waypoints/weather and your computer is sailing it? Being a programmer myself I see the fun in creating the tools you have, but has that not taken some of the fun out of SOL?

In general, there will be lots of difference in peoples ability to race well in SOL, time/timezone (ie sometimes critical sections of races happen at night here in Australia), use of Routing Software etc, personal knowledge/skills and there is no way around this.

I also entirely agree with the posts above that different people get different things out of SOL. I admit that when first here on SOL I made use of SP during the VOR legs, but I did it in a unconventional way. I would use it after a race section, to compare it with what track I had decided upon, and tried to work out the reason for any differences. Also, Eddie himself sent me quite along email answering some questions I had when I was new, which helped me alot. So I choose not to use any router, I do have SP trial, so only 3 polars anyway. I do use some simple XL, only to automate some tedious calculations, VMC etc, but only to 'fine tune' course decision I have made myself. I havent raced here for awhile, because of ALOT of sailing IRL (high performance dinghys, never been on anything over 22' in my life :-)), but came back to a 32nd in the Sydney Hobart. I was prepared to get up at odd times of night for weather updates, critical sections of the race (weather wise to) and just spent alot of time visualising the performance of differenc tracks. I made a mistake near the start of the race, but manged to sail the tricky light fluky airs off Tasmania well, and came back. So to Nick Thornton: "Top 50 is very possible w/o Routing software"!

Really, I think the use of routing software is against the Spirit of ISAF rule 41c. In real races, ie the Sydney to Hobart, competitors are not allowed to use a commercial grib service once the race starts. Probably the VOR has agreed to lift this restriction or provide commercial quality gribs itself, but for all other ocean races I have looked into, it is forbiddden to use anything but publicly available data (after the start). For those who don't know the Rule I will quote it:
A boat shall not receive help from any outside source, except
(c)help in the form of information freely available to all boats;

And in a free game online, that should also include the software itself, imho.
Except the trial of SP (being freely available to all). But of course that is not enforcable. And was it implied in earlier posts that Eddie was using weather data not freely available?

Perhaps one solution would be to write a small application that alters the weather slightly in a random way before it is input into the SOL server? Small changes in direction and strength would render Routers useless. The weather would be unique to SOL...
Eddie mentioned something like this, but to do any realistic future planning, it would have to be downloaded to the client, not kept hidden on the server?
(I would be willing to put time into developing such a program, researching how to decode/encode grib files)

Personally I was thinking of making a tool that allowed a command like "stay on TWA 40 until heading is 155, then change to CC 155" useful in persistent shifting conditions and when nearing a waypoint (and other times). Direct input to sailonline (sending my own data) is one way, but I could also use something like AutoHotKey to input via the SOL client. Infact, changing the server code to only accept commands from the SOL client would not be difficult, and eliminate the use of any tools that didnt use it, but again AHK solves that problem.

I dont see tools like that as 'unfair', the skipper has made the decision, its just the tool that implements it (IRL, a tactician could tell helmsman to do something at a time they would be asleep??). The main problem with routing software I see, is that when used with SOL it is too perfect. IRL, the weather data is only a model, no matter how good, it cannot predict gusts and wind ocillations, and there is sail trimming etc etc. In SOL, there is none of this. Wind is steady, boat always performs to the polar (Note to person who mentioned boats IRL sailing slower than the Polar: They can also sail faster! :-) )

So, if I wrote an external tool that utilized my boats data (as in the panel in the SOL client) in real time, even simply an alarm to wake me up based on certain criteria (position, heading etc), is that unfair?

--- Last Edited by Aaron Gage at 2009-12-30 01:39:23 ---

--- Last Edited by Aaron Gage at 2009-12-30 09:23:16 ---
I help develop the client interface for the best online ocean racing sim there is... __/)/)_/)__
Hi SOLings,
why not leave SOL as it is. It's fine.
I was able to use Eddies software in the past as I was one of his "Guinea pigs". My last router-based race was the VOR and it brought very good results.
Meanwhile my pixelboat is under full manual control again. No router, no tools except of an VMC-calculator in XLS (selfmade :)), no outside weather sources. I never used an alarm clock during the night and I have sometimes big times offline due to the need of earning money.
Despite all this handicaps there were some nice results in the last races and the fun factor is very high. I will not win a race by this but it doesn't matter.
I don't mind if others use routing tools (buyed or selfmade) or use co-skippers during their night or only follow the big shots.
I try to stay in the top 100, I have "fun on the water" during winter and I have the possibility to do something nice incidentally when I'm forced to work during night hours.
I sailed a lot with Eddie on real boats and we will do this in the future too. I like his knowledge and his intense meteo-preparation because it's also a safety factor.
Let our virtual seas stay free of too much regulations. There are enough on the real waters. Let the weather stay as real as we can get it, otherwise there will be new conflicts in the community because some will see intentionally made disadvantages for their boats. And this community is a big treasure of SOL.

@Aaron: you wrote "I had a quick look at the toolset page you link to, and it appears to be a way to take text DCs and have them input into SOL, yes? Well typing those date/times and then the command is probably more time intensive than doing it in the SOL client... It seems your main advantage there was having the DCs output directly from your routing software, no? "
I just calculated the DCs for the start in Hobart (when I still sleep) and found Eddie's toolbox very nice because there I can edit the DCs with exact timestamps and not like in SOL-steering with relative times which are changing during the editing. So it's not only for routers…

Bernd (K3)

--- Last Edited by K3 (Bernd) at 2009-12-31 01:21:46 ---
About ISAF Rule 41:

Regarding Software on board this is interpreted in the terms of "If anybody can buy it somewhere, then it is fine." - I am working on this.

Regarding weather data this is interpreted in the terms of "If you can download the data on public networks, then it is fine." - The data I use to boost my software will be publically available once the software is out. This rule was the driving factor for creating sailmail back in the old days, btw. UGrib is a more modern form of the same data supplier.

I definitely know about the problems with a "not yet released" software and rule 41. As long as we don't get payed for working on this, it will take its time.

About the 1000 nm limit:

This was an arbitrary limit set by myself personally. It is a nice figure to remember and I consider all races below 1000 nm more coastal, above they are more offshore. There might be races on the edge, like Fastnet (Oops, forgot, bad word, should be Copyright Rock) or Sydney Hobart. I know, these are considered offshore, but from my routing knowledge they both are still rather driven by local weather systems. Which is no judgement on difficulty to route or to simply participate in such race, just a different setup you need to route these races.

Actually, looking back at Fastnet 1979, this was an offshore race in my terms for the slow boats, as one of my definitions of offshore is "longer than 4 days". On the other hand this was sailed in local weather, not free flowing ocean weather. Which made it more of a coastal race in my terms. This border is exactly what makes races like these so difficult to judge. You have no long term coastal predictions and you cannot use the long term offshore predictions for safety. '79 showed what can happen of this. Sydney Hobart had the same.

So, all in all, my 1000nm rule was just to keep out of trouble ;) No more, no less.

--- Last Edited by Eddie C. Dost at 2009-12-31 01:33:17 ---
The sea is lovely, dark, and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to sail before I sleep, And miles to sail before I sleep.
I totally agree with K3. Just sail and have fun.
Happy New Year for all Sailors!!!

Yes, totally agree that fun was the main thing. Thats why I ask Eddie if too much automation took some of that away.
I understand IRL with software being, 'Anyone can buy it', but you are talking 100's of $$ compare to 100,000's $$ boats, where SOL is free. So those that can afford the software (or prioritize it) will gain.
Quoting rule 41c was probably going too far on my part, but I was really just pointing to the spirit of the rule that 'The race should be equal for all', except obviously in skills.
Like others have said, I find I like the challenge of trying to find the quickest route by brain power, yes also a little fine tuning with some XL, but that really only matters when on approximately the same course for a long time. 2 or 3 degrees...
I mainly interested to ask Eddie, if using so much automation took some of the fun out of the SOL races?
I find I get much more satisfaction not using (much) software to help me, and none to choose my main course, and doing well, than if I had simply followed the direction of some routing software.
I can definitely see the utility of you DC tool though Eddie, being able to enter real times, not decimal offsets. Maybe this is something that could eventually be incorporated into the SOL client itself?

Anyway, Happy Sailing to all, however they wish to do it...
I help develop the client interface for the best online ocean racing sim there is... __/)/)_/)__

Page: Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6

Please login to post a reply.


Next Race: 00d 00h 00m

Current Races:

Pantaenius Shetland Race 2024 - Leg 2

After the thrill of the first leg, we don't linger long in Lerwick, Shetland. Following brief but joyous celebrations, it's time to set sail again for the second leg of the 2024 Pantaenius Shetland Race, heading back to the stunning shores of Bergen, Norway. Covering another exhilarating 190 nautical miles, the North Sea promises more excitement, challenges, and strategic sailing. With the high-performance Finngulf 43, crafted by Farr Yacht Design, the competition will be fierce. Whether you're chasing victory or savoring the journey, this leg is sure to captivate. Let the adventure continue!
Race #1816
INFO from brainaid.de
WX Updates:
0430 / 1030 / 1630 / 2230
Ranking: SYC - SHE
Race starts: Jun 23rd 08:00 Registration Open!
▶ Flash

Newport Bermuda Race 2024

The 636-mile biennial Newport Bermuda Race is one of the oldest regularly scheduled ocean races, and with the Fastnet Race and the Sydney to Hobart Race, it is one of the three great classic races of the yachting world. Founded in 1906, this 53rd running of the Bermuda Race can again also be participated in online.
Entries are invited for one of the four divisions:
Double-Handed Division:
Jeanneau Sun Fast 3600
St. David's Lighthouse Division:
Santa Cruz 52
Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division:
Judel Vrolijk 62
Finisterre Division:
Riptide 50
Details for each yacht are available in the ‘Particulars’ links below. As in real life, you can only sail one boat in one division, so choose your virtual yacht carefully, and because of the unusual (for SOL) 4-division nature of the event, please note results will not count towards any Sailonline rankings.
Race #1808
INFOby brainaid.de
Judel Vrolijk 62 PARTICULARS
WX Updates:
0430 / 1030 / 1630 / 2230
Ranking: None
Race starts: Jun 21st 17:05 Registration Open!
▶ Flash

Pantaenius Shetland Race 2024 - Leg 1

Are you ready for an adventure like no other? Set sail from the breathtaking outer Korsfjorden, Norway, to the wild Shetland Isles in the electrifying first race of our exciting two-race Shetland Series! This year's race spans just shy of 190 nautical miles and features the cutting-edge Finngulf 43, crafted by Farr Yacht Design for ultimate performance and excitement. Sailonline is ecstatic to buddy up with this iconic race, a true gem for our sailing community. Seasoned sailor or enthusiastic newcomer, prepare for unmatched thrills, strategic challenges, and the pure joy of the open sea. The adventure awaits—dive in!
Race #1815
INFO from brainaid.de
WX Updates:
0430 / 1030 / 1630 / 2230
Ranking: SYC - SHE
Race starts: Jun 19th 11:00 Registration Open!
▶ Flash

Nine Islands Nine Lights TIMED Race 2024

Nine Islands, Nine Lights beckons adventurers and sailors to the azure waters surrounding Ibiza and Formentera for an exhilarating timed sailboat race like no other. Set against the backdrop of the Balearic archipelago, this event promises a thrilling test of skill, strategy, and sheer adrenaline as participants navigate their J-122 sailboats through a mesmerizing course. This is a TIMEDrace, so you may RE-REGISTER HEREto try again after finishing a run. You will have 13 days and 11 hours to show your skill and decision making after the race opens.
Race #1818
INFO by brainaid.de
WX Updates:
0430 / 1030 / 1630 / 2230
RACE CLOSE: Saturday,
29 June at 23:00 UTC
Race starts: Jun 16th 12:00 Registration Open!
▶ Flash

Auckland to San Francisco 2024

Welcome back to Auckland as we continue our Round The World voyage. This 5600 nautical miles race from Auckland to San Francisco, first sailed in 2023, is the third leg of the RTW, proposed by SOLer ita10267. It is also the June edition of this year's Ocean Championship. Our boat is the Swan 65, as in all RTW races this year.
Race# 1790
INFO from brainaid.de
WX updates:
0430 / 1030 / 1630 / 2230
Ranking: OCQ2 - OCCH - RTW - SUPSOL - SYC
Race starts: Jun 03rd 11:00 Registration Closed
▶ Flash

Go to race archive

SYC Ranking

  1. Sailonline Yacht Club Member WRmirekd
  2. Sailonline Yacht Club Member FreyjaUSA
  3. Sailonline Yacht Club Member Sax747
  4. Sailonline Yacht Club Member Vida_Maldita
  5. Sailonline Yacht Club Member TarassBoulba
  6. Sailonline Yacht Club Member CollegeFund
  7. Sailonline Yacht Club Member rafa
  8. Sailonline Yacht Club Member bonknhoot
  9. Sailonline Yacht Club Member CriticalHippo
  10. Sailonline Yacht Club Member Siaki

View full list


Mobile Client

SYC members have the benefit of access to our mobile/lightweight web client!

The mobile client