Liberty is being free from the things we don't like in order to be slaves of the things we do like.--Ernest Benn

Friday, March 26, 2010

2009-2010 Clipper Race: Leg 7

Qingdao to San Francisco
This leg is over for me. I finished a lamentable 2,069th out of some 85,000 Many Players' Virtual Regatta

However, my virtual yacht, Vigilance, did much better than the real California entry, California California was caught in a 70-knot blast and was demasted. 

That never happened to me, of course!

It was my goal to finish under 1,000. That's always been my goal since the VORG. I attribute my failure to (a) mental rust, (b) bad start, and (c) underestimating the competition. These are all replicated too often in real yacht racing, of course.

I think I should leave it right there....


  1. I won't even say where I finished! (Nor what my boat was named!)

  2. Well done Vigilance, not bad at all! 'No Going Back' finished in 1660th position. I too had hoped to finish sub 1,000 but had to stop along the way cos I was having so much fun. Remember, it's the Journey, not the Arrival that Matters :)


  3. Doc, I wouldn't say 2069 is so lamentable, and certainly not in comparison with my pathetic 11289 on Spirit of California.

    So a question is the 1000 goal and whether you did lamentable or great. I didn't sail the VORG, but having sailed the VR Clipper Race since La Rochelle, it seems to me that finishing better than 1000 is impossible if you want to do anything in real life alongside.

    I finished 425 in the leg to Australia, but I ultimately concluded the sacrifices are simply too great for the payoff.

    Optimizing VMG as you move from windcell to windcell, comparing relative performance of other boat strategies, and assessing weather routing at each 12-hour wind update plus long-term weather forecasts... you've got to be making calculations and adjustments at least every hour, 24x7.

    I haven't tried VRTool, but it looks like most of the top virtual sailors are using that, too. Are you?

    MY big wish item for Virtual Regatta is that you could have a little status update bubble that you could attach to your boat so people could know why you were sitting there head-to-wind for four hours! I mean, I wasn't happy when I lost hundreds of places one Saturday, but I was running a meeting with Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and then had one of the most beautiful full moon sails on my real boat out the Golden Gate and back with friends from out of town. It was a great day. I just hated coming back and looking like I was sailing stupidly.

    That 600 places you lost earlier -- that ROCKS that you were out running a real race. I wonder how many of the top sailors in VR can say that?

    So, I attribute my crappy finish to
    (a) yes, bad start -- 5 hours late,
    (b) taking a northern great circle route -- just didn't do homework and analysis to see the advantages of the longer southern route (though my start was so bad I figured I'd take a flyer for the adventure and hope to luck out... I almost did but I wasn't quite able to get in phase with the weather systems),
    (c) not logging in every hour

  4. Yes, you're right, NGB! The fun is in the struggle! I enjoy reflecting back on our epic duel(s) in the recent VORG, without recalling how they turned out!

    I also have to acknowledge you beat Vigilance without the benefit of the course-plotter and auto-sails features which are offered for a few $ more!


  5. Paul, Thanks for your generous comments. And thanks for your posting on California!

    I used VRTool extensively during the VORG. But it didn't appear to be tuned into this Clipper event. At least I did not have the patience to try it. Is it helpful? I think if I had VRTools in my toolkit and one more resource I enjoyed during the VORG as a crutch, I coulda, shoulda, woulda done much mo' betta.

    That northern route didn't make sense to me at the start, but a day or so into the Leg, it looked very intimidating.

    I can't have a redo, so I'm looking forward with anticipation and impatience for the next Leg. Hope you're going to be there with me?