Hello again! Welcome to week 29 of SA52, a weekly blog where we dive into the world of Sailaway. Last week we had over 120 readers and overall I think this experiment has been received well by the community. Thank you again to all contributing sailors. Our community is uniquely made up of sailors around the world, each experience we have is unique and I think the more we share them the greater the combined experience becomes.
We are now on the last leg of the Vendée-Arctique. The group above, currently led by Maender, are within 600nm of the finish line at speeds of around 11 knots.
An area of high pressure greeted sailors at the end of the second leg, creating a great mix up in the fleet. The leaders went East and tactically stayed in good air as most of the rest of the fleet went West or straight through the high, creating an even greater gap between them.
It hasn’t been easy to come back up the fleet to sail with the first pack. After my gamble to go around Ireland, which did not pay off, I ended up in the 18th place. I was about a hundred and fifty miles behind the leaders at the Unesco waypoint. But a series of lucky choices around the Azores anticyclone made me fall in a very good position for a great reaching angle towards the second mark and allowed me to gain back a lot of miles.
Right now, nothing is really in the pocket, however. Toshik, who I passed because I decided to go slightly more north before tacking east is now higher than me because I did not pinch my upwind angle at all to gain power. Hopefully the weather forecast is right and we will have a wind header in 6 Beaufort once closer to Coruna, Spain, which means our angle on the other tack will be better to enter the bay of Biscay and that difference won’t matter much.
We have been gaining a little bit on the other boats because we got lifted by stronger wind faster, but nothing prevents a contraction of the fleet in the future as the wind situation shifts and becomes favorable for everyone behind. So nothing is final yet.
We still have 500 miles to go! It is, in fact, the second time I sail from the Azores back to France, but the previous time was on a Pogo 36, however. Last time I was in the area there was also a massive cargo traffic around the cape Finisterre, which made sailing there challenging, but I don’t think that’s gonna be a problem this time (haha)… Right now, it’s raining horizontally right in my face with 24 knots of wind. To be honest, I wouldn’t mind stopping at the Coruna to eat some tortilla de papatas or paella. But that wouldn’t be really sporty! — Maender
We are now coming to the close and will finish in the coming days. The tension is high in the front, who will come out as victor? Through satellite transmission we are grateful to have also received a log update with images from Knotshore with his perspective in the front group.
Sailors Log — Vendée-Arctique Leg 2
As the race clock ticked over 5 days a clam lay between the leaders and the UNESCO waypoint. The GPS was telling me that I had 13hrs to the mark so I set my TWA to 45deg and went to bed. I woke 5 1/2hrs later and the wind had filled in and I was heading for the wrong side of the mark. By the time I had the PC on I was 1.5Nm past the mark on the wrong side and it took 2 tacks and 2 gybes to get back down around the mark and in the meantime, Mediterranean and Toshik had gone round and I went from 2nd to 4th, the extra 4Nm could be costly at the finish line.
As I started to head south I caught a glimpse of Black Shark and Toria la Chaine Youtube, as they approached the waypoint. The next day and a half were uneventfully spent on a port close reach but the red sunrise at the beginning of the 7th day was ominous…
We soon had to tack to starboard and then into a force 6 front where hiding under the dodger was the best option.
After leaving the depression the lead pack of about 12 boats moved East and started to look ahead to the high that was forming just 200 nm North of the Gallimard Waypoint. Toshik Olive, Toria La Chaine Youtube and myself (KnotShore) opted to try to reach past the developing high to the east while Capitow, Mediterranean, Black Shark and Maender headed for the centre of the high-pressure system, which paid off for Maender as he gained a large number of places while Capitow was becalmed for about 48hrs. Toshik had raced around the high and found a favourable TWA to reach for the Gillimard Waypoint rounding it 25mins ahead of Maernder. Blackshark arrived at the mark 1hr 2mins later with only a 2min lead over me (KnotShore).
Frogandfish rounded out the top 5 at the Gillimard Waypoint. Over the next 24hrs the leaders stayed closehauled to starboard before tacking West.
Port Huron to Mackinac 2020
The Port Huron to Mackinac race is a 200 nm race that dates back to 1925. It is one of the longest fresh-water races in the world with over two hundred boats entering the real race each year. The course takes place in Lake Huron (Great Lakes, USA), it takes sailors on a unique upwind course, North along the East coast of Michigan. It’s sister race, Chicago to Mackinac (the west coast of Michigan in Lake Michigan) starts this coming weekend.
On Saturday, sailors started in cruising and performance divisions with 17 sailors starting in each. It was a long upwind race with many lead changes before fx.froidure took control in the second day. That night, fx.froidure crossed the line first with the rest of the fleet following the next day. Sunshine and Yudg were first and second to cross in the cruising division followed by Labarcapoum as the first of the Nordic class.
On a personal note, I grew up in this part of the world and this race among others in the Great Lakes make up some of my earliest memories of sailing. The Great Lakes are unique in that storms can come on fast and the shallow waters (compared to ocean sailing) make up for some of the tallest chop and most unique sailing out there.
La Trinité Cowes 2020
A race from France to England took place this week where 22 sailors in the 32' offshore racer traveled North through the English Channel, a total of 300nm.
Zacapa finished first followed by Labarcapoum and Fishandfrog.
The Roaring Forties
The Roaring 40s continues on as sailors make their way to the southern tip of Tasmania near Australia, before heading north to round between the islands of New Zealand. Tone has maintained their lead with Le Chef hot on his trail. Elpatron and misterbraat are neck and neck, fighting for third position.
Complete Voyage Experience (CVE) addon
In Sailaway you can sail, but it’s not possible to experience making a voyage with everything related to it like visiting harbors, managing food and water, maintaining your boat or even earn a living sailing. Since the developer of Sailaway (Richard) is focusing on the sailing aspect and has his hands full with that, some of the players (including me) got the idea to build an addon to the game, that provided these additional features as well. Richard liked our idea and we were allowed to get the boat data from the game to enable this.
The concept is: you sail in Sailaway while CVE will let you manage your trip by visiting harbors, buy food, water and repairs for your boat there and sail. In the example shown, you can see my boat, the Edda, and it’s location. CVE also detected that I’m within 2 nm of the harbor Honnigsvag in Norway. To the right it shows the status of my supplies, the sails, the hull, my health, my bank account and the number of extra passengers I have on board. To the left the facilities of the harbor are shown. I can buy water and food here. Some harbors also sell spare parts or have a dry dock, where you can put your boat to repair it yourself.
Some harbors also have “missions” available, with which you can earn money to fill up your bank account again. Missions are defined as sailing via way-points (points of interest (POI)) to a destination with passengers or just small cargo on board. In the example I’m on a mission to show 2 passengers the North Cape from the seaside and drop them off at Honnigsvag after that. A nice way of income to sail the Hurtigruten for me.
In the example you can see the harbors and other POI’s that CVE knows. We were able to import 5000 harbors from a UNESCO database into CVE to start with. In the meantime some of the CVE players have taken the role of Contributor on them, fine tuning the harbor database and adding missions. The latter in addition to the random missions we already implemented for 50% of the harbors.
This addon has been created by Tamaya, Finistereforever, Blackboro, Shaun and me. All the coding and implementation of the website has been done by Finistereforever. Without him this addon would not have become a reality. It’s an open community effort by volunteers. We only ask for a small donation now and then to pay for the servers. So if you like having a complete sailing voyage experience, register and have fun. If you want to be a Contributor, just contact us.
You can find the CVE website at https://cveserver.online/ . It has help files to get you going and also a link to a dedicated Discord server for CVE, where we exchange experiences and help each other. Hope to see you soon.
The Story of Lesbian Seagull
She is my 50 Performance boat I sail Solo, and she is quite a special boat.
At the time, chat was not censored at all and let’s just say certain things were said and named way past the border of what would be right for a family friendly game.
Suddenly words very normal to use were not allowed anymore and would get you chat banned for a while. It caused quite a protest at the time.
We knew the 50 Performance was coming and I always try to think of a good boat name before any new boat comes to SA. I made a vow to call my next boat “Lesbian Seagull” after the end credit song from Beavis and Butthead do America, by Engelbert Humperdinck.
It started as a joke, and also as a protest against the limitations in chat we had. Needless to say the boat was quite a shock when I first introduced her during a race mostly because of her name, but it was well accepted by most.
I only once designed her and because Engelbert Humperdinck used to perform in Las Vegas a lot, I decided to cover the boat in gold, as well as the sails and that the mainsail would have a picture of Engelbert in his element.
Then the Sailaway Volvo Ocean Race came along, and that’s when the spirit of Lesbian Seagull really started to come alive. She served as a camera ship and Race Committee boat during the start leg (we soon abandoned the RC) and with over 70 boats being screenshotted and posted she ended up 47th at the end of that so epic start. At the end of the afternoon on that leg Lesbian Seagull was leading the race for over 5 hours..
She did well during the whole race, and totally unexpected she won leg 8, something I will never forget as I was completely dedicated to that leg and I really wanted to win it. And so things came together in just a couple of days mostly based on gut feeling then raw data from QT or any other routing tool.
Nowadays Lesbian Seagull still attends races from time to time, she has recently entered the Roaring 40’s and leads anything but the Imoca’s. A testimony to her great reaching capabilities and upwind performance, even out sailing Imoca’s during the start for a couple of Days.
I hope this story will inspire people to be faithful and loyal to their boats. Sometimes you get a payback that will stay with you forever..
Thank you to all of those who have contributed to SA52!
Do you have an interesting story to share or an update from a race or cruise? Email it to me at email@example.com.
SA52 is a weekly blog run by Maverick and other contributing sailors, covering the world of Sailaway, the sailing simulator. Follow us @SA52Blog on Instagram or Twitter for new posts. Posts will also be available on the Sailaway Discord.
Sailaway — The Sailing Simulator brings all the world’s oceans to the comfort of your PC or Mac for you to experience the ultimate in online virtual sailing! You can find more about Sailaway on their website or Steam page.