This page refers to my participation in the virtual offshore sailing race game. The Sydney to Hobart race course is a distance is 628 nautical miles and takes about two to four days, more or less, depending on the wind. It is a Christmas season race starting on Boxing Day at 1300 local time in Sydney on Saturday 26th December 2022. Start in the UK is 0200am on Boxing Day. It fills the time nicely between Christmas Day and Hogmanay/New Year's Day.
You may join the virtual Rolex Sydney Hobart Race race 2022 here: https://www.virtualregatta.com starting 26 Dec 2022 at 2am GMT.
To join in the race game go to Virtual Regatta (external link above) and invent a name for your Class 40 boat. Its free of charge for a boat with basic sails (Main Sail, plus basic Jib and basic Spinnaker). You can pay extra for options like pro sails (Light wind, Strong wind and Code Zero reaching sails), foils, hull polish plus more route waypoints programming capability and more programming of heading changes. Obviously, in the overall race rankings, a boat with the additional options can do better and has more chance of winning a prize. The number of competitors was 37293 in 2021 and in Dec 2022.
This virtual regatta race is far easier than the real Rolex sponsored race which requires a vast amount of training, qualifications, paperwork, boat testing, logging, reporting and radio work. If you want the pdf details go here: Sailing Instructions and Notice of Race. You will ideally need team of highly capable people to actually interpret, understand and follow all the instructions and rules. If you can even get to the start line without having contravened some rule you will be doing well.
The race briefing for the December 2022 event (54 minutes) is above.
The start and finish of the course ..
The real race starts in Sydney harbour with four start lines for different classes of boats as shown approximately as above.
The virtual race starts approx at the green buoy marked. I guess this has been chosen to help the virtual boats get started. If they had made the simulation more realistic many boats would have had trouble navigating out into the open ocean particularly if there was a strong wind from the north east as they would have had to tack a zig zag at high speed to get north east past two sets of buoys before turning south.
The route of the race is south, in the Pacific, alongside the coast of Australia, across the Bass straight and then south a bit further to the port of Hobart on the east coast of Tasmania.
The finish line at Hobart.
Having passed Tasman Island, the finish is up across Storm Bay and into the Derwent River estuary. Navigating this will requires tacking skills if the wind if from the north.
1rh 30 min after the start of the Sydney to Hobart race at 03:31am on 26th Dec 2022. Ranking position: 2990
The wind is from north east (55deg) and I'm going due south with a favourable wing angle of 126 deg and using a reaching sail. All is well and I am close up amongst the front runners, but a bit disappointed to be at 2990 position. I'm on a specific course, 181 deg, so the wind angle changes with time.
09:33 26 Dec. Ranking position: 5707
Now 7hr 33min after the start and I'm trailing behind. I'm sailing 155 deg to the wind and am loosing lots of places due to not having light wind sails on board - I forgot them !
11:58 26 Dec. Ranking position: 5141
Moving across to get stronger wind behind the leaders.
12:56 26 Dec. Ranking position: 6410
Moving across was bad move, lost 1300 places but hope to make that back up as I will be gong better than those further offshore.
08:33 27 Dec. Ranking position: 3935
Getting close inshore did help and I've made up places over those further offshore. The leaders are at least 1 hour ahead of me and I won't manage to catch up due to using standard rather than light wind sails.
--- 24.5 hours gap here ---
08:58 28 Dec. Ranking position: 4040
Now sailing to the wind at 41 deg wind angle. Quite a surprise to see the predicted route very much as needed to get to the finish. However the wind may change as I get nearer the light house.
22:25 28 Dec 2022 Ranking: 3718 Rounding Tasman Island.
I tried to get as close in as possible and then tacked aiming to pass close to the coast ahead on the right. Now on fixed course to avoid risk of running aground if the wind changes.
02:42 29th Dec 2022 Ranking 3227
I now have a good route set up to the finish line despite my slow standard sails in this case Spinnaker. The light spinnaker would have helped at lot. Not I am gybing 136 deg either side of due downwind to maximise downwind velocity made good (VMG)
The game sends you your congratulations after you have finished
If you go the Rankings you may find your position relative to other members of your team. This table shows the other members of the Britpack team. I arrived 2hr 21 min after Windydave
Arrived in 3016 position - not as good as I had hoped for.
( Previous results: 29th Dec 2015. I finished 478th. Dec 2021 563 )
If you want to add comment or images here please send to me by email: email@example.com Memo for next year: Don't forget the light wind sails, preferably take all types light, strong etc.... You live and learn..
Page created 26 December 2022, amended 31 Dec 2022.