Virtual Sailing

March 2018
Half way the VOR Round the World race, Paradise49 is approaching Auckland, and hope to get there in time and be able to start Leg 7 to Itajai on 18 March 2018. [Yes, I got in time over the Finish in Auckland!]
This years Virtual Regatta (VR)virtual sailing game is very , very dis-appointing. First of all the game eats your CPU power and bandwidth, such that the loading is very slow and it does not allow a normal computer to do anything but this VOR game. Many times , I cannot even get logged on to set my sailing boats heading or change sails. VORG has lost out completely this year.

It reflects also on the participants. In former versions VOR 2014-15 there were over 200.000 sailors now there are in Leg 6 about 58000; that is 4 times less. 
For me a signal that VR has overshot there intentions and commercial targets will by far not be met.

October 2017
Also this time VolvoOceanRace (VOR) will be possible to mirror yourself on the VOR in a Virtual Sailing Platform. It is an upgraded VirtualRegatta player, (VR) that allows you armchair sailing alongside your real hero's in the Real VOR Boats. 
This game, like before, is really a commercial site, and it will invite you at every step you take to have to spend money on special tools for better, faster sailing; without the spending you don't have a chance of coming even close to the Podium. This  version even asks you a payment for wind forecast; that are free available from NOAA and able to view with many availabe Grib-file readers, such as zyGrib, qtvlm, Ugrib.
Also VR is quiet heavy on the computer and only the 4 main modern browsers will support it: Firefox, Chrome, Edge, Safari; not Opera nor Brave.

If you like a try on a Good Virtual Sailing player, than I propose you try LiveSkipper.(LS), that also has a mirror 11 Leg sailing race mirroring the VOR.  This platform is an excellent virtual sailing player, with all the navigation tools, upto 7-days windforecasts and more features available for free. Just register at LiveSkipper.(LS) and start playing.

July 2016
Over the last years, VOR have offered a Virtual Sailing Game to sail alongside your hero's on the real Boats. For the next VOR 2017-2018, we will have to wait till an announcement is made and hope that a better Virtual sailing game will be offered compared to last years.

In the meantime.......................

You can enjoy , familiarize , train yourself and have fun with Virtual Sailing in the Best Virtual Sailing Game on the Web: LiveSkipper.(LS) 

LiveSkipper uses actual weather patterns from the NOAA database that are refreshed 4 times per day,which allows an even playing field for sailors all over the World.

LiveSkipper is Free to sail and offers all features like different type of sails, autosails, autopilot, Waypoints, Route scheduler for programmed sailing and heading changes, and a good number of navigation tools; where other games often ask you to pay for.

Why wait, registration is simple and free, choose your own Boat name and try it out in the run-up to your Next VORG Virtual Sailing adventure, I am sure you will enjoy it. A good manual is available in the LiveSkipper Wiki. ; in 3 languages.

Other Virtual Sailing Players
- Virtual Loup de Mer (VLM)
VLM(Virtual Loup de Mer)  is a detailed Virtual Sailing player, but had a simple but not user-friendly interface. The Boat has one sail only, so strategy has to come from heading changes only. It has features like TWA lock, tracking, forward course, weather forecasts, auto optimization to target point WP.
The Best story is, that VLM is in the process of upgrading its UI, and the outcome is a far , far better and easier to play virtual sailing boat. 
VLM new interface,
VLM has some external tools, that add extra features including a router to advice you the best route to sail, like QtVlm.
- Sailonline (SOL)
Sailonline is a nice virtual sailing game with regular sailing races. For me it misses the accuracy that I find in LiveSkipper. 

-Virtual Regatta
Virtual Regatta, was last VOR versions virtual sailing player. It claims to be the largest virtual sailing platform on the web. It does not offer the same accuracy in navigation as LiveSkipper does. I find it rather commercial oriented , you really have to pay for all navigational tools to compete well where other platforms give a lot of these tools for free and VR is very much favoring towards the French sailors. A major set-back for non-european sailors is the only twice a day update of wind date, which favors the European sailors drastically.
This is a rather new Sailing Boat virtualization. It is program you have to download and install on your computer, table or phone and can be purchased from its Website: SailAway.  
I tried it out and find it difficult to navigate, for sure if you want to sail around the clock  with poor scheduling options; be at the helm to enjoy SailAway.

SailAway screenshot, most panels are collapsed

Sailaway, gives real life sailing experience, with a lot of manual handling to make the boat sailing and many options for trimming the different sails. You have to pull the hallyard to hoist the sails, pull the sheets to tighten the sails, etc. The sails have teller tails, to help you in trimming the sails in optimum performance. Luckily Sailaway, offers also assistance for optimal sail settings. It has less options for sailing races in big fleets, but that may still come.