Melbourne to Vanuatu VIRTUAL RACE

Don’t forget to enter the SOL virtual race as part of the ORCV’s 2014 Melbourne to Vanuatu Race. This is great opportunity to hone your navigation skills and see how you shape up compared to the actual boats in the race. Some more background about SOL below:


The Sailonline concept originated at the Centre for Naval Architecture of the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. It was originally intended as a means for students to test their yacht designs. Some seven years ago, the program was made available more generally on the Internet and has since gathered a large following from all around the world. Though free to use and managed entirely by volunteers, it is funded my members who enjoy additional benefits of being part of the SOL family.

Currently thirty-four nationalities are racing and a very wide range of boat polars are available to be chosen as the yacht for a given race including a wide range of racing/cruising monohulls, catamarans and even includes square riggers and a Viking longship!

Sailonline downloads weather information from NOAA every six hours and the boat physics that are employed are highly regarded. Tracker feeds from the actual boats in a race (like the ORCV Melbourne to Vanuatu Race) are overlaid on the course so that participants can compare their navigation efforts with those of the actual competitors. Virtual sailors (or SOLers as they are more affectionately known!) age from 12 to 80’s, men, women and come from all around the world and the virtual race provides a challenge for all levels of experience, from beginners and even an Americas Cup designer routinely tests his skills. A group of remote SOLers actually arranged to meet and sailed the Fastnet race together and SOL are hoping that this will become commonplace among the growing SOL community.

SOL has now evolved from its early roots to a more professionally run organisation, based in several countries but with its head of marketing here in Melbourne (Rob Neilson). Being free to use and community run, SOL is quite unique within the web sports simulation arena and the organisation’s prime goal is to provide a high level of sailing simulation to the sailing fraternity that is fun, competitive and educational.