The one-year-to-go BBQ was held last Saturday at SYC and was well attended by competitors and supporters alike. Special thanks to our major sponsor Sundance Marine and event sponsors Gill, Sitro Group, Rainbow Meats, Chirping Bird Wines, Lion Nathan, and Baker Boys. Gill has offered some great prizes for this race worth about $450 so it's really worth giving it a go, see their web site for their gear range.

There was a lot of interest in the upcoming virtual race. In the M2O virtual race last year we had 320 entrants from about 39 different nations. Of those, 40 boats were AUS flagged and about 15 were NZL thanks to the publicity done by the ORCV. Usually the fleet has more European and USA entrants reflecting their membership numbers and origins of Sailonline. The placegetters of the virtual race in 2016 were Aus, NZL then Italy.

The Melbourne to Osaka virtual race starts at 0800 this coming Sunday the 2nd April. It is not a game, it is a true simulation using live winds and detailed boat polars. If you haven't done the real race before or participated in last year's virtual race then this is probably your last chance to hone your navigational and tactical skills for the real race. It will be following the real course using live winds, a one design race. This year the virtual boat is going to be an Open 40 similar to Lord Jiminy, two of which are currently entered in the 2018 race.

The virtual event is hosted by Sailonline, a not for profit, community-owned company. Anyone can sign up for free. There are all sorts of tools available. At the extreme, it is possible to hook up your favourite tactical routing system (eg. Expedition, MaxSea, etc) to the SOL data feed.

For more information, see our Virtual race page.

Get your skipper/co-skipper involved and your mentor. Your sailing friends and supporters are also welcome too, it is a great fun learning experience.