Virtual Sailors Get Real
On Saturday 4 May 2013, a 38ft yacht will set off from Cowes on the Isle of Wight in this year’s Cervantes Trophy crewed entirely by sailors who first met on Sailonline.org. Sailonline (SOL) is probably the most realistic virtual sailing navigation simulator on the internet and hosts races around the globe – some courses are raced in partnership with real yacht racing and other organisations, while others can be pure works of fiction. The boats sailed on Sailonline range widely from longships and Tall Ships, to modern yachts and ocean racers.
SOLers (those who sail on Sailonline.org), are a mixed bunch – from landlubbers who love the idea of sailing, through current and former inshore and offshore and even ocean racers, right up to an America’s Cup yacht designer. From all walks of life and all ages SOLers meet online to race, to learn about sailing, to learn and hone navigations skills (even learning how to use current yacht-racing routing software). It is a true home of sailing.
Many SOLers do sail and do race yachts of various kinds but for the first time ever, a group of SOLers from across the globe are forming a crew to race, in reality, in this year’s Rolex Fastnet Race.
Their boat is Jubilant, a beautiful Moody 38s, owned and lived aboard by her skipper who has worked tirelessly to make sure that she now meets all the technical requirements for racing. This weekend, in the Cervantes Trophy, Jubilant and her new crew will be seeing if they can complete their first Fastnet qualifying race. Jubilant’s crew pool is made up of SOLers from Australia, Bermuda, Brazil, Italy, the UK and the USA. For this first qualifying race, crewmembers come from Bermuda and the UK.
Fair winds and following seas Jubilant!