Fun n’ Games


While it’s fairly easy to kill an entire day just screwing around in the Sailing Anarchy forums, we’ve lately seen a proliferation of some wonderfully efficient online tools for sailing-obsessed procrastinators.  The Volvo and Vendee race games are pretty good, but our favorite sailing simulator is by far the excellent SailX.  Unlike any of the others, SailX is all one-design windward-leeward races that take around 10 minutes, with up to 25 boats racing at one time in either skiffs, A-cats, Lasers, big boats, or team boats.  There are also match races and team races, but the bulk of the action is in fleet racing.  You have instant control over your boat, and you win races by staying in clear air, planting good lee bows, and working the shifts and current better than the other guy.  An efficient rules engine decides most of the boat-on-boat fouls using the RRS, and a busy forum-driven protest room allows resolution of fouls the program miscalls, or misses completely. 

SailX is nothing new – it was launched years ago as Tacticat (nicknamed ‘Tacti-Crack’ for its addictive nature), but has evolved a lot since then.  Last week, Anarchist ‘Sailing Rugger’ – a SailX rockstar based in Cleveland, Ohio – organized the first ever SailX ocean race, and what may have been the first real-time online ocean race in history.  Screw ten minute updates – port-starboard collisions and port-tack boats crossing ahead by a pixel’s size were the norm on this one.

Take a look at the photos and the video replay (press ‘z’ and ‘x’ to zoom in or out) for some of the insanity – 54 boats entered and finished the race, with the Irish-flagged G.Rod taking overall honors with a final-leg shift that gave him the win over BigBoatNacka, who’d led for most of the race.  Thanks to Sailing Rugger for the scoop, and Aestela for the screen shot