Back to Robinson’s Island

We set out the first long distance race in Sailaway as an experiment. To see if people would be engaged enough to undertake a longer event. And to test the program, to see if the waypoint system worked, see if the boats would still perform well when the user went offline and to see if everything else would work ok.

It turned out to be so much more than that. Completing the race took me 35 hours. Halfway after 17 hours I was only fighting Alvaro over 3rd and 4th place with only 3 seconds between us. Nrs 1, 2 and 3 were 10 minutes ahead of us. So close. With identical boats it all comes down to sailtrim and tactics.

Ker2x chose a southerly course upwind to Selkirk island and that turned out to be a wrong choice when the wind turned from South-West to West. It put him in 6th place.

After we rounded Selkirk island and headed back to Robinson’s Island, 2 people took a bold decision and sailed further south. When the wind turn to North-West it brought Guiseppe a solid lead and Ker2x climbed back from 6 to 4th place. Bad luck struck Guiseppe: Only a few hundred meters before the finish line his boat ran aground in the treacherous and shallow waters while he himself was offline. Frank Black, Ezra and Ker2X and sailed passed the poor guy and ended in 1, 2 and 3.

During the race you could taste the friendly competition over the VHF chat. Everyone was joking around, willing to help each other and at the same time very keen to beat everyone. It was so much fun.


  1.  1d. 11h. 02m.  Frank Black
  2.  1d. 11h. 05m.  Ezra
  3.  1d. 11h. 34m.  Ker2x
  4.  1d. 12h. 06m. Alvaro
  5.  1d. 12h. 52m.  CocoRhum
  6.  1d. 13h. 20m.  DK1
  7. 1d. 14h. 08m. Groove
  8.  1d. 14h. 10m.  Tsyal
  9. 1d. 14h. 26m. Mr Mustard
  10. 1d. 18h. 39m. Guiseppe Mazei
  11. (not a real) Captain Philyfil
  12. DNF  Skipp
  13. DSQ  Richard Knol












9 Responses to “Back to Robinson’s Island”

  1. ste roberts

    Had some bugs but still was a lot of fun. I will be back with a vengeance next time. How about a fastnet running at the same time as the real thing?


  2. Frank Black

    Good evening fellows.

    I really enjoyed this race. Mainly because of the really friendly and enjoyable atmosphere during the race. That was so awesome and I thank everybody that competed. It was a great fun to do it with you guys.

    Although I won this one – about what I am really happy – I would like to say, that this victory should go to Guiseppe who sailed the whole time better than me, was clear ahead at about 4:00 am UTC (last time I loged in) and grounded near the finish line whilst he was offline. It could have happen to me too and I also wouldn’t have had the oportunity to do anything about it. So this was really bad luck, has nothing to do with skill and shouldn’t be punished like this.

    So, Guiseppe, for me you won this race. Very well done, mate.

    If I could recommend something: Maybe it would be better for future (especially long distance) races, not to put the finishing line in the near of shallow waters. I think it is really frustrating to do a race for a whole weekend, beeing in front and ground near the finish beeing offline. Notwithstanding this, please, please, more of such long-distance races. I like them very much.

    Thanks, Richard too, for all the effort.


  3. Dean Krotchen

    Awesome race to all. I had as much fun as I could not on a real boat. I to ran aground near the finish (while offline) but still a blast, cant wait for more races and the big boats (VO65) “hint hint”. congrads to all who participated. see you all next race,

    DK1 -Sleeping Tiger

  4. ker2x

    Somehow i managed to finished 3rd 🙂

    I bought sailaway the day this race started so i had to learn everything the hard way.
    And i knew nothing about boat 😀

    It turn out a long race is the best way to learn.
    The community on VHF channel was very helpful and willing to help even if it was a competition.

    Start and 1st WP :
    I started with a very bold, bad decision to go south and i lost a lot of time because the wind changed in the wrong direction.
    Instead of a huge wind advantage i had a tiny wind advantage but this advantage didn’t cover the additional distance loss. So i googled a lot about wind prediction and meteorology.
    Beside that, the trip to the 1st waypoint was uneventful for me. Lot of chat on VHF and i got some sleep too so i could wake up before reaching the island.

    Around the island :
    The trip around the island was fun and i learned a lot about the code 0 and genaker. (i really like the code 0)

    Return trip :
    Now that i am the god of all seas after a few hours on internet : i did it again !
    I woke up early and i think a lot of people were still offline, i decided to go south again =^_^=

    This time i was sure, this time it would work, and i wanted to show them as a token of gratitude for all the help i received.

    The return trip started with a wind coming from SW. i predicted W/NW in a few hours.
    Instead of flying directly East (the shortest route) i went South-East.
    If the wind moved West as i predicted, the friendly competitors would have an annoying rear wind.

    It took time, a lot of time… i wasn’t so sure anymore but it was too late to go back.
    The wind began to move between SW and W and SW and W… it finally decided to stay West and i headed NE while the others crawled with a W rear wind. I slept again

    Finish line :
    a few hours before the finish line the wind moved NW and i could finally raise the code 0 (my favorite).
    I was 4th, then 3rd because guiseppe crashed a mile before the finish line -_-

    It’s a community win. I expected to finish last but you were too helpful for your own good 😀
    thx again <3


  5. Sounds like the event was a great success. As Frank suggested the next community races perhaps ought not to have the finish line near shallow waters. Ker2x that was impressive you managed to get the hang of sailing the boat during the race from not knowing anything at all. I am still learning how to sail in this game myself. I had RL commitments so i wasn’t able to enter the races, but hope to do so in the future.

    What is code 0?

    How close were you guys racing? were you all mostly within sight of one another?

    What would be cool is if the races could be recorded on the map, so you are able to replay the race on a full screen map and have different timespeed up buttons, and watch the race on the map the boat icons and seeing them with player names move along each players waypoint lines and if you want to switch to 3rd person view of the boats in the water, perhaps at pivotal moments of the race, like the start and end and perhaps rounding buoys/markers when boats are very close to one another. This would also allow someone in the community to screen record clips as highlights of a race and give a narration of the after race report (like above in the blog).

  6. Giuseppe Mazzei

    And here I am, writing my comments.
    From a real sailor, computer and simulator lover and betatester and, since many years, a sail simulators gamer, both the Premature Mayday and Back to Robinson’s Island were two fantastic tests for SailAway. What I found is much more than I expected. The first race was a bit “classic”, but I really enjoyed the colorfull and so different boats. The second one, well…… it needs a chapter itself.

    The Back to Robinson’s Island has been the first virtual long sailing race in the history. No dubts it has been an extremly positive passed test. It bringed people very close to what you would do in real-life. Study the weather, choose a strategy, be as more as they can trimming the sails without even sleep.
    This race has just took all the players and put them in a “not so virtual” world. The point is just….. We can’t have something funnier and closer to the reality. Real experienced or casual sailors, people who have never been on a boat, just found a good meeting point and totally enjoyed those races.

    For what concern my own race results, I won the first race, and have been very close to be the winner of the second too. Good time spent on study the weather and a race strategy, bringed me to the first place when just reaching Selkirk Island and then, in the second part, i decided, looking to how Frank was coming back, to divert souther. It was the right choose, I was far away the leader, but…… around 1nm from the finish line, while I was sailing without autopilot, enjoying the last part of the waves, all my neighborhood suffered of a total electicity failure. I ran aground, being only the “moral winner”.
    The race winner is Frank. Congrats to Frank. He did an awesome comeback after his mistake at Selkirk….

    But let’s talk about the REAL winner.
    No dubts it is SailAway and all the racers. The community could not respond better. People helping each other all the time. Funny and relaxed talking on VHF and a racing system to enjoy at its best. An experience that I sugguest to everyone.

    Really, congratulation to all of us. Congratulation to SailAway. We, as community, just WON. A lot of new features and improvement still have to come, but I have to say, honestly, I’m really happy to be part of this awesome community and to be surrounded by people like you.
    Thank you everybody.

  7. ker2x

    The code 0 is the illegitimate child of a genoa and a gennaker.
    Large like a gennaker, flat like a genoa.

    Sails in human language explained :
    – jib : The most basic sail
    – genoa : a larger jib that overlap the main sail

    Both are for sailing upwind and they have tons of stuff to control their shape (round/flat/…)

    – spinnaker : the huuuuuge symmetric and colorful sail you see on TV. (look like a chute)
    – gennaker : smaller and assymetric, slightly less colorful but still enjoyable to watch.

    They are for sailing downwind where the jib/genoa are ineffective.

    Then you have the specialized sails like the code 0.
    Originally created to circumvent some obscure racing rules that i don’t understand.
    You have to understand it as an upwind gennaker.
    Or, more easily, when the true wind angle is ~90° and/or the apparent wind angle is ~45~80°.

    This is my understanding.

    HOWEVER : When to switch from a sail to another not only depend of wind direction but also wind force.
    You might want to keep your genoa if the wind is strong.
    If you understand vectors (math) and the forces involved, and even if you happily ignore all the risk involved (sinking, dismating, breaking your sail/rope/…) you’ll find that bigger isn’t always better. And the code 0 is much bigger than a jib/genoa.

    You also have to take into account the loss of speed due to the time it take to switch from a sail to another.

    So, well, rule of thumb for code 0 : use it in low wind and ~90° TWA. When you wish you had an upwind gennaker, you have a code 0.

    Now please correct me if i’m wrong because i’m probably wrong.


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