This photo reminded me of the German coastguard joke:
Merlin Rocket: 'We're sinking! We're sinking!'
German Coastguard: 'Vhat iz it you are zinking about?'
(Don't worry - I won't be giving up the day job just yet...)
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1986 - I was sailing on a Wednesday afternoon in my games lesson from Five Ways School and the Birmingham Mail took this photo to promote sailing as an activity for the forthcoming bank holiday. Track forward 30 years and I still haven't mastered this very simple boat, but the hiking stance and sail controls have improved somewhat!
If you are not up to racing yourself then you can watch the fun on VR Inshore. The steps are listed above. The only tricky bit is finding the race you want when there are lots of custom ones taking place. The bartley races will always be x/20 where x is the number of people that joined.
There are 3 races each session so you need to select the custom race you want to watch each time. Race 1 opens 5 mins before the start time in the calendar. Then the subsequent ones are roughly 10 mins after the previous one (I usually wait until I have the same number of competitors as the previous race logged on).
So if you are not rigged in time for the 11.00 today then why not log on and watch?
Here is a snapshot of the Virtual Regatta racing on Wednesday evening, last night we got up to 16 on the start line with some great races taking place. If you need to brush up on race tactics then this is a great way to do it.
The racing starts at 18.30 tonight and then 2 sets of races on Saturday and Sunday per the calendar
Here are the scores on the doors so far. Monday was a shocker as the VR server kept crashing out so apologies to those who were frustrated by the whole affair. Tuesday evening was completely different - all 3 races went as planned (and I often put on a bonus fun race in case you hadn't noticed). The bonus race on Tuesday was in the Star class and it was hilarious as it was match racing that seemed to bring out the competitor in everyone - I have never seen such aggressive luffing downwind!
Great to see so many on the virtual water - see you tomorrow at 6.30 for the next instalment.
The results are in! I have to screen grab them quickly as once the game finishes they are lost forever. If you think they are wrong in any way then try harder next time as Race Officer's decision is final !
I have some names to put to boats but in the words of Paddy McGuiness 'let the boat see the water - single sailors reveal yourselves' by sending me your boat name and your name to so I can fill them in.
I will run the series for 20 races per class with 50% to count. Low score then countback RRS Appendix A for scoring. Series winner buys the drinks when we get back into the club :)
Next race is Monday evening at 6.30 p.m. I will open it up at 6.25. 20 participants max per race so get in early!
Virtual Regatta got off to a great start this morning with a trial to get to grips with the software and how it works in terms of logging on and race times.Thanks to all who participated and put up with the Race Officer as he ironed out a few teething problems!
This afternoon was much more slick with the 3 races running well to schedule.
All members should have received an e-mail on how to get set up and race. The times are in the calendar - join all races for the day or just pick the ones you are comfortable with.
If you didn't receive the e-mail then contact me on and I will send a copy to you.
Places are limited to 20 for each race, which has been sufficient so far - I will keep an eye on participation though and adjust if required so keep looking at the calendar on the website for updates.
Look forward to seeing you virtually on the water (P.S. a desk fan adds to the realism of the experience...)
We might be off the water but that doesn't mean we can't race whatever the weather!
One of the exciting announcements at the RYA Dinghy Show was that all RYA clubs can get a 1 year VIP pass for Virtual Regatta inshore if they applied by the 25th March. Bartley S.C. have applied to the RYA for a pass and our application is now in progress.
As soon as VR send us our pass we will be able to set up custom races for Bartley members.
If you want to get practicing then you need to log on to the website, set up your e-mail address and alias, complete the 'sailing school' activities and then complete a few practice races (click on the circular icon in the bottom left, chose your craft (49er is free) and practice on your own). That is as far as you can get until we receive our pass (unless you want to spend money but I suggest you don't) so get yourself ready to race!
I am still learning the technology but there is help on-line if you need it - here are the RYA instructions for players:
Please go to https://www.virtualregatta.com/en/inshore-game/ and then click on 'Please connect' and then 'I create my account'.
Players/racers from your club who would like to join in with your 'custom races' (once set up) must also create an account in their own name if they don't already have one (it is free to set up and play). It would be good to get them to start practicing in the races and regattas that are already set up on the game. Everyone that creates a login will automatically be entered into the GBR National Championships and World Championships too.
I will let you know as soon as we are 'live' and then we can get racing again!