Why do I suck at VSK5?

Now before you all post the obvious peanut gallery comments, this question is more about ‘standard’ tactics :slight_smile:

I can sail real boats but it seems the transition to virtual/AC boats is complicated. VSK will tell you when you are sailing at the most efficient angle to the wind, and I am sure that everyone uses that tool.

What I am finding difficult is deciding which end of the line to start from (the pack is usually split 70/30), how long to hold the line before tacking, how to gain tactical advantage on everyone else during tacks and general race type knowledge.

Wanna share your thoughts?



Generally it takes around 3-6 months to get up to the stage of having the occasional win in VSK.
I assume you are racing the ACC boat?
All the different classes are quite different in their modelled behaviour and in the type of people who sail them.
We have a group of approximately 30 who sail ACC most afternoons and evenings (NZL time) who are most supportive and whilst competitive will not always push the right of way at the start line or a mark rounding.
They have learnt that giving a penalty is not necessary to win races.
How ever I have raced at other times, with other fleets and other classes and been appalled at the aggression and lack of sportsmanship within those groups.

Back to technique… The start is the most critical moment of the race.
There is only one place to be at the gun… On STARBOARD tack, one second behind the line, on a TWA of 30, doing maximum speed and with clear air.
If you can nail all those parameters then you have a pretty good chance of winning that race.
It does not really matter where on the line you are, (being at the committee boat end means you have total control over the fleet) as long as you have clear air and maximum speed.
Checking the course map before & during the race is very important. (~ button )
After that it is a matter of staying out of trouble and not making any mistakes, just like full size and radio sailing.
You will learn how to tack and stay around 35 TWA until back up to 9-10 knots before hardening up to 29-30 for best VMG.
#1 headsail above 25 knts #2 below, TWA 160-164 downhill.
Then just race and race some more. It will come. Your first win is a big kick.
See you on the virtual water my friend. IanHB - NZL Ranked # 705 in the world. :graduate:

Gidday Ian…

I actually won a race not too long ago and was pretty stoked :smiley:

But it seems it was a fluke.

Thanks for all your information, I am going to go through it with a fine tooth comb.

I totally agree on your comment about some races total lack of sportsmanship, support and lets face it… total lack of civility… kids I guess.


Ranked #66,730,264,309,122,552,876th in the world!

Hi Guys, certainly stick with Ian’s suggestions as he has plenty of time at the virtual helm. One other thing not mentioned is the wind on the water. Look for that too. I have made up boat lengths and places sailing into a nice lift or gusts on the water. The dark spots u will see them. Also check this link out go to the announcements on each class. There u will find charts that show VS5 Sail selection and VMG I will help to give guidelines as to TWA/TWS. It is set out in 5 knot increments as far as TWS so you can find the in between. But it was a great help to me in the beginning and still resort back to it if unsure. You all are the only ones I have “virtually” met. I go by the name Capt. Jack (CAN)

Hi Kotoc/ Capt. Jack…

Thanks a lot for that, I appreciate it.

I will check it out and try to understand it once you post the link! :zbeer:

Will keep an eye out for you in the game too…



Here’s another victim. I have the demo version and it looks like this game has promise. Do I just jump into a server or do I really need the full version? I’d like to try fleet sailing before I spend any money.

Ahhhhh, I’m goof… sorry but here u go.


Played the demo for a week then had the full retail not the downloadable upgrade to full version. There are different servers with different skill levels. So you have to be careful where u go. Some allow aids some are full manual. The manual explains the difference between them. I played solo for a bit and learned the characteristic of the game, sailing, currents which are a huge issue in online. Makes a difference where you start on the line, I think anyway. Online is great fun. Big wind and water and lots of boats too. Good fun too.

Tallastro, to answer your question, yes, just jump into any server and have a go.
You will get various skill and sportsmanship levels as in any on-line game.
You will find the odd “cranky old bastard” or “aggressive young thug” but generally speaking they are a good bunch of sailors.
Don`t be disheartened if you are slow initially, the speed will come with practice.
If you enjoy the game then please do purchase the full version and join the serious racing that occurs every day somewhere in the world.
A warning before you do commit though. “This game can be a serious time gobbler” Notice I did not say time waster, as IMHO enjoying your life is never a “WASTE” of time. I hope to see you on the virtual water.

Well, I jumped in for 2 races last night. Finished last in both. Boat speed is ok. Wind tactics are going to take some time. It’s not like watching the pond. I think my biggest problem is knowing where I am on the course and knowing better where other boats are. I was being very cautious and avoiding by a wide margin. I would have beaten a couple of boats but gave up position to stay clear and hunting for where the finish line actually was. The fleet was pretty closely packed at the finish, I don’t feel bad.

I guess I’ll be buying the full version and reading the manual. One thing, when I go to rc regattas there’s always a course board showing the layout of the course. I can see all the marks on one of the vsk displays but no indication of what order they are in. I have to wait to see the rhumb line to the next mark as I round. Some are port roundings some are starboard, it would help to know what I was sailing into before I get there.

Ok, if you push the ~ button in the top left of your keyboard you should get the map of the course come up.
I am not sure if that is available in the demo version but you can try.
I always check the course before the start and often again two or three times during the race just to make sure I know where we are headed next.
The other controls for the skipper camera position allow you to view the race from the best angle for your particular comfort.
The zero button on the numerical portion of the keyboard will step you through different views along with F1-F8 which give differing views as well.
The mouse wheel allows zooming in or out.
I use a joystick and the tophat control on top allows me to swing my view both horizontally and vertically. I usually sail well above and behind my craft and swing around regularly to observe those close by.

Ahhhhhh, scored a first place on Monday, first time in that position. At one point in the race I thought. Damn, now I am leading hope. I hope I go the right way!!! That’s because I am usually a good few positions behind and its easy to follow the leaders LOL . The race prior I scored a second and barely held on to that finish. My key to those races was stay out of trouble at the start line. I looked where everyone else was gathering and found a hole, and hit the line fast at the gun. Then looked for clear air and the shifts. Pretty straight forward tactics, I know!!! I let the others make the mistakes and rule violations at the start and first mark. Those 360’s can be costly!! Just thought I would share. Hope you all are enjoying the game. Let me know if you all see me on a course. Good winds always

Gidday Kotoc…

Good work mate!

I did the same this week and for all the same reasons.

I have a hell of a time staying out of trouble with 20 to 30 boats on the starboard end of the line… as you say, the 360’s are a killer.



Well, who`s a clever boy then? :jump4:

Over the last three weeks the Australians and New Zealanders have been running their “State Championship Regatta”

This has consisted of four races each Monday night, each using a different class of yacht. ACC, Farr40, TP52 & Swan 45.

We had nine or sometimes ten entries for the NZL state champs each week and guess who came second overall…TA TAA. :king:[SIZE=2]

Seriously though, I was chuffed with the result. I am still smiling. :captain:

The format is an interesting one in that you get to sail the four different classes each with its own characteristics and challenges. The first week I got off to a great start with two wins, one second and a fourth. The second week I sailed like a "dickhead" so we wont talk about that.
And on the final evening I did OK, well, at least enough to take second place to “KIWI BARDY” who won the event back in 2007 as well.

Thanks for letting me have my little brag…not usually my style but I thought to hell with it, my fifteen minutes of fame, why not.

I want to tell you about the next regatta coming up…

[SIZE=2][SIZE=3]The Admiral`s Cup…November 9, 16, 23.

This consists of teams of four representing the various states of Australia and the country of New Zealand.
Each team member will sail one type of yacht in the series with two or three races each night except for the final night when there is one long distance race which counts for double points and cannot be used as a discard.
The four classes are again the ACC, Farr 40, TP52 and Swan 45.
There has been an invitation issued to the USA to enter a team and that is what I would like to encourage you fellows in the USA [/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][SIZE=3][SIZE=2]to consider.
The time difference could be the big stumbling block here as the regatta is on at 2100 Sydney time on each of those Monday nights.

That converts to 3am California, 6am New York, so only those with true dedication may be interested.
There is a proposed “International” team if any of the viewers here from other countries has the urge and stamina to join us. :scared:
I have attached the Notice of Race below for your information.


See you on the virtual water. Cheers, Ian.

Ha! Congrats Ian…

Well done mate, enjoy your fame :zbeer:

Thanks for all the info too, yes the time zone is a killer but a challenge is a challenge :smiley:

VSK is still frustrating the hell outta me which is why I play so often, managing to finish between last and mid pack… there is some fundamental thing I’m missing, but manage to fluke a couple of wins.

Way too random.

Just like life…