Merry Christmas folks!
Just recently, over the Christmas break, I've been playing about on an on-line dinghy racing game: TACTICAT. It's quite good fun, very much a strategic and tactical game, no boat tuning, no sail trimming etc. So it gets you thinking! I have tried a variety of start techniques, rounding marks, and most important is tackling the windward mark pile up! I have discovered that even if you join the starboard tack lay line early you will still get port tackers piling in and creating a mess in front of you and then you need to tack up and go round the pile up. Bit real to life!
Coming in late on port is no good unles there is a good gap. Best is to come in about 8 boat lengths from the mark and tack slightly beyond the starboard lay line to give about 1 - 2 boat length clearance from the mark.
The course doesn't have a wing mark as such and the leward mark is a gate which is interesting and if the wind direction has a good bias then picking the right way through the gate is very important, go the wrong way and you throw away boat lengths.
The game has even got wind variations so making it even more interesting and bringing in an element of luck; I got a bang on start on one race only to discover that the wind started a permanent shift favouring the other side of the beat, 20 seconds after the start!
The only problems is that the controls are a bit clunky and if your comms drops out momentarily then you lose control completely, which is no good if you have a manouver coming up. Otherwise its really good fun. Give it a go and see what you think.
Y'all have fun now! Y'hear?