Post by iconPost by Ursus Maritimus | 2018-05-14 | 20:01:45

commenticon 61 Comments
Post by iconPost by Ursus Maritimus | 2018-05-14 | 20:03:57
busy times ahead, soon also Normandy Channel Race and Monaco Globe Series
Post by iconPost by zezo | 2018-05-15 | 08:41:03

There is invisible mark at Oléron and you have to keep the island to starboard. Not sure if a Mini can pass under the bridge in real life, but you have to follow the white line.

Post by iconPost by zezo | 2018-05-15 | 09:00:46
Ooops. I copied the Transat race setup, but it was one of the first VR3 races, so the router page is a bit outdated (no separate sail options).

Will get it in sync later.

Edit: Fixed.
Post by iconPost by Ursus Maritimus | 2018-05-15 | 12:47:05
Post by iconPost by ZeMarsu | 2018-05-21 | 02:18:27
Hey Cvetan, I have a small issue with this race. I select WP and nothing else but when I look at one dot it says that the sail to be used is LG which I haven't picked.
Do you know why?

Post by iconPost by Ursus Maritimus | 2018-05-21 | 03:14:04
rigth click on the zezo map and select your options
Post by iconPost by ZeMarsu | 2018-05-21 | 05:19:25
That's what I did, I only have WP selected, but zezo uses LG which it shouldn't
Will make a screenshot tonight from home to make it clearer
Post by iconPost by Ursus Maritimus | 2018-05-21 | 08:55:33
first unslect FP, than you can select individual options
Post by iconPost by zezo | 2018-05-21 | 13:39:17
Opps. I had the old (no separate sail options, 4 knot wind) and new versions mixed up. Fixed that one, drop me a note if you see another issue.

Thanks for the nice observation. It was a non-obvious problem.
Post by iconPost by ZeMarsu | 2018-05-21 | 23:50:55
Thanks mate, looks way better.
Post by iconPost by Ursus Maritimus | 2018-05-23 | 07:11:07
Can we go between Isle d'Oleron and mainland France from buoy 4 to buoy 5?

Or will we get the secret gate / white line not obeyed penalty?

Post by iconPost by zezo | 2018-05-23 | 07:32:50
There is a secret gate. Keep to starboard. There is also a bridge in real life where a Mini 650 may or may not be able to pass.

Post by iconPost by toxcct | 2018-05-23 | 08:45:16
The bridge is quite high actually ;)
Post by iconPost by zezo | 2018-05-23 | 11:28:36
Wikipedia article says 10.60 m.

A typical Mini mast is probably a bit more than that.

Edit: Oops. That's the width.

Height seems to be about 23, which is OK.

But the water depth is not. Just checked the Navionics chart. Quite shallow for a keel boat. Quoted height 18/15 m.

Post by iconPost by toxcct | 2018-05-23 | 12:03:37
yep, you're right.
I remembered it to be quite high, but maybe my memories are altered because I was too young when I passed upon it...
Post by iconPost by Ursus Maritimus | 2018-05-23 | 10:16:38
thank you Cvetan. I still wonder how come you know this from the code sent by the server and we (users = customers) are not informed by VR.

Not everywhere are these secret gates.
Post by iconPost by zezo | 2018-05-23 | 11:20:19
The definition looks like this. A simple "display": "buoy" would make the dark-green mark at the N end of the island visible. Beats me why they keep it hidden.

"id": 8,
"group": 7,
"name": "",
"start": {
"lat": 46.047984717161,
"lon": -1.413394803086
"end": {
"lat": 46.415340063841,
"lon": -1.6176383113479
"engine": true,
"display": "none",
"side": "stbd"

Post by iconPost by Flying Phil | 2018-05-23 | 20:04:08
Thanks, i planned to pass under the oleron bridge..

In the real race instructions ( page #13,

it's written :
Ile d�Ol�ron : � laisser � Babord ( leave it to port )

FYI, on May 21th, they changed the route mark #4 is further north

(I was supposed to put an image here ... don't know how..)
Post by iconPost by zezo | 2018-05-23 | 20:13:54
Weird. It reads "Ile d’Oléron À laisser à tribord" in that table on page 13 here.
Post by iconPost by Flying Phil | 2018-05-23 | 21:12:54
oups, bad copy, you're right :
Ile d'oléron : À laisser à tribord ( left it to starboard )

this is "ile de Ré" À laisser à babord ( leave it to port )

It's forbidden to pass between oleron and mainland
Post by iconPost by zezo | 2018-05-23 | 21:24:09
Still leaves the question why VR could not mark the NW point of Ile d’Oléron but marked E point of ile de Ré when they are both in the sailing instructions.
Post by iconPost by Ursus Maritimus | 2018-05-24 | 05:19:57
I think it is not that difficult to make the course visiually clear in the UI with one or two additional markers.
For the French guys at VR however ...
Post by iconPost by YourMomSA | 2018-05-24 | 17:41:28
This is about to turn into a huge mess. Mangina and I found approximately 8 boats in the top 20 who appeared to be heading for the gap, to leave Oleron to port. We decided to warn them and refer them to this forum. We can't contact everyone, so we stopped after the top 20. Some believe us and some don't. And the truth is... maybe we're wrong anyway. I hope not because we contacted them to be helpful, not to cause problems.

Anyway... we did what we could to warn the people who will suffer the biggest impacts. But a lot of people will be angry about this in a few hours.
Post by iconPost by YourMomSA | 2018-05-24 | 18:12:01
Uh-oh... I just saw Cervantes' post in the VR forum. He said VR has added a gate to the other side of Oleron, allowing the fleet to go that way. I don't know who's right or wrong.
Post by iconPost by Ursus Maritimus | 2018-05-24 | 18:20:26
mansafran, wrenic, energy, djonny, speedou, helios, barquerme and all the stealth guys that suddenly make up places very fast.

Yeah, either we're very pissed because it appear to be allowed. Or those who tried based on the user interface will be. We will find out (and they) in less than two hours when they suddenly loose ranking (or we) ...

by the way, exactly the same situation as in ULTIMED with Sardinia that could be rounded east according the UIT (not allowed) and VOR 3 or 4 where KLM22something round Australia on the east side (allowed)

Post by iconPost by zezo | 2018-05-24 | 18:32:55
Yep. There is a new gate under the bridge now. Parallel to the other one.
Post by iconPost by Ursus Maritimus | 2018-05-24 | 18:41:17
f*ck, so the mass is right for going for the bridge ?

I see YourMom has changed course
Post by iconPost by Marty6 | 2018-05-24 | 19:10:49
Complete utter mess created by VR again
Post by iconPost by huditojo | 2018-05-24 | 18:39:05
And now zezo alows that route...

Post by iconPost by zezo | 2018-05-24 | 18:45:41

Post by iconPost by YourMomSA | 2018-05-24 | 18:46:50
Well, I just finished apologizing to everyone I informed incorrectly in my efforts to be helpful.

I suppose VR would argue this is our own fault. They fixed their original mistake before anyone got to mark 4, so if we hadn't been looking carefully at the gates to figure it out, we wouldn't have gone the wrong way. But of course we did that because of the history of other races where the buoys and white lines didn't make the route clear. I guess the lesson is that the next time we're in this situation, we should check the gates again later in the race to make sure they haven't changed.
Post by iconPost by Ursus Maritimus | 2018-05-24 | 18:51:08
hi cvetan, can you also post the bit of code that was changed a few hours ago?

I'm still on track of rounding Isle d'Oleron following the mandatory white line and our racea is f*cked anyway.
Post by iconPost by Flying Phil | 2018-05-24 | 18:53:10
I can't believe it

VR add a couple a hours ago the possiblity to pass under the oleron bridge (between oléron and mainland...) .

I just saw it, and i have to change my route...

(I was 18th at the #4 buoy and now 50th..)
Post by iconPost by huditojo | 2018-05-24 | 18:54:56
How can we get the below image???
Post by iconPost by TomekN_zegluj_net | 2018-05-24 | 19:13:59
SO, what is the actual status? Is it officially allowed to go East ???
Post by iconPost by Flying Phil | 2018-05-24 | 19:18:00
yes, you can see it in the VR club house
Post by iconPost by zezo | 2018-05-24 | 19:21:32
"id": 8,
"group": 7,
"name": "",
"start": {
"lat": 46.047984717161,
"lon": -1.413394803086
"end": {
"lat": 46.192100559397,
"lon": -1.4993636226272
"engine": true,
"display": "none",
"side": "stbd"
"id": 9,
"group": 7,
"name": "",
"start": {
"lat": 45.86084300968,
"lon": -1.1924453754464
"end": {
"lat": 45.856598291995,
"lon": -1.1689882553829
"engine": true,
"display": "none",
"side": "port"

Post by iconPost by Ursus Maritimus | 2018-05-24 | 19:44:31
thanks Cvetan!
Post by iconPost by TomekN_zegluj_net | 2018-05-24 | 19:24:04
VR do not understand, what means "fair play"...
Changing rules in the middle of the race!
Sorry... it seems, this was really my last play.

Post by iconPost by Ursus Maritimus | 2018-05-24 | 19:58:29
let's all boycot VR by sailing the next race (Normandy Channel Race) all as No Money Sailors. Maybe they start listening and respecting their customers if they feel it in their wallets. maybe ...
Post by iconPost by lorenzo | 2018-05-24 | 20:04:10
amazing how boring would be life without VR
will they ever learn?
Post by iconPost by YourMomSA | 2018-05-24 | 20:16:45
A boycott won't help.

VR does things their way, including invisible gates, poor communication, inconsistencies like saying "you must follow the white line" in one race while then allowing other routes in other races, etc. They aren't going to change. Those of us who have been around for a while have seen dozens of messes like this one. Every time, there's a rally of angry people who want to boycott, etc. Then nothing happens. And some quit while others keep going. I used to get angry about it, but it isn't worth being angry about. The anger isn't going to achieve anything. It's best to either accept that this is how VR does things and live with it, or quit altogether and find a less aggravating hobby.
Post by iconPost by Ursus Maritimus | 2018-05-24 | 20:55:14
Censorship Rulez, my boycot post has been removed twice now from Da House Club ...

Have to be carefull not to get a permaban now by one one of them VR-slave moderators ;)

And yes Mom, the game is too much fun to abandon or to stay angry about. New goals set (regain top 100) and almost achieved with plenty of opportunities 2nite. Thanks for your wise words from your learned painfull lessons.

Post by iconPost by Stormbringer | 2018-05-24 | 20:57:24
I'm not entered in the race. I do feel your pain, and it is wildly unfair to change the permitted route during the race, but allow me to play devil's advocate. Wouldn't VR just say that it was our own fault for mucking around in their code and that if we just sailed the race as normal users without that knowledge that we never would have known about the added gate?
Post by iconPost by YourMomSA | 2018-05-24 | 21:05:06
You are definitely correct.

If this was in isolated incident, there would be no question about it.

The problem is...

- There have been plenty of races where you didn't have to follow the white line. Like the VOR leg where boats went around the West end of Australia.

- But in the Ultimed race, it was discovered that much, much shorter routes could be sailed while still respecting the visible buoys. VR's response was to follow the white line. Then some smart folks in the Zezo forum figured out how to look up the invisible gates and posted them here. So we knew then that there was a real restriction, unlike the above case.

- So... when the question came up in this race and VR wasn't clear about it, the same analysis was executed, and we had learned to trust that. The mistake was that we didn't consider the possibility that they might fix the original mistake between the time of the analysis and when we got to Buoy 4.

- So... I think the "lesson learned" on our end is... If VR is unclear and we think we have it figured out, we should probably re-check when the final decision must be made. But that's a burden on Cvetan and anyone else willing to do the analysis for the benefit of others.

- On VR's end, the right thing to do is to make all gates visible and to publish clear-cut sailing instructions that correspond exactly to the gates, so that there can't be any confusion. But... they aren't going to do that.

Anyway... Within the context of this one race, you are definitely correct. But when considering the other races that led us to take this path, the are underlying problems on VR's end.
Post by iconPost by zezo | 2018-05-24 | 21:56:15
That's the point when it gets personal. Maybe VR hated seeing me (or you) in first place, so changed the rules and tipped few fellow players about it. Or maybe not. Anyway, a race without written rules is a joke and not to be taken seriously.

Me (as a player), I've paid my way into Top 10 VSR, and can probably sustain it at about 50 EUR/month, but it ain't fun anymore.
Post by iconPost by Ursus Maritimus | 2018-05-24 | 22:27:40
there are indeed now a lot of froggies in the top 10, so if that is the VR objective that is a succes.

if you paying top 200 VSR classification guys would stop paying mr. Guigne and friends for the lousy job they do, they will either get out of business very soon or they may learn the hard way that working WITH the customers is the way to go and to increase the number of players (paying and not paying)

Hence my suggestion for the Normandy Channel Race to all agree to sail this one NMS as a clear and concise warning to VR:

"We love this game, many of us are willing to pay2win and we want you to work WITH is in stead of IN SPITE of us"

I don't know how the feeling in the VSR top 200 is, but uniting together will make a much stronger message than individual support tickets and more and more players stepping down from the game.
Post by iconPost by Stormbringer | 2018-05-25 | 01:03:38
I think we are both correct.

The issue definitely compounds exponentially when in addition to being purposely opaque, they also alter the resolution that they are forced to implement as a result of that opacity from race to race.

Post by iconPost by mangina | 2018-05-25 | 00:50:29
Hi all,

I don't post in here as regularly as I should, but it is with sadness that I am going to retire from VR.

I won't just stop all together as a win in the overall result for the Clipper is still well within my reach, and there is a prize attached to the end of that one so I will continue to sail the Clipper until the end of the race.

I am unsure if I will continue with the VOR final legs, as I have too many bad results to be a contender for anything other than the top 50, but I may sail them for the challenge of having a large number of competitors to sail against.

I am sure that I will not sail any of the other races (I may try another Atlantic record attempt if my life allows me to be competitive as I am already entered) after I finish the Mini en Mai race, but real sailing is gearing up towards world titles in October so I may not find the time to try again.

Just wanted to say a big thank you to all of you out there I have spoken to along the way in the game. It is the people that play the game and the competitive challenge against those people that make this game so appealing to me. I will miss the messages from each and every one of you that make the game so much more interesting.

A big thanks must go to Cvetan for all he has done to make this game all it can be with his tools and forum.

I may pop past every now and again to do the odd race that tickles my fancy, and will probably defend my Vendee title (maybe), but if I don't get a chance to say goodbye feel free to send me an in-game message.

Post by iconPost by zezo | 2018-05-25 | 09:57:06
The "lastUpdate" parameter says 1.527170760735E12

Which translates to Thu May 24 16:06:00 2018 CET

Which is 2-3 hours before the first boats rounded Mark 4 and headed towards the bridge.
Post by iconPost by YourMomSA | 2018-05-25 | 12:51:21
Thanks for checking that.

FWIW, my feeling on these situations has always been that VR doesn't do any of these things with malicious or personal intent, even though it may feel that way sometimes. I think their biggest faults are occasional poor decision-making, and consistently poor communication.

In this case, they made a mistake. It happens. The mistake was to set up invisible gates that blocked a route that the visible cartography suggested should be ok. Then they chose to fix the mistake. Since it was invisible and the fix occurred before anyone got to Mark 4, that, by itself, is fine by me. The problems are (1) the presence of invisible gates made it unclear all along. The allowed routes should have been clear pre-start. (2) The end result matched the visible course, which one could argue negates #1, but their response to a similar situation in Ultimed ("follow the white line") led us to feel a need to check the parameters, which led us to rely on information that was apparently subject to change. And (3) when they recognized the mistake and fixed it, they didn't make a public statement to explain.
Post by iconPost by lorenzo | 2018-05-25 | 13:50:21
Yep, that is a very correct analysis which could be summarized with 2 simple words: "poor management"
From there comes lack of structure, procedures, communication.
It is a situation unfortunately common in small companies and that prevents sustainable continue growth

Post by iconPost by Flying Phil | 2018-05-25 | 16:26:33
agree with YourMomSA.
Why do they change the "real life" race instructions ? in the "real life" race instructions, you have to leave oleron on your right.

Post by iconPost by YourMomSA | 2018-05-25 | 16:48:45
It was a result of the mistake... The original setup, with invisible gates, matched the real life requirement to leave Oleron to starboard. But because the gates were invisible, it appeared to the user like both options were available. My guess is that at some point in the French morning yesterday, they realized they had a problem because the visible race showed two options and the invisible requirements had only one. So presumably they had a meeting to decide how best to deal with it, and decided it would be best to adjust the hidden gates to allow the visible course to remain available, rather than suddenly adding a new visible barrier. It was going to be a problem either way, and they made what they felt was the best choice. And honestly, I agree. Since the barrier they removed was invisible, I think this was the right decision. I just wish they had communicated openly about it (preferably before the race).

I think they have a way to trigger messages to users, don't they? Like when you enter a race, it can give you a pop-up message saying something like "The closure date for this race has been extended to May 22" or whatever... If so, then they easily could have pushed a message saying "Course clarification: Racers may pass to either side of Ile d'Oleron". If they had done that when they made the change, 2-3 hours before we all got to Buoy 4, I think it would have been a fully appropriate solution to what was originally a simple mistake.
Post by iconPost by zezo | 2018-05-25 | 18:50:24
Without clear sailing instructions someone is always fucked. In one race you learn the lesson that you have to obey the white line. In the next race someone beats you because you obeyed the white line. Talking about the average player - no forums, no extensions, just trying to figure out the rules.
Post by iconPost by Ursus Maritimus | 2018-05-25 | 20:24:54
indeed, easy as that. just communicate in simple messages. saves them tons of support tickets and probably also lost revenue from abondonning players.

don't no is someone is in crypto: Binance is a great example of simple concise and honoust communication. if neede the ceo tweets a short statement
Post by iconPost by Marty6 | 2018-05-25 | 21:45:28
I don't think VR can always stick to the "real life" race instructions, e.g. shortened course in real life Mini en Mai or even more extreme in the Nice Ultimed with it's shortened course and even reverse direction. They simply change too quickly too often.

What VR on the other hand for sure should do is either communicate their own race instructions or at least clearly indicate the track. And by this i mean either using buoys, making required gates visible or put barriers across off-limit channels/passages

Post by iconPost by LucyInTheSky | 2018-05-25 | 23:32:54
Why VR cannot do what LiveSkipper does? Clear gates, with coordinates:

Post by iconPost by huditojo | 2018-05-27 | 07:12:16
I guess thre are two kind off people in the game: those who try to help, like zezo, Your Mom and others; those who try to win at any cost, like those who turn their boat on ghost mode and went by that "shortcut" without warning no one...there's a lesson to learn here too...
Post by iconPost by Ursus Maritimus | 2018-05-27 | 16:42:08
can these french winning stealthy boats be VR employees or people with 'inside information' ?
Post by iconPost by zezo | 2018-05-27 | 20:18:56
I don't think any VR employee is playing the game for real. It would be a much better game if they did.

"Inside information" - maybe. Subscribed to notifications in the official forum (if there is such thing) or just members of a private mailing list/chat room where people share information in real time.

We are not the only ones looking under the hood, just may be the only people stupid enough to do it in public forum.
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