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VR: Aspiration, inspiration, and education - USA newsletter


VR: Aspiration, inspiration, and education

Cyclops Marine 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Selden 2020 - LEADERBOARD

VR WASZP sailing - photo © MarineVerse

Dear Recipient Name

Having talked about the MarineVerse back in December, and following on from a couple of chats with Marc Ablett at KA Sails and Greg Dziemidowicz, the developer of the virtual reality sailing game, last week I had my chance to try it first-hand.

The Oculus Quest 2 does give you a truly immersive experience, and it's pretty incredible how much it feels like you're on the boat. The physics of sailing feel right, and I enjoyed my first race against Marc. It's incredible that we could be chatting away, sailing dinghies next door to each other while physically being on opposite sides of the planet!

North Sails 2021 Innovation - MPU   Sea Sure 2021 - RED - MPU

You really do feel like you're 'in the game', and this was no more obvious than when gybing and I instinctively ducked when the boom came across!

I started off in a Laser / ILCA, and then had a go the WASZP and keelboat. Having sailed all these in the real world, I liked how the different boats reacted in different ways. Getting foiling in the WASZP required a bear away, a little pump, then up on to the side and heeling the boat to windward for maximum speed. It felt exhilarating!

Mark Jardine tries out the Waszp - photo © Duncan Hepplewhite
Mark Jardine tries out the Waszp - photo © Duncan Hepplewhite

Sadly, my virtual attempt at a foiling gybe met with a very similar outcome as when I tried to do the same thing on the wet stuff...

Mark Jardine tries out the Waszp - photo © Duncan Hepplewhite
Mark Jardine tries out the Waszp - photo © Duncan Hepplewhite

J Composites 2020 - MPU   Barton Marine 2019 600x500

There is of course room for improvement, such as gusts and wind direction could be easier to read and holding the tiller is a little glitchy, but overall, the experience is hugely impressive and far further developed than I ever expected.

Chatting with Marc, I see exactly why he's so excited about the MarineVerse. The opportunities for it are nearly endless. For sailors watching the SailGP, imagine being able to don a headset and find yourself at the wheel of an F50, tearing around the race course.

Then think of all those days when sailing isn't possible, particularly when you're getting kids or youth sailors out on the water. A 'lost day' can be turned into a virtual training day down at the club, working on technique or understanding what to do in different situations. A club could invest in a few headsets, link them up to cast to a TV, and you've got a fun shoreside training setup, which can provide entertainment for those watching as well.

Mixed reality, on-board the dinghy in the game - photo © MarineVerse
Mixed reality, on-board the dinghy in the game - photo © MarineVerse

Marskeel 2019 600x500   Colligo Marine 2022 - Seahorse MPU

Until now, virtual sailing has been mostly limited to Virtual Regatta, which is itself an impressive platform with some great gameplay, and most definitely provided us with a bit of fun during lockdown, but the MarineVerse takes things to a whole new level.

Most of the 'big players' in technology are working on virtual reality, and I have no idea which of Facebook / Meta, Microsoft, Google, Apple and Sony will end up with the dominant product, but the MarineVerse theoretically isn't tied to any of them as it's developed on Unity, the cross-platform game engine which is used by many of the top gaming companies.

This really is an exciting development which could dramatically enhance people's experience of sailing, and could further break down barriers, leading to increased participation.

Aquaventures 2021 Nov - SeaAngel - MPU   Allen 2020 - A.597 - 600x500

We move now from virtual sailing, to landyachts, with the news that Emirates Team New Zealand are making an attempt at the world wind-powered land speed record, which currently stands at 109.5 knots. This is a project that Glenn Ashby, the Australian who has had the need for speed on the water and on motorbikes since he was ten years old, has taken a massive interest in.

Emirates Team New Zealand Wind Powered Land Speed World Record design and planning - photo © Emirates Team New Zealand
Emirates Team New Zealand Wind Powered Land Speed World Record design and planning - photo © Emirates Team New Zealand

"I have never spent so much time on the computer as I have this past year," explained Ashby. "Basically, from the point that Dalts said 'let's look at it' after the finish of AC36, we have been all go. First job was a two-week in-depth feasibility study to ensure enough of a global understanding that this was something that could be done in a positive way for ETNZ and would not impact the team and its America's Cup objectives financially or resource-wise."

109 knots is very nearly what was recorded close to where I live on Friday. The Needles on the Isle of Wight has laid claim to the highest wind speed ever recorded in England with 106 knots. Having taken a walk to the clifftop just across the water, I can attest that it was properly blowing dogs off chains and not a day to be anywhere near the water.

122mph, or 106 knots, was recorded at The Needles, Isle of Wight on Friday 18 February 2022 - photo © Mark Jardine
122mph, or 106 knots, was recorded at The Needles, Isle of Wight on Friday 18 February 2022 - photo © Mark Jardine

Coast Guard Foundation MPU 3   Zhik 2021 Dec Choice of Champions MPU

The thirteenth edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 is underway, where some of the top multihull and monohull teams in the world take on a course around eleven Caribbean islands, racing in typical north easterly trade winds of 12 to 17 knots.

RORC Caribbean 600 map - photo © RORC
RORC Caribbean 600 map - photo © RORC

In the monohulls we'll again be seeing the all-conquering VPLP-Verdier 100 Comanche and the mighty Club Swan 125 Skorpios go head-to-head.

Comanche - Line Honours - 2019 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - December 2019 - photo © Kurt Arrigo / Rolex
Comanche - Line Honours - 2019 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - December 2019 - photo © Kurt Arrigo / Rolex

RS Sailing 2021 - MPU   Vaikobi 2021 Boots - MPU

While Comanche is a seasoned campaigner, the Scorpios are still learning fast about the boat, and have made some modifications to the keel and rudders. "We are improving, learning about the boat and are starting to understand the modifications to make the boat perform," said Scorpios skipper Fernando Echavarri.

Dmitry Rybolovlev's Club Swan 125 Skorpios (MON) skippered by Fernando Echavarri is one of the favourites for Monohull Line Honours - photo © Team Skorpios
Dmitry Rybolovlev's Club Swan 125 Skorpios (MON) skippered by Fernando Echavarri is one of the favourites for Monohull Line Honours - photo © Team Skorpios

Another 100 footer which can't be discounted is Leopard, which took line honours in 2009 and 2013. As navigator Hugh Agnew says, "It looks like a pretty conventional medium to light trades of 12-17 knots - so not hooning. That could be good for Leopard - we want more displacement conditions."

As with all events, we'll be bringing you the latest from the race, and we always welcome news from your club, class or event, however large or small.

I'm looking forward to seeing many sailing friends this coming weekend at the RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show, taking place at the new venue of Farnborough International. In the meantime, wishing everyone sailing fair winds, hopefully a little less than that seen at the western tip of the Isle of Wight on Friday. If you are stuck ashore due to adverse conditions then give the MarineVerse a go; it's worth it.

Mark Jardine and Managing Editor

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Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta in St. Petersburg - Overall
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IMA Caribbean Maxi Challenge 2022 starts today with strong Caribbean 600 line-up
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18ft Skiff Club Championship on Sydney Harbour - Overall
Jack Macartney, skipper of Tech2, became only the fifth skipper in the 87-year history of the Australian 18 Footers League to win three consecutive Club Championship titles when he teamed with Charlie Wyatt and Lewis Brake to win the 2022 series.

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Lanzarote International Regatta at Marina Rubicon - Overall
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Environmentalists in the 2022 Newport Bermuda Race
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America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ want to set a new speed record of over 100kts
America's Cup champions, Emirates Team New Zealand, have announced they are going to make an attempt to set a new world wind-powered land speed record, using the design, engineering and building talent used for the AC75's. The current record is 109.5kts.

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Lifting the lid on boat build impacts: New case study & material life cycle analysis of IMOCA class
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Get technical with Colligo Marine
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The RORC Caribbean 600 has a racecourse like no other, testing the seamanship of the crews with a myriad of manoeuvres around 11 Caribbean islands, but the race is far more than a workout in the tropics.

Four additions to USST Roster, four advance to Tier 1
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America's Cup: Paul Goodison confirms to Shirley Robertson that he has re-signed with American Magic
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Clipper Race set to restart after two year wait caused by pandemic
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2022 eSailing World Championships open in style
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New York Yacht Club American Magic announces leadership team
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Throwing it back at the 42nd St. Maarten Heineken Regatta
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RORC Caribbean 600: Beauty and the beast - IRC Runners and Riders
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Sir Russell Coutts to join Kiwi Convoy protest demonstration outside NZ Parliament
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RS Sailing launches the brand new RS Toura
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Tokyo stars announce new line-ups for Paris tilt
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Multihull top 10 for the RORC Caribbean 600
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Your guide to finding and fixing damaged keel bolts
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SailGP news, 2024 Vendee Globe updates, One Ocean Summit
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North Sails introduces Wireless Load Sensing for Helix Sails
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MarineVerse Cup sails onto Meta Quest 2 on February 24th
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Etchells fleet gears up for 2022 West Coast Spring Series
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Marine Auctions February Online Auction
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J Composites 2020 - FOOTER

Vaikobi 2021 Boots - FOOTER

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