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Old 06-11-2012, 15:23   #1
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VENDÉE GLOBE round the world race

The 4 annual Vendée Globe single handed round the world race starts in
3 days from Les Sables d´Olonne. About 23.600 nm in about 2.7 months at 12 kn.

You can follow it here: Vendée Globe - Vendée Globe 2012-2013

You can also download it as an Android app Vendée Globe.

There is also a virtual race you can join.

Have fun!

Tore
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Old 06-11-2012, 17:20   #2
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Re: VENDÉE GLOBE round the world race

Good Idea Tore. Here is information about registering, creating boats and subscribing to a virtual race from the previous thread (for others).

First I would download and install qtVLM the open source navigation and routing software that you will need to be effective in the virtual races. You will find it here http://wiki.virtual-loup-de-mer.org/index.php/QtVlm/en
The current version is 3.3.3. Install, read the wiki and this thread
Integration with QtVlm - Data files and Import/Export also has good information about using qtVLM features in the more recent pages.

After registering on the website Virtual Loup-De-Mer Create an account under the Login on the upper right.

Logging in on Virtual Loop de Mer Virtual Races (not real boat mode) from within qtVLM under "Boat" / "Accounts Management"
Login: = full email used on the VLM server
Password = password used on VLM server
Type of boat: Real Boat or VLM Boat, pick VLM Boat
Under "Boat" / "Boat Settings" the Boat List contains rgleason for Le Vent des Globe with an active check. It also lists "Psuedo" = rgleason and "ID" = 21743

Under "Boat" / "Races Settings" A message immediately comes up "Download Races and Boats" and since I have joined the "Le Vent des Globe" Race through the website Virtual Loup-De-Mer , I am asked to select boats and download this race. I now see that the waypoints and gates (including so called Ice Gates are downloaded and showing on the chart). Everyone is at anchor and there are no Arrivals because the race has not started. I see on the chart there is a line from the boat "rgleason" to WP1.

Now I need to sign up for "learning" race, and I believe that is done from the browser on the website, (there does not appear to be a way to do it from within qtVLM). The race I'd like to sign up for is SNMA- Imoca 60 Virtual Loup-De-Mer

I see the waypoints and course instructions and have cut and pasted the waypoints into qtVLM, but there does not seem to be a way to do that. I see that other racers have logged in under "Ranking"

I've been able to create a second boat, login from within qtVLM and change to that boat and assign it to a trial learning Race, before starting Le Vend des Globe.
-----
Maitai responds
Good start.

All you need to do now is to create another boat and sign it up in a training race. All this has to be done at VLM's website. Then in qtVLM you can refresh your account (boat->account management) and go to boats->settings to activate this new boat (there is a checkbox for that in the settings). Finally you can switch to this boat from the boat selector in the toolbar and hopefully start sailing.

I recommend for the time being that you don't take care of the gates, just head let's say towards spain to try a bit the various options.

----
rgleason responds:
Okay from the Virtual Loup De Mer website I signed in and under "Profile" just under "Recent Actions" selected "Create your boat":
Boat Description: Nell
Owner: rgleason (you)
Boat Id: 21960
Boat Pseudo: Nell
Boat Name: Nell
Currently not subscribed to any races.

Now under "Profile" under "Boats of this Player" there appear two boats
21743 rgleason assigned to Le Vent des Globes
21960 Nell currently not assigned to a race.

Sign up boat Nell for a Race
1.I click on 21960 Nell and it shows details about the boat and Owner but no place to sign up for a race. I would like to sign up for a training race, ideally 2124402, Record SNSM - Imoca 60'

2. Change Boat Name to "Nell" in the blue box upper right under your user name, pick the dropdown menu, pick the new boat name you just created. Now you can assign it to a race. Click on "Home" and Races are listed with a "Subscribe to this Race" on the left of the particular race information. I picked SNSM Imoca 60' and Voila'

Thank you Maitai, Now I go back to the program qtVLM and log in and pick this race.
----

Hope this helps people get started.
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Old 07-11-2012, 14:18   #3
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Re: VENDÉE GLOBE round the world race

After trying to compete in a trial race I am running into problems thinking about the various modes of sailing with the autopilot, and procedures for using the planned routing.

I have been torn between several ways of making the boat go fast.
1. Do a qtVLM Routing from the Boat to a certain WP in the race.
2. Change Routing into a Route (check lower right "convert to route".
2. Go into the Route and optimize and simplify the route.
3. While in the Route check VM formula for VLM-VBVMG and click Apply.
4. While in the Route click on Autopilot Tab.
5. Click load automatically. Wpt load into the field below.
6. Then click send orders to Autopilot.
The boat will then follow the waypoints using the Virtual Loop de Mer Very Best Velocity Made Good Algorithms.

Another way of doing this is to determine the best mark to head for after doing routing optimizations.
1. Get the waypoint lat and long of that WP.
2. Tell the boat to head to that Long and Lat.
3. I don't believe that uses the autopilot.
4. Sometimes on a tight reach or downwind this is a better way to do it, but I don't know if it is the fastest.

I am having difficulty conceptualizing how the Routing Optimization should be used to maximum effect with the Autopilot.

Also I had great difficulty keeping my Trial Race on top and as the active race until I figured out that from qtVLM I had to go to Boats / Boats Settings and under Accounts move my Trial Boat "Nell" up to the top of the Accounts list. Then when I refreshed and updated VLM etc. I would not jump to rgleason boat. By the way, you need separate boat names for different concurrent races which are setup in your VLM website login.

I was doing pretty well I think in this race (totally inadvertant) until I triedd to actually make an optimized route and get it into the autopilot. By the tiime it got it into the autopilot, the first waypoint (the point where the boat was at the time I optimized) had long past. As a result I uploaded that waypoint to the autopilot and the boat turned 180 degrees and went the wrong way and a competitor passed me bye by the time I had figured it out. I tried deleting the waypoint to make the autopilot turn the boat around in the right direction, that might have worked I have to check.

Anyway, below are some screen shots, one of qtVLM during the race with the competitor nearby, and another of the VLM website showing the list of commands being sent to the virtual boat (including autopilot) which should be useful in figuring the techniques out.
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Old 07-11-2012, 14:26   #4
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Re: VENDÉE GLOBE round the world race

The wiki for Autopilot is useful.
QtVlm autopilot VLM - VlmWiki

You can program VLM's autopilot
  • Through the menu 'Route>Edit a route' and send POIs to autopilot more help
  • Directly through Autopilot function:
1- Press the "Autopilot" button. This will open a new dialog:

2- Click on the '+' button:
3- Click on the drop box 'Constant Heading':
  • If you choose 'Constant Heading' or 'Constant Wind Angle' you have to enter an angle in the next field.
  • If you choose 'Ortho' 'Best VMG' or 'VBVMG',
    • you can capture coordinates directly in the next field, or
    • you can click on the WP button and choose a POI directly on the map
4- Enter the date at which the instruction sould be executed. 5- Validate. This will send instructions to VLM's autopilot



Sometimes Autopilot gets hung up, or seems to be hung up and things are frozen. I haven''t figured out what causes that or what is happening. I've tried closing and reopening the program, but don't know if that helps yet.
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Old 07-11-2012, 15:26   #5
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Re: VENDÉE GLOBE round the world race

I'll be curious to know how you freeze it, this thing is used by a lot of people for many years. If you can reproduce it please send me the procedure so we can fix it.

The BIG trick with autopilot in VLM (and this is on purpose), is that you cannot say "When I will reach this WP, then go that direction". You have to think: at that TIME, go that direction. The difficult part is to evaluate exactly at what time you want to change heading. The route tells you, but only until there is a new grib, so you have to take some decisions (how stable is the weather, what if the wind prediction changes a lot, etc). The thing is that the routing module almost always calculates a wrong route, because if he would have know about the next grib update, he would have choosen another route, obviously . It gives the best one until the next grib update that can (and probably will) ruin everything. Best sailors know better than just routing modules

A good advice is to have a general strategy, and to stick to your guns.
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Old 07-11-2012, 16:01   #6
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Re: VENDÉE GLOBE round the world race

Maitai,
The apparent freeze up may be UI (User Ineptitude), I don't know enough yet, but sometimes when I click on Autopilot, it does not open. Do I have to hit "Clear" first?

Your description of the problem with using grib files which are always past history to route a boat is good. Obviously we use the qtVLM routing to sse what the OLD grib says we should do. Then what?

If we think weather is stable, and it is a reach or close reach most of the way to the selected mark (perhaps missing some marks in between, but being on the correct side of them), then is it reasonable to send the autopilot the very simple list of waypoints for that optimized route? Then pick VBVMG just under the autopilot? What does this do? Just ensure that the boat's sails are trimmed best according the boat polars and in the constant direction to the fixed headings towards various waypoints?

What is the best technique to use going upwind?
Set up some blocking barriers somehow and just tell the boat to sail upwind at VBVMG with no waypoint destination entered?
Or should we try to hand sail the boat for awhile, keeping it to the optimal wind angle?---I guess that is what the polars and autopilot are supposed to do.

Humm, the difference is that the Autopilot is looking at actual/current gribs and we have optimized a route using OLD gribs by the time the route is actually used.

I guess I am not going to figure this out overnight. 3 days until the start.

Rick
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Old 07-11-2012, 16:16   #7
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Re: VENDÉE GLOBE round the world race

From the Sailing Instructions:
5.1 The course is sailed around the world from west to east, descending the Atlantic
Ocean from north to south:
 Start (SI 7)
 To port, Cape of Good Hope,
 To port, Cape Leeuwin,
 To port, Cape HornPage 4
 To starboard, Antarctica.
 Ascent of the Atlantic Ocean from south to north.
 Finish (SI 9)
The passage points set out in SI 6 must be complied with.
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Old 07-11-2012, 16:44   #8
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Re: VENDÉE GLOBE round the world race

5 Navigations mode in VLM:

-Heading (i.e. loxo route, fixed heading angle). No WP for that mode. You just go let's say North (0.0 degrees), regardless on the wind direction.
-Wind Angle. You keep a fix TWA. That's good too but of course you can draw some nice circles on the map after a while. And maybe now the best angle to go upwind for this boat is 30 TWA because the wind is 10 TWS, but in 2 hours the wind will be 30 TWS and you'd better go 45 TWA... Not that simple. That mode does not use a WP, like the previous one.

The next three navigation modes require a WP. If no WP is defined VLM will assume the next WP is the next gate (the closest point of the next race gate)

-Ortho. Ortho route to the next WP or next gate if no WP is defined. Regardless of the wind.
-VMG. Best VMG route to the next WP. The formula is well known. It's called Best CMG (Course Made Good) in some books.
-VBVMG (VeryBestVMG). A bit difficult to explain. Let's say it will more or less go Ortho if the wind permits, and will start to tack or gybe automatically if the wind is too close. Most players use that, although this is not always the best.

You can try the different navigation in qtVlm with a route, by changing the navigation mode to a POI (right-click on it, etc). The route does not know about the 2 first modes (fix HDG or fix TWA), there is another small module for that (grib esteem)

When a WP is reached what happens?

A WP in VLM is reached when the distance to this WP is less than the distance that was sailed by the boat during the last vacation (usually 5 mn)

When a WP is reached VLM will automatically switch to the next race gate, in the same navigation mode (i.e either ortho, vmg or vbvmg), unless a fix heading has been specified for this WP. In short either you leave the heading-to-follow (@120 for instance) empty and the boat will continue in the same nav mode to the next gate, or if it is not empty it will follow a fix heading (120 in our example) until you tell him to do something else.
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Old 07-11-2012, 17:36   #9
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Re: VENDÉE GLOBE round the world race

Thanks for the Tip about Time Maitai. Here's a shot of the screen after creating a current "optimized" route and setting Autopilot to follow the route using VBVMG.

Then I created two more optimized route segments using the expected finish date and time from the previous segment, as the start time.

Now it looks like in about 4 hours the boat will be at the end of the first route segement, so I'll have to download a new grib, run a routing optimization, convert to a new more current route, optimize and simplify that route, then send those instructions to the autopilot. I suppose I can just add the new instructions to the autopilot on top of the old ones.

Is this a reasonable approach? I know I have not added any weather interpretation here, but I am tryiing to get the mechanics right.
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Old 07-11-2012, 17:56   #10
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Re: VENDÉE GLOBE round the world race

Here's the screen pic I mentioned above.

Just read your Five Navigation Modes above which is very helpful. Thank you. At one point, after I went to bed I think it reached the end and automatically went to the next WP and since I had it in VBVMG it continued sailing properly around the course.

Interesting that VMG may be better for a certain leg.
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Old 07-11-2012, 18:49   #11
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Re: VENDÉE GLOBE round the world race

From the Instructions to Racers

Virtual Loup-De-Mer

Le Vent des Globes - Grandes courses et Tours du monde - La Taverne
Boats in the Port Olona http://webcam-hd.com...ort-olona.php (live on in the panel click on the small rectangle is the direct)

DOORS AND CROSSINGS
Crossing points (Gough Island and Heard Island) are to starboard.
Doors shall be met by boats.
Definition: A gate is defined by a set of points of the same latitude, bounded on the east and west by two different points of longitude.
Each competitor must pass north at least some point in the door.


GATES AND TRANSITION POINTS
Crossing points (Gough Island and Heard Island) are to be left on starboard.
Gates must be RespectED by the boats.
Definition: Defined by a gate is a set of dots on the same latitude, limited to the East and to the west by 2 points of different longitude.
Boats shall pass to the north of at least one point of the gate


Gough Island A left to starboard / Leave to Starboard
Door Atlantic 42 ° 00 S 005 ° 00 E 015 ° 00 E
Door seals 50 ° 00 S 040 ° 00 E 050 ° 00 E
Heard Island A left to starboard / Leave to Starboard
Door Australia West 46 ° 00 S 103 ° 00 E 113 ° 00 E
Door Australia East 50 ° 00 S 136 ° 00 E 147 ° 00 E
Door New Zealand 52 ° 00 S 180 ° 00 E / W 170 ° 00 W
Pacific West Gate 52 ° 00 S 145 ° 00 ° 00 W 135 W
East Gate Pacific 52 ° 00 S 110 ° 00 ° 00 W 100 W

Bash thanks for getting us prepared. As Maitai suggested, should we have an OCPN Team and logo?
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Old 07-11-2012, 23:46   #12
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Re: VENDÉE GLOBE round the world race

For the flag all I need is an image in png format, size 30x20.

Concerning the pilototo there is a much faster way to set it up. In VLM mode there is a pilototo tab in the route edition dialog, so you can send it all automatically to it. You have to check VBVMG-VLM formula (to make a long story short, the formula is a bit different than the one used by qtVlm by default) for it to accept it.

So the easy way is to prepare a route, then when you feel it's ok just send it all to pilototo (well, the 6 first WPs since pilototo takes only 5 orders)
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Old 08-11-2012, 07:50   #13
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Re: VENDÉE GLOBE round the world race

Maitai, I've attached the Flag which is derived from the OCPN Icon, it is 30x20 and png as you requested. I hope this is OK with OpenCPN development team (see attached).

Quote:
Maitai: Concerning the pilototo there is a much faster way to set it up. In VLM mode there is a pilototo tab in the route edition dialog, so you can send it all automatically to it. You have to check VBVMG-VLM formula (to make a long story short, the formula is a bit different than the one used by qtVlm by default) for it to accept it.

So the easy way is to prepare a route, then when you feel it's ok just send it all to pilototo (well, the 6 first WPs since pilototo takes only 5 orders)
Okay, I believe Maitai is suggesting that from within qtVLM program on our computer:
1. After you have run a Routing and then within the Edit Routing dialogue box, you have checked the box to convert the Routing to a Route (lower right).
2. Then you Edit the converted Route, and check the Optimize box and run that and then the Simplify box and run that or Apply.
3. Then you check the VBVMG box and Apply that.
4. Then you cllck on the Autopilot Tab where you will find the instructions empty. You then upload to the your boat's Autopiloto for that race which is on the server, your, next 6 waypoint instructions.
5. Then you make sure you have selected the appropriate Navigation Mode - see Maitai's Instructive "5 Navigation Modes" above.

You can check that the instructions have been uploaded by logging into your account on the website, selecting the boat from the drop down (after subscribing to a race and assigning a boat to the race) you will see the Pilototo Screen. You can pick "Pilot Instructions" "Schedule Events" button to see actions. Or under the Login area you can select "Profile" and under "Boats of this Player" pick the boat and race. Then pick "Recent Actions". This is a decent way of keeping track of what is actuallly happening on the server with your boat.

Now of course, there appears to be another way to send instructions to the boat, that is directly to the website Pilototo (I am using "Autopilot" for the qtVLM program interface and "Pilototo" for the internet user account boat-race interface).

Regarding use of Pilototo, it appears that VLM Mode (Virtual Loop de Mer) can also be used on the website? Virtual Loup-De-Mer after logging in with email and password and picking the particular boat from the upper left drop down, the subscribed race and Pilototo appear (see attached). I have not used this Pilototo interface yet and do not know if the qtVLM Autopilot has two way access to it (send and recieve) such that actions in Pilototo are mirrored in qtVLM Autopilot (interface shown in various attachments above).
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Old 08-11-2012, 08:04   #14
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Re: VENDÉE GLOBE round the world race

Here is a screenshot of the route Nell took after I went to bed. It appears to have made it to Waypoint 8 as instructed (where the instructions to the Autopilot ended).

Then Nell turned appears to have continued on some course (perhaps just using part of the VBVMG algorithm) = Red line. Then there appears to be another set of waypoints uploaded =blue which Nell is going to follow. Is this correct? I am wondering how that happened.

I did have some other sequential routes set up and saved, but had not uploaded them to the autopilot. I suppose I should have done so before going to bed?

Thanks
Rick
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Old 08-11-2012, 08:19   #15
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Re: VENDÉE GLOBE round the world race

Okay, here I've corrected my misguided boat by downloading new Grib, running Routing and Route optimization & simplification, then selecting VLM-VBVMG checkbox, applying, and then sending the waypoints to the Autopilot in the Route / Autopilot Tab.
The result is shown below.
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