1) In VLM there is no tidal/currents nor waves. Just wind
2) Polar is the same for all boats participating in a race. It's automatically downloaded from VLM if you don't have them.
3) There is no short answer to that. It depends a lot on the boat, and on the region. Mediterranean
Sea for instance is much more tricky that Atlantic, generally speaking (i.e. you can expect a lot of wind
shift from one grib to another, while in Atlantic more general considerations prevail).
4) Not rocket science, but take some practice to master. We have all hit a number of beaches and rocks, and it still happens from time to time. There are different types of doors in VLM.
5) Start is very simple, at the begining your are at TWA 0 so you don't move, as soon as you change this you're sailing. No navigation rule
apply (starboard, etc), we don't care, it's a routing game.
6) qtVlm is enough. You just need to create an account on VLM site and a boat (or many). And you need to register a boat in a race on the site. Then qtVlm does it all. There are other, equivalent tools.
You can post in english at La Taverne, no problem at all.
In VLM there are 5 navigation
-Heading: you just enter a heading and the boat will go that way. Loxodromic route, in fact.
-Wind Angle: the boat will sail at a fix TWA
-Orthodromic toward a WP: the boat will follow an orthodromic route to reach a WP
-VMG: the boat will follow the best VMG route towards a WP according to polar, grib and a WP.
-VBVMG: (stands for VeryBestVMG) The boat will follow an orthodromic route towards a WP, unless the WP heading is not inside the best-VMG winds according to polar and wind (i.e. it will go ortho unless for instance ortho will make it sailing to much upwind)
You can also use autoPilot
to pass up to 5 orders in advance. So you don't need to be 24/24 on it. Practically 2 or 3 times a day,but it's not rare to program several days in advance.