Welcome to the nineteenth post in the series “VR Sailors - MarineVerse Community” - introducing sailors racing in MarineVerse Cup.

Today, we are chatting with Colin from Berkeley, CA in US.

In virtual reality, you can meet Colin in MarineVerse Cup as SwabbinQuincyTeach. In MarineVerse Cup SwabbinQuincyTeach is racing in a “Pro Series” and as of today is #36 in the world.

We have asked Colin a couple of questions..

What is your sailing experience?

Sailing Experience: 20 years of cruising, about 7 of racing and race committee (former flag officer of the Berkeley Yacht Club - Fleet Captain, Rear Commodore, Vice Commodore)

What is your favourite sailing memory?

The day I really learned how to sail was the day I ditched my sailing class, waited behind the wall of the sailing center until the class left the dock in their Capri 14’s, then sailed after them with a bucket full of water balloons in a Victory 21, wearing an eye patch and waving a plastic sword about.

It was my first time using a jib (we went with main only on the Capri’s in the intro class). After an hour of harassing my classmates, we were all headed back in, short tacking our way up the main navigation channel in the harbor, when the outhaul on one of the boats broke, the sail started flapping, and the 3 girls in the boat panicked and ran into the side of a fishing boat.

At that point, the fun was over and we sailed alongside to help. My buddy, who was skippering our boat, began making some rather odd decisions at this point, dropping the main while sailing upwind “to depower us”, telling me to take the tiller, stepping off of our boat onto the broken one, then turning around and yelling back to me, “Don’t hit the sandbar!”

So with the main in my lap, one jibsheet in my hand (the wrong one, of course), and the boat on a course to run aground in about 3 seconds, I had to figure out on the spot how to sail. I figured out I could sail downwind to get some boat speed, then turn up and luff the jib, using my momentum to sail around the sanbar, after which I had enough time to dive under the main, find the other jib sheet, and get the boat sailing in circles until my buddy rigged a fix for the other boat and had them sail back over to me.

As we passed by the sailing school dock, the instructor walked out to the end and said in a stern voice, “You two gentlemen…” I’m thinking I’m in trouble, since I’m actually supposed to be in that class, but I’d just spent the last hour harassing her students, when she says, “Thanks for the help.” I was so taken aback, I just blurted out, “But… we’re pirates!”

Tell us something about your experience with MarineVerse Cup?

It was a thrill to see the spinnaker unfurl for the first time, but I think the highlight for me was sailing over top of the giant whale.

MarineVerse Cup Quest

Who and why should try MarineVerse Cup

I love racing, but I hate getting dressed, putting on sunscreen, and going anywhere. I also hate the physical exertion of hoisting, dousing, and grinding, banging up my knees as I crawl about the boat, ducking the boom, packing the kite… really everything but trim and tactics. That’s why this game is perfect for me. All I really have to do is steer, trim, and make decisions. This game is great for the analytical, but lazy.

Any tips for those new to sailing that want to race in MarineVerse Cup?

We sailors like to talk about our starts like the rest of the race didn’t happen.

To be sure, you always need to be watching the wind angle and trimming accordingly, and looking to sail through the puffs and avoid the holes, but I think the most important thing you can do to improve your time is learn how to start.

In the pre-start, sail up to the line and look at the wind angle to the mark and the color of the water on each side of the course. Decide which side of the line you want to start on, which way you want to be headed when you cross it to take advantage of the wind direction and/or heavier air, and figure out how to make sure you hit the line going as fast as possible at the 0 mark (I’ve found with no collisions, a beam reach works best, but you have to time it just right).

The seconds I lose due to inefficient trim and mark roundings, or sailing through holes and missing puffs, usually add up to a lot less than the seconds I lose by screwing up the start.

MarineVerse Cup

MarineVerse Cup is all about the community. If you would like to try sailing join us. You can meet VR sailors at our Discord chat server and you can downland MarineVerse Cup on Steam or via Oculus Quest AppLab.

We hope you enjoyed this blog post in “VR Sailors - MarineVerse Community” series - stay tuned for more soon!