Can a cyclone be overtaken?
Post by iconPost by Saileellely | 2017-12-14 | 09:08:05

Hi there,

Probably like many others, I currently find myself stuck behind the cyclone since a day.

The eye is stable about 1 to 2 hrs ahead of me, to my starboard. Being on southern hemisphere (cyclone going clockwise etc) wind comes from starboard behind me.

Looking at the forecast for the next 24 hrs together with the projected path, I can see that this remains that way as long as it goes.

In order to pass the cyclone on the north (downwind) side, I will need to gybe for profiting from the changing wind direction. This makes me loose speed and go in the wrong direction.

Last night I noticed my boat correcting violently to stay in this position relative to the eye. Also the speed changes from 25mph to 13mph if I get too close to the cyclone. I see that the eye moves at speeds slower than my maximum 25mph, so that would allow me to overtake. However, I think that the physics of the cyclone and the sails traps me behind the cyclone. I also got many bad sail warnings, probably between code0 and HG.

Am I right in saying that a cyclone cannot be overtaken? If I am wrong, how can it be overtaken?

commenticon 17 Comments
Post by iconPost by toxcct | 2017-12-14 | 10:41:57
You never can go faster than the weather events... Forget about it.

morevover, in real like sailing, you would most probably prefer avoiding such a storm anyway ;)
Post by iconPost by zezo | 2017-12-14 | 12:06:46
You can't overtake the whole thing. Sometimes you can move from the back to the front side if it moves slow enough, but that does not happen in the roaring latitudes where there is nothing to slow it down.
Post by iconPost by nsp | 2017-12-15 | 00:02:37
Sorry guys but I disagree with you, In general and in the case of Saileellely in particular

The answer is more yes and no!

You can get into it. You can runaway from it! Literally! You run with the wind with the most favorable angle possible.

And it all has to do about how deep into the depression you are or want to be. To overtake it you don't go over the eye

And you can use it as a slingshot not getting exactly in the middle of it.

But each case is a case and it all depends on the speed of the system and the way you can afford to get out of it. It is is a question of survival is one thing if you are in a race it'a another, sometimes line is narrow in between.

In your case, the pratical problem, of course you can get out of there you can navigate faster than this concrete cyclone, plus his route is different than yours. So in this case, defenittelly you can overtake it.

Simply you are heading the wrong way, to get out of there and get in a more favorable position in a question of hours you have to jibe otherwise you are pursuing the eye of the cyclone. So basically you have to Jibe east even if later you have to counterjibe and jibe again later on. Get the hell out of there!!!

Post by iconPost by Ursus Maritimus | 2017-12-15 | 00:32:40
it all depends how fast the depression moves. if it doesn't move to much, you can easily outsail in. best would be with the airflow, but you could even beat it upwind.

in VR, your boat doesn't can damaged (yet) bu it will slow down above 35 kts.
Post by iconPost by nsp | 2017-12-15 | 00:45:35
Yes. As I said depends on the case...speed of depression, and of course the boat, and crew :)))

Here it's so easy we don't even get a drop.

By the way, those who say that a Southern Indian Ocean Storm is really scary apparently never saw a deep Cyclone in North Atlantic or a white sea off Açores.... THAT is scary! And I never saw but heard about the Northern Sea off Scandinavia it's another place like those.
Post by iconPost by zezo | 2017-12-15 | 00:55:33
I haven't seen any ocean in person. Just Black and Aegean sea meltemi and squalls, waves 2-2.5m max. Have sailed and windsurfed in force 6-7 wind, 26-28 kts, gusts above 30. 90kg person starts flying around with 4m2 sail.
Post by iconPost by nsp | 2017-12-15 | 02:34:08
The max I got in an off shore race was in Mediterranean with Mistral in south of France, +35kts with gusts above 42 knts. It's crazy how fast it comes. In the 10 minutes signal to start it was under 15 knots TWS, at starting every boat was going to second reefs. And then even a calm sea like the Mediterranean, becomes a roller coaster.

In our country 26-28knts is common in winter weekend races. Above 20 in the afternoon in Summer races in west coast.

Last weekend we had a storm hitting the coast with warnings to +10m waves and 64knts of wind...but it's an extraordinary event..once, twice a year.

Post by iconPost by nsp | 2017-12-15 | 19:30:58
By the way we can see Mistral in Vr map in this moment in South of France.

Apparently now it's effect of a low NW of spain, but no. Check it in 24hours, it's clear the flow and the wind speed and no Low. A french fishermen once told me they like it because it pushes the clouds to the italians and gives them clear sky.

Post by iconPost by zezo | 2017-12-15 | 00:44:51
I haven't checked the actual position we are discussing. From the current boat position it's possible to get in front of the center indeed. The router shows how to do it.

I was assuming something on the back AND South side, like yesterday's leading group.
Post by iconPost by nsp | 2017-12-15 | 00:55:38

By the time Sayleellely reads this the position of the boat relative to the eye will be the same..The eye is running away from the boat.

Wake up sailor!!!
Post by iconPost by Saileellely | 2017-12-15 | 09:07:07
Thanks guys, set my alarmclock too late. Indeed, I didnt manage. I figured that overtaking this storm would take some serious time on this game (for me it is a fun game which I do not take too serious) and off other important things to do this. I did enjoy playing with this storm and the relatively high speed that it got me towards the finish. I still wonder - could it have been done faster?

That makes it an interesting theoretical puzzle, which is no longer personal to anyone. I am still curious about how to do it. Will study the solution of NSP later, I think he is right. I did not check the router on this site yet.

For now, I have just gybed to go north. I figured the winds are slightly stronger 2h north, and I hope to regain the lost time by the increased speed.

Post by iconPost by nsp | 2017-12-15 | 18:41:30
Hi Saileellely,

I saw when you jibed and you did well and what has to be done.

As to stronger winds, beware, sometimes stronger winds doesn't mean that you go faster, it's also important the angle and the heading it allows you to make, and too much wind also slows your boat.

As to ways of going faster with this storm, look ahead- all thoseguys in front they had to deal with the same storm, so yes there is a way. And you can learn how to do it.

One way for you to understand it is exactly using the Zezo router tool, which is very easy and intuitive to use. CHeck it and compare the suggested route to what would be your first idea of route to follow. And then you will understand what you were doing the wrong way :)

Step by step.

Once you feel confortable, your next step (advanced one) is beat the tool and find a better strategy. One thing is granted if you force a strategy the tool is going to fight against you for some time trying to point you a different way you want to go as a strategy, but after a while it helps you again finding the best way in your mind set.

Other than that, I think for any doubt you have you will have here always anyone happy to help you.

Fair winds


Post by iconPost by nsp | 2017-12-15 | 19:05:07
byt the way. maybe you are now thinking.. a tool..learning to work with it...nahhhh...

it's just this

1. go to home in this site and chose vor map and click go
2. right click and check the box ifyou have full pack..if not uncheck and check what you have, or nothing if you have nothing (you just have to do this step once)
3. go to your game and click on 3D and note your coordinates
4. insert your coordinates in the tool (top right); don't forget the S (south) and E (east) in drop down menu
5. click go

Here you are you have a route till the end, granting you won't be stuck in the eye of a cyclone :)

It all takes less than a minute

Later there are ways to explain you to do it almost automatically, without having to write the coordinates, with just a click. But try this first. you are going to have a good surprise.

Post by iconPost by BigOz | 2017-12-15 | 11:25:03
To pass or not to pass that is the question...

Passing is possible if the depression is deep enough. In the southern hemisphere you will need to do this to the north. With the current game parameters you can play between 110 and 130 TWA. So try to the north slightly. If it doesn't work you'll be stuck with the system but you wont loose anything.

If you want to pass it, depends on where it is going... But who can say. In the southern ocean they normally tend to go where we want to go so it usually a good idea.

It's like surfing... you can choose to ride the wave all the way into the beach.Or yo can bail out and look for the next wave... But make sure you have fun. That's what counts...
Post by iconPost by Saileellely | 2018-01-06 | 09:45:34
Hi there,

Me again. Now sailing Jules Verne.

Within 12 hours I will find my self in the exact position again. Being sucked towards the middle of a big storm, while trying to sail on the downwind sector of the storm. Time for some tactical maneuvres.

I will try the route planner for this one for hints. Although, for me, it feels a bit like using a chess computer to beat an opponent on the chess game. Or using an automatic Sudoku solver.

Post by iconPost by Saileellely | 2018-01-06 | 09:53:12
The route planner on this site takes me home! I want to go around the world!
Post by iconPost by zezo | 2018-01-06 | 13:07:13
You have to set appropriate destination for your current position. Right click and select from the list or just right-click in the right place and "set as destination". Also Control-click if you are into keyboard shortcuts.

It's not cheating when everyone else uses computer too. It's just a different sport

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