... more about Cirrugator:
Position and Performance Tracking
Typically you enter the "morning-roll-call" position data of your boat and other racers, and Cirrugator returns results in numerical and graphical form (including Mercator charts), which allow you to see your position, performance, ETA, and standing in your division and in the overall race.
PCR ratings will be taken into accout; you can see the data corrected and uncorrected.
You may also enter as many additional time/position data as you wish and see your performance along those additional segments.
Cirrugator uses a database which allows holding an almost unlimited number of race data. Some of the Pacific Races - Pacific Cup and Transpac - of the recent years have already been entered in its entirety and more will be entered. Cirrugator allows to select any boat from any race and to display it numerically and graphically against any other, but can also show all (!) of them simultaneously, if you wish.
To protect against any inadvertent modifications of the many data, Cirrugator uses a password based permission system. However, in a custom-installation this remains all under your own full control.
To enable routing for a particular boat, this boat`s polars must be custom-implemented in Cirrugator. In addition wind data are needed in the form of grib files, which are uploaded into Cirrugator. These grib files can be obtained e.g. though the sailmail e-mail services for grib, or directly from the NOAA servers.
The best-route calculation under Cirrugator offers some options not found in other routers:
- If weather data for consecutive days are available, then the default is to use a "moving grib" calculation" where the weather data are interpolated to give the best representation for the wind conditions at the time and position of the boat as the boat advances.
- To avoid having the router propose long stretches of DDW (Dead Down Wind) sailing, Cirrugator offers an option - the "Comfort Polars" - to deemphasize DDW situations. Same applies to close hauled courses. Cirrugator finds the best route(s) avoiding such "sailing on the edge" extremes, which may be not only dangerous to sail but basically impossible to manage efficiently for several days in a row.
- The Cirrugator algorithm developed for routing calculates a single forward course only. This is all it needs to derive best and next best routes with full consideration for the changing weather pattern.
- Since routing is a very computation intensive task, Cirrugator allows to fine-tune the depth of the calculation.
The routing relies on the weather data. If these lack quality and/or detail - occasionally the case given the limit from poor digital connections available on most sailboats - , the quality of the routing may suffer. It is up to the navigator to use all the tools available in Cirrugator to make the final call on the route!
If these conditions are met, Cirrugator can be run on Linux, Mac, Windows, and any other!
When Cirrugator is used on the boat, the computer - typically a laptop - must have the webserver installed. A number of fully-compliant open source packages are available on the web for free download. Cirrugator will then be run purely locally - it does NOT need an internet connection. However, as you can see on this website, it also does run well via the internet!
Cirrugator began its life on the sailboat Cirrus (as the "Cirrus Navigator") in the Pacific Cup 2000 as an EXCEL program. Next use was again on Cirrus in the Pacific Cup 2004. It proved itself by giving us the information needed to rescue third place in division literally in the last minutes! The EXCEL program got a bit unwieldy, and therefore in 2006 a beta version of Cirrugator Version 2 was used, at that time already based on a web application running under Kubuntu Linux 6.06 ("Dapper Drake"), which marked the first time that an Ubuntu version - and possibly even Linux - was used as a basis for an offshore sailboat racing application ("Kubuntu goes to sea").
In 2007 the routing ability was added to Cirrugator (released as version 2.1), and Cirrugator was used in the same year again on Cirrus, but on the Transpac. The race was characterized by a very difficult weather scenario, and Cirrugator was quite instrumental in getting Cirrus on 1st place in her division!
If in any doubt about how well Cirrugator did, simply read the blog at cirrus2007.blogspot.com, and/or rerun the race from within Cirrugator!