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Sailing, in the true sense of using great big white sheets of material to gather the wind's power allowing you to move forward, without any engine powering you is extremely technical and hands on. Most of us have seen people winding ropes and ducking crossbeams, and on bigger boats, climbing up masts. SAIL SIMULATOR 2010, as it needs to, if it is to have any chance of achieving some degree of realism, models every sail and rope. then there is the rudder and, in some cases, the keel to keep control of. Racing especially, or cruising, you’re constantly pulling this and hoisting that to grab ever ounce of power from the wind.

Although there are no tutorials explaining how to set sails and make use of the boats other functions, something can be learned from watching the AI in action. Fortunately the PC can take over any control at any time, so you can ease yourself in a bit at a time.

The overall visuals are not wonderful but a fair job has been made of modelling the sea. There are four locations off different coasts but that is irrelevant as only the sea conditions are of any consequence.

The simulator boats are of six types, ranging from the bouncy little Laser to the big seven-man Open 70. A catamaran will be available as an ad on. For the full and unbeatable experience and the thrill of competition, you need to join the groups of would be sea goers that turn up regularly on the Stentec server. Scraping past buoys, juggling racing lines, and all the other race tactics necessary in stopping others competitors from grabbing your wind are all involved. This is when Sail Simulator 2010 is at its best. A simple online ranking system uses individual performances to build an international league table.

Great fun for those who will never have any other way of trying their hands at the sport.