Monthly Archives: November 2007

Armchair Binder wins Tako Cup 2007

Under treacherous SL conditions and unstable Linden seas, Armchair Binder today prevailed over Hans Zinnemann 3:1 to take the Tako Cup 2007 by a unanimous decision of the Race Committee.

The sea conditions today often made the final match more about survival skills than racing tactics. Over the next few days we’ll be posting many of the details, and watch for Surfwidow’s video of the final race, which will premiere here soon!

Friday Chaos

Originally posted to on November 2nd, 2007


Pardon me, I’m excited.  I had a chance to see the Friday PM Tako Races today at NYC.

Glida Pilote usually attracts a big fleet, and today was no exception.

Chaos Mandelbrot, Konradin Kappler, Francois Jacques, Glida Pilote, Glorfindel Arrow, Daizy Dovgal, Qwerty Freenote, and a new sailor, Frapp Graf, all came to test their speed, skill and determination (or something like that), racing in the southern seas of the United Sailing Sims. Today was pretty special. As Bea Woodget’s French Sail Team might put it, today’s races were… WTF!

(her translation: “Way Too Fun”).

The First race took off on course NYC B-2a:

Francois Jacques (FJ08) was first over the line!!!

However, Konradin Kappler (KK62), Daizy Dovgal (DD53), and Chaos Mandelbrot (CM91) were a mere fraction of a heartbeat behind:

Believe me, sports fans… this was no time to cut to commercial!

The entire fleet got off to a great start, but Chaos and Konradin immediately went into overdrive and pulled past Francois before the first tack:

WOW! This was some race! The entire fleet stayed in lock-step over the upwind beat that traverses Bougainville Strait, eyeing the first red mark. They blew past it and went off on a reach heading south to visit Jacqueline Trudeau’s sim (and the race mark therein contained).

And then…

Hey? What can I tell you? The fat lady already sang. Chaos Mandelbrot roared ahead on his personal Friday juggernaut, waving to Svar and Sallysue as he passed Vella Lavella Island, and slamming over the finish line for First Place with time enough to drink a Diet Coke. Welll… maybe a 17 second Diet Coke, anyway…because WHAM! There was Konradin and Francois on his tail, and over the line!

It wasn’t quite over yet, either. In the few days I’ve been writing this column, I’ve discovered something fascinating: often the best, most intense competitions are further back in the pack, among the sailors that bring new, fresh skill and desire to the competition. Tonight this award went to Daizy Dovgal and Frap Graf. I admit Daizy’s not new… she’s been around the race circuit a few days, and she’s not one to be taken lightly. But tonight she went head-to-head with Frap Graf, helping show him how we do it, but carefully keeping one second in front of him always, to take sixth place. Here they are crossing the finish line in tandem:

Thanks Daizy! and Welcome Frap!

And Frap? make sure you thank Daizy for today’s lesson!

Race Two: The Fleet again took off on Course B-2a.

The start was a bit of a replay, with Francois leading the pack, crossing again at 00:02, followed by Chaos, then Glida.

This time, Francois pulled out all the stops, and for three upwind sims she held Chaos at bay. However, approaching the first red mark, the water opens up and Francois could no longer play her game. Here’s a snapshot showing Chaos moving a litttle too leeward and a touch too forward of Francois… and breaking free!

Chaos found the wind, and he found his way. Unfortunately, the time and attention required to duel sailing maestro Francois cost Chaos dearly. Konradin was already focused, and on a winning mission.

Where was KK, you ask? How far ahead?

Well, here’s a snapshot taken a couple dozen seconds later, showing Konradin ready to take the homeward turn over the north east corner of Vella Lavella Island. If you look carefully, you can see Chaos’ blue mainsail in the far distance, just over KK’s shoulder:

Konradin won that race with nearly 40 seconds to spare. GREAT sailing, Konradin!!!Chaos technically came in second, but the entire fleet stepped on Chaos’ toes as they went over the line in unison. Here, for example, is a fantastic picture of Daizy Dovgal skirting the breakers a few moments earlier, with Glida and Chaos fighting to catch up…

Race Three… and Four…: OK…. I stayed for one more race…. It was pretty exciting and Chaos Mandelbrot won. Ask Chaos about it [grin].

Hey, it’s Friday night and I’m supposed to go to a jazz concert at some sim someplace…

or is this the Friday I’m supposed to help Nber dig in the Sahara Sim sands to retrieve Marktwain White?

… I dunno… I’ll let you all know…     Later!

Wednesdays with Mowry

Originally posted to on November 1st, 2007

One of the things I most love about sailing is the sense of history and tradition that suffuses all aspects of the sport.

And for many here, a lot of SL sailing history began on the deck of the Mowry Bay Yacht Club & Embalming Society. Ask any sailor who’s been around the SL docks for 18 months or more, and there’s a good chance they’ll get misty-eyed and tell you about the ‘great old days’ at MBYC.

However, over the last several months sailing at Mowry’s been pretty quiet, largely due to treacherous sim crossing problems and mainland lag. Late evenings MBYC was usually empty, except for Owen Oyen, who was frequently sitting at the Hepurn start line toiling away in solitude on his latest AC-class race boat.

Well, after several recent visits, I’m delighted to report that Mowry’s back! Saxxon Domela (Mowry’s ‘resident janitor’) has redone the clubhouse, and the Linden gods have finally fixed the sim crossing problems. Saxx has restarted the sailing program with a weekly series of fun races on Wednesday nights at 6:00pm.

Last night Pensive Mission was Race Director, so after the Beach Cat Races ended, Armchair Binder and I went over to Mowry to lend a hand.

It was a great deal of fun, and the race course worked quite nicely. Here’s a slightly modified version of the new chart for the Mowry “Olympic Course:”

It’s the same as the “Hepurn TPS Course”  many sailors used for hotlaps.  I actually like the old chart more, since it shows the location of the red buoy in Hahne sim more accurately.

Anyway, last night was a lot of fun at Mowry, and a few good races were even completed. Orca Flotta, Rett Gentil, Konradin Kappler, and Halfpint Pennell all skippered their Takos in the competition. Konradin (#62KK) got over the start line first, just ahead of Halfpint (#25HP), with Orca (#69OF) in their wake.

The two lead boats quickly diverged as they beat windward towards the first mark. Konradin chose a port tack, while Halfpint went out on  starboard. They converged again after the turn at the windward mark in Jasckle, and went neck-and-neck, trading punches while parallel overlapped over the long reach into Hahne.

At the red mark in the southwest corner of the sim, Halfpint made a beautiful inside pivot around the buoy to gain the lead and steal the wind from Konradin! Way to go, Halfpint! Here’s the view with Halfpint steaming ahead just after the turn:

The crowd could hear Konradin grinding his teeth as he strained canvas, trying to close the gap separating the boats. Digging deep and using all the skill and experience he’s gained from months of racing with the Starboards fleet in Hollywood, Konradin scraped forward, edging ahead at the next marker and grabbing for clean air.

Once KK broke free, he built on his lead, crossing the finish line a half minute ahead of Halfpint. Konradin’s one of the best sailors in the United Sailing Sims; he demonstrated it again here… but lookout everyone… Halfpint’s a real contender and she’s coming up fast! What a great race!

So gang? Give the Hepurn TPS Course a try, and put the Weds 6pm races on your calendar. And while you’re at Mowry, one other thing… visit Saxxon’s new shop there. Elisha Paklena gave me a quick tour… and WOOT!  Everything I saw I wanted.

I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned a particular store in these columns, but this one’s worth a shout-out. The display area is physically beautiful, and Saxxon’s artisanship is fun and unique. I mean, where else are you going to find a boat trailer for your Beach Cat or Tako? Go take a look, and visit all the other Mowry Village shops while you’re there!