Wednesdays with Mowry

Originally posted to SLSailing.com 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!

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