This article was originally posted to SLSailing.com on November 10, 2008.
I Want a New Gun
Last year’s Americas Cup Anywhere32 -Second Life regatta was a landmark in the development of SLSailing, and the ACA32 Racer was its tangible focal point, a sleek but majestic ship, the stuff of dreams and imagination.
I have great admiration for the energy and resources invested by so many people to make the ACA-Cup successful, and I routinely give new sailors the links to Surfwidow Beaumonts videos so they can share in the excitement.
The ACA-SL Cup helped stimulate the growth of SLSailing, and now eighteen months after the event, I’m impressed that the skill and enthusiasm of SLSailing’s race fleets have grown substantially. I’d even argue SL Sailors have lived up to the hype and the promise of Surfwidow’s great ACA-SL video promo:
“They’ve been haunted by a dream/
They are obsessed with it/
They will have to fight hard to capture it…”
Part of that dream is the boat, one that lives up to the reputation of the America’s Cup class. SL racers need a boat that pushes their skill, a boat that excites the imagination, but also one it’s grounded in a well-developed SL emulation of AC racing and design spec.
When it originally launched, the ACA32 was a good boat. However, within a few months the boat was ‘old technology,’ due largely to Owen Oyen’s introduction of apparent wind and windshadow effects in the ACC1.0.
The boat remained quite popular, however, and an upgrade was finally released at the end of July 2008; the ACA33. although the new boat contained a form of limited “wind shadow,” a number of well-recognized earlier bugs persisted in the new release, and PHRF testing showed no real difference in bottom-line race performance between the ACA32 and ACA33.
Nonetheless, the huge sail plan makes the boat hard to miss, and the ACA33′s seen a resurgence of popularity over the last couple months. It was the featured boat yesterday at the Sunday Starboard regatta.
Meanwhile, back in the boatyard, J Trudeau took a new look at the ACA33 and went through fixing a pretty hefty bug list. The 1.7/1.8 versions of the boat have substantial improvements in the HUD and racewind lock. At the same time she fixed the port/starboard speed difference (the original ACA33, like its predecessor ACA32 was 10% faster on a port tack).
There were yet more problems with the distributed versions of the 1.7/1.8 boat, so the boat is technically back in beta at the moment. My understanding is the boat may get a new windshadow system in addition to another bug fix. Look for something in December.
But while we’re talking about it, I’ll tell you what I really want for my very merry ACA Christmas… I want an ACA33 that uses apparent wind! I mean what’s windshadow without apparent wind? That’s like a day without sunshine… (I’ll keep you posted)
And now here’s the answer to a question you never asked:
Can a tiny avatar sail a Leetle Cat without a major overhaul?
Chaos Mandelbrot has been toiling hard and keeping late nights going through the beta test fleet of boats to make sure the boats are safe or easily adaptable for use by Tinies. As you can see below, the LCat passes!!
Apparently the jury is still out on the ACA33. The trial run we did appeared to have a problem with the relative position of the attached hull to the tiny.
We actually think this could be the snowman’s fault, not the boats, and so further testing is indicated. As always, we will keep you informed as news breaks on this one.
You need more fizz your life
You probably already heard about this, but given all the other disappointments in your life this past week I’m not sure you believed this could possibly be true. I’m here to confirm it.
There is a new Fizz working its way along the Mothgirl production line. When I got a chance to see it, it still hadn’t been water tested.
This boat looks very interesting with a bunch of new features I’ll tell you about once I get chance to see it in action. And that may be pretty soon, since I heard that Taku Raymaker’s fleet had the boat out this morning. Rumor has it… everybody lived!!!
The new features in this boat might even get me to attempt to sail a Fizz again.
A Fanci Halloween 2008
I wanted to give a big shout out to Fanci Beebe for hosting this year’s Halloween party.
it was very nicely done, and a huge amount of work, humor and love must have gone into putting it together. I have no idea where she finds the time to do all the stuff and run all those sims… Well, what’s that phrase?
“President of the World Bank, and she still finds time to bake her own cherry pies.”
What? What do you mean you never heard that phrase before?
The party was really great. It was wonderful seeing old friends. Everybody, I mean everybody, showed up.