Monthly Archives: May 2010

Racing Sansara

The opportunities for sailing in Sansara and Heterocera are pretty widespread and wonderous, and the new sim-changes seem designed to enhance sailing excitement. The Lindens and the DPW Moles have done a pretty great job and deserve a big thanks from the sailing community. With that preface and mindset, now let me complain a bit, since any good sailing area needs options and opportunities for both cruising and racing. Unfortunately, Sansara’s three racelines in Hepurn, Adriatic, and ANWR are old, buggy and inadequate, and the recent Linden changes have actually made things worse there. Let me explain, and begin with Mowry Bay.
Mowry Bay Yacht Club, headed by it’s Resident Janitor Saxxon Domela, was founded nearly five years ago.  It’s the oldest, continuous mainland sailing group in all Second Life, and frankly, if you don’t know Mowry you don’t know SL-Sailing.  Check back in the history of many sailors and nautical estate owners in SL and you’ll find quite a few Old Salts who cut their teeth at Mowry, and still express their rather primordial Mow-mow genes. 🙂 Mowry has always been a focus for sailing innovation and simple good fun, from the days of the 2006  SLSF Cup to last year’s pretty incredible Mowry Sprints Regatta that came down to an epic duel between Gemma Vuckovic and Epicurus Emmons.
However, in the opinion of many, after nearly five years of continuous dedication to the SL sailing community Mowry’s sailing program is now dying. Here’s why: 
MBYC races off the Linden Hepurn raceline.  That raceline is only 40m long, and the line scripts date to Kanker Greenacre and Myrrh Massiel from the the summer of 2006 and the  SLSF Cup. The raceline is buggy, difficult to use, and exploitable; but wait!!! it gets worse!
As part of the Sansara upgrade, DPW recently pulled out MBYC’s race buoys and replaced them with daymarkers.
 HELP!!  The daymarkers may look authentic, but they are truly useless as SL race marks. The daymarkers are phantom, the colors cannot be seen from a distance, and they do NOT show up on mini-maps or the World Map. Last week this supposed ‘upgrade‘ brought Mowry racing and solo laps to a screeching halt.
The ANWR raceline is even worse!
The ANWR Oil Rig is a Second Life Start Landmark, and it exemplifies the subtle (and mildly perverse) humor that makes SL a fun place to be. ANWR also has a venerable, and historically important Linden raceline that was the old Kazenojin Seiringu test track and proving ground for the Tako. If you sail a boat in SL, it most likely owes it’s legacy to countless sailors who did windward/ leeward laps in ANWR in years gone by. 
Well, that ANWR raceline is still there, and its accessible from Sansara, but the raceline is not usable
As you can see below, the ANWR raceline has an old SLSF windsetter that’s set to Linden Maintenance Group, so only Lindens can race there! 🙂 Given the grand enhancements in Sansara I mentioned in my prior post, the loss of the ANWR raceline could bring one close to tears… but don’t start crying yet.
Sadly, the third Sansara raceline in Adriatic raceline fairs little better.
It’s another 2006 leftover from the SLSF Cup, and until a few days ago there was a four-year-old banner overhead with a fixed windsetter locked to Linden maintenance. Elisha Paklena filed a JIRA complaining about the Adriatic raceline on January 8, 2007 (yes, kids, three and a half years ago). The JIRA is now closed, but the ‘problem’ was never really fixed. At the moment there is no wind setter, but the 2006 raceline is still nearly unusable given its 40m length.
Sometimes “Size Matters,” at least with race lines.  The top image above shows a Trudeau J-Class crossing the Adriatic line. The second image shows a  J-Class lying parallel to the line.  A 40m race line may have been great for Takos in 2006, and it may even be sufficient for a Fizz  race today. However, it doesn’t work for the large majority of current racing boats in SL that want to use the line. At the time I’m writing this article, don Berthios is planning to use Adriatic for the SL-Vuitton Cup, with external cooperation from the WYTC and Golden Gate Yacht Club. The ACA-33 boats for that contest are 23m long, over half the length of the present line. By comparison, the Blake Sea-Atlantic raceline is more than three times longer than Adriatic!
Size isn’t everything, however. Sansara is a large sailing area, with rather vast interconnected waterways that span much of the continent and extend into Heterocera. It would be a great place to hold ‘distance’ races that travel from one raceline to the next, and there are multiple sailing groups in Sansara that would jump at that opportunity. To make it possible, the three Linden racelines need an upgrade. Let’s hope it happens.

Sailing Sansara


Sansara is Second Life’s original continent. The name for this huge region refers to a Sanskrit term for a Hindu concept of continuous motion in the physical world, and according to Linden Lab, the name Sansara was assigned to the original landmass  “in order to resolve… ambiguity.” 

(Cough; maybe that’s a stretch… When was the last time you pulled out a Sanskrit dictionary and an old copy of the Bhagavad Gita to ‘resolve ambiguity?‘ 🙂 ).

Anyway, don’t let that name stop you; Sansara has a venerable history that’s closely entwined with the development of SL Sailing, and DPW is busy adding new sailing features!


Sansara is honeycombed with interconnected waterways, and it’s linked by a one-sim corridor to the smaller, Northern land mass called Heterocera Atoll

If you click on the chart below, you’ll get a 2048×2613 pixel map of the Sansara waters that includes the sim names for much of the area; it reveals the large number of navigable waterways that adorn the continent.  Actually, you can sail for many hours exploring the wide open lakes and seas linked by narrow channels that extend across Sansara, and if you want even more, you can continue cruising Northward and enter the inner seas of Heterocera!

 Perhaps its no surprise, there are many sailing groups located in Sansara; here’s a chart template below showing the locations of a few of the clubs, groups, and communities around Adriatic Sea. It also shows the locations of race buoys, Linden racelines (in red) and private racelines (in pink).

 I wanted to talk about Sansara here because the Linden Department of Public Works is currently busy upgrading a number of nautical features across the continent, and it may be a good time for sailors to make suggestions regarding the features they might like to see.

For example, while I was writing this article, Mirtoon sim sprouted a new set of islands. Thanks to Naughty Mole, who was busy at work there adding content yesterday!

Changes are also planned for Icy Bay. Southwest Sansara has an extensive ‘Snowland Region‘ made from a large collection of ice-encrusted sims as shown in the figures below. Although Snowland is one of the largest SL regions without a major waterway, it’s eastern edge drops into Icy Bay, a region composed of a half-dozen arctic-themed water sims. Icy Bay presents a nice change of pace for skippers familiar with SL’s traditionally warmer sailing themes. DPW is planning more content features there, including snow and ice on the water.


Probably the biggest content change, however, is Mare Secundus, a newly-defined region of a dozen maritime sims located in the waters west of Mowry Bay. It’s still in progress, but you can’t miss the four-sim, serpentine string of islands that form a “2” on the map shown below. Go visit the region and see for yourself; it’s very nicely done, and it’s hardly secundus class!
[If you do go take a look, a bunch of us are having a debate over the origin of the term “Mare Secundus.” I have three or four suggestions, but my guess is they are all wrong 🙂 ]

SL- Vuitton Trophy Announced


 Woots! Commodore don Berithos of SL’s Golden Gate Yacht Club this past week officially announced the Sl-Vuitton Trophy series. SL-GGYC plans to organize the regatta in cooperation with the real life Vuitton Cup and USA’s GGYC, the winner of  this year’s Americas Cup!

The Second-Life Vuitton Trophy will parallel the real-life event that starts next week in Sardinia. The SL version will match the best sailors from participating clubs in an exciting one-design, multi-week sailing shoot-out that will end when a final, triumphant sailor is chosen worthy to take home the Vuitton Trophy for their Club. To add the requisite Veritas, Commodore Berithos is off  this coming week to La Maddalena, Sardinia to personally coordinate the SL Regatta in conjunction with the World Sailing Team Association RL Vuitton Trophy event.

According to Commodore Berithos:

” The RL Americas Cup has experienced falling popularity due to extended legal battles; at the same time, the monohull races seem to have gained popularity and acceptance under the format established by the owners of the Vuitton race — or actually the WSTA.
Given the fact that there was already an Americas Cup Regatta in Second Life, it seemed a natural fit for a new club like SL-GGYC to promote and organize the 2010 Vuitton Trophy.”

Falling popularity? Just wait!!!!

All SL sailors are welcome to belly-up and try their skill against the best skippers this two-bit grid has to offer. They will sail the most recent version of the ACA-33 available at the time of the race, and all skippers will comply with one-design race standards. Commodore Berithos anticipates that after the qualifying trial salt-spray clears, approximately 10-12 winning skippers will advance into the final phase, where they will represent their clubs in a series of 1:1 match races that will winnow the competition to a few remaining finalists. Those last regal vessels will then contend head-to-head in au ultimate racing trial that will determine the 2010 Vuitton trophy winner (I’m hyperventilating already)!!

The qualifying and final phases of the SL Vuitton are outlined in a slideshow you can see by clicking here. As I mentioned above, the first qualifying phase is designed to help participating clubs chose the two skippers that will represent them in the final competition. Individual clubs will be in charge of the races and members of the SL-Vuitton Trophy group will help them coordinate all phases.

If you have comments, want more information, or are roaring to sign up, go to GGYC’s ISail website! A lot more info is coming!