The SLVTrophy is a grid-wide competition for ACA33 racers, inspired by the Real Life Vuitton Trophy events. Don Berithos and Roan Blackburn from Golden Gate Yacht Club have tirelessly promoted the concept in both SL and RL for many months, and the pieces are now falling together quite nicely.

During the first phase of the multi-week SLVT competition, individual clubs and sailing groups are invited to hold their own in-house races; each approved club can choose two skippers they want to represent them in a final regatta series that will take place in early August.

Liv Leigh helped don develop an organizational vision for the event; it includes a great “match template” that any other club is welcome to adopt, follow, or adapt to their own needs. It consists of  a simple round-robin match race shoot-out scheme that lets each club chose the “challenge skippers” to represent them for the August event.

However, if you want to be part of SVLT and use another format, or an entirely different selection method… hey, that’s ok too.  This is an interclub event, and its up to each interested sailing group to decide what they want, what they think works best, and what’s most fun for them. Having said that, let me also comment that I’m pretty sure only one date is still open for regatta qualifying matches, and that slot will almost certainly go fast this coming week. Please contact Don, Roan, Liv, or Jane, or maybe just post a note to ISailSL if you’d like your club involved during July.

Anyway, so far SL-VT’s held THREE qualifying  events. The first two were at Tradewinds and Mango. This weekend however GGYC held Round Three in Dire Strait, sailing from the new Linden  raceline in Fedallah. GGYC’s Commodore Don Berithos was in charge, and he decided on a bare-bones, up-down racecourse and a no-nonsense strait line elimination series, as shown below.

The first day of Round Three races were held on Saturday June 26 at 6:00am and 10:00am. Although the race track was modelled after a classic Windward-Leeward course, don chose a SouthEast wind for day one; that made the initial elimination trials a fairly easy “reach sail” in both directions.

Well, easy or not, the skippers sprang into action, ready to roll. Elizabet Foxtrot showed exactly how much enthusiasm the competition fleet shared… She sailed against Don B himself in the very first race, strait out of of the blocks at 6:00am. Don drew up the course and picked the wind.  Although Don sailed very well, Elizabet handily defeated him… on that very course Don himself drew up! ( 🙂 nice going Elizabet, and thanks for taking it so graciously, Don!).

The remainer of Saturday’s matches were just as intense, and by the end of Saturday racing, the only four skippers who remained standing were Colin Nesmeth, KazumaHs Destiny, Takabou Destiny, and Elizabet Foxtrot. they were all pretty fantastic, but the SLVT rules said GGYC could only name two of them to represent the Club in the grid-wide August finals. Sunday’s races were therefore critical; Sunday would determine which half of the Saturday, 4-way celebrity dance card would advance, and who might earn the right to fly the GGYC burgee in the SL-VT ultimate race-off next month.

No surprise, the Sunday races were rather excellent. I was particularly impressed that the spectator crowd took an active, detailed interest. One viewer posted a concerned comment Saturday night saying that the race course was designed as a Windward/Leeward challenge, but Saturday’s race wind was a reach. He argued that the choice of wind wasn’t the best test condition for Round Three.

Well… Kudos to don Berithos; he apparently saw the same problem and took those outside comments to heart. Sunday’s race wind was different, more difficult. It came from the southwest, forcing  all the boats to start on a classic upwind beat to the top mark in STUBB sim.

Grin. Did I say “Classic start” and ” Traditional, RL first leg upwind beat ?”
Well those words mean a lot to seasoned racers in RL and SL…
People with the skill, determination, and experience of Team Destiny.

When I realized there was a wind shift to the ‘usual, extra-tough upwind/downwind exercize,’ I imagined that change might only advantage a few people… those sailors who had the long-term experience and the hard-won knowledge from extensive practice on such a tough course. KazumaHs and Takabou Destiny have that hard-won insight and skill. Sunday’s race wind settings should have made the course more difficult. As proof, the Sunday finish times were a full 2-3 minutes longer than Saturday.  However, my guess is that experienced sailors in SL saw it differently. They were used to an upwind beat off the line, and also familiar with all the tribulations incurred from a return leg, downwind-dead-run duel with a challenging competitor on such a course. The change in wind settings seriously favored a leathery, SL-sunburned, salty sailor.

Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not say in any way it was unfair; in fact, quite the opposite. Changing the wind on Sunday to a classic Windward/ Leeward duel pushed the competitors to show their basic skills, and maybe even reveal a few tactics.  If you make the race conditions simple and classic, it suddenly becomes impossible  for any Skipper to win by ‘accident or mistake.’   A simple design forces the fleet to show their experience and skill.

I think I commented before, and quoted others as well stating the opinion that  “Team Destiny could win this whole regatta.”

Well ladies, gentlemen,
and sportsfans everywhere…
Today in Round Three,
KazumaHs Destiny and Takabou Destiny indeed won it all.
In fact,
they blew everyone else away in the process

You think maybe that says something for precision, skill, and practice? 🙂

Hey… I told you Team Destiny was Dangerous…

How Dangerous? Well even NIKE has a publc Service Announcement trying to stop Destiny, they sail so well. 🙂

Vodpod videos no longer available.

“Five Seconds to go, Destiny panics.”
I was there today, and all the other days.
Don’t count on it; Destiny doesn’t blink,
Team Destiny doesn’t panic.
Give them an opening… and they will WIN.

KazumaHs Destiny and Takabou Destiny win Round Three

Maybe we’d all be a bit better on land and faster on the water… with some Destiny in our lives.



6 responses to “SL-VT Round Three: MANIFEST DESTINY

  1. Roan Blackburn

    Jane, your photos are awesome!!

  2. Alain Gloster

    Once again your article makes a great regatta come alive 🙂

  3. I cant say enough for the team that has helped put this together .Including the R.L. Louis Vuitton Trophy Folks who with out there permissions this would never happened .My traveling to LaMadellan a Italy made all the difference . Livs pulling a round together so fact was key . As they viewed her first rounds in the press room. Jane for everything list to long and of course Roan .Also all the great clubs Of SL Sailing that had the vision of making this happen .
    Congrates to all that have made the finals so far and to our new brother of the GGYCSL .THE DESTINY BROTHERS .Our newest rd amy did a seasoned pros job this weekend , This event is getting its sea legs and more . SLVT is here to Stay.

  4. KazumaHs Destiny

    Thank you Jane for nice photos and article.
    And Thank you for don and Roan and GGYC and Amy and Live and all Racers.

    I’m happy to join SLVT.
    And I and taka are glad to win at same Round
    and to be known as ‘Team Destiny’.
    We keep on sailing and racing!
    Thanks again. Good wind to you all.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s