SL-VT Round Five Part Two: Glorfindel and Carmen!

On July 10-11 NYC hosted Round Five of the SL-VT Qualifying series to chose two more skippers for the upcoming SL-VT grid-wide finals in August.

I’ve already reported on the first two races. Let’s catch up with Race Three!

Race Three: Glorfindel Arrow and Carmen Foden

The moment the Clock began it’s countdown, Carmen pulled out her boxing gloves and began sparring with Glorfindel; believe me,  Glorf gave as good as he got.

Maybe boxing isn’t the best analogy here, though; the skill, timing, and humor of the Match Race three-minute, pre-start two-step is more like a Tango. While watching Carmen and Glorf weave back and forth, Amythest Wingtips called it “the dance of love,” and wow, I think Amy got it right. 🙂

Anywayz, Glorfindel and Carmen traded some pretty fancy kisses behind the raceline for two and a half minutes, as the duo moved inexorably closer to the Start.

Here’s what the spectators heard in those final seconds:

[2010/07/11 9:09] ::: SLSA Raceline: 30 SECONDS to the start
[2010/07/11 9:09] ::: Carmen Foden: lee
[2010/07/11 9:09] ::: SLSA Raceline: 20 SECONDS to the start
[2010/07/11 9:09] Elizabet Foxtrot: she’s puching
[2010/07/11 9:10] ::: SLSA Raceline: 15 SECONDS to the start
[2010/07/11 9:10] ::: SLSA Raceline: Glorfindel Arrow is over early! Go around the buoy and recross !
[2010/07/11 9:10] ::: SLSA Raceline: 10
[2010/07/11 9:10] ::: SLSA Raceline: 9
[2010/07/11 9:10] ::: SLSA Raceline: 8
[2010/07/11 9:10] Elizabet Foxtrot: got him
[2010/07/11 9:10] ::: SLSA Raceline: 7
[2010/07/11 9:10] ::: Carmen Foden: protest
[2010/07/11 9:10] ::: SLSA Raceline: 6
[2010/07/11 9:10] ::: SLSA Raceline: 5
[2010/07/11 9:10] ::: SLSA Raceline: 4
[2010/07/11 9:10] ::: SLSA Raceline: 3
[2010/07/11 9:10] ::: SLSA Raceline: 2
[2010/07/11 9:10] ::: SLSA Raceline: 1
[2010/07/11 9:10] ::: SLSA Raceline: RACE STARTED

[2010/07/11 9:12]  Angus Firethorn: Dont you guys think thats a little dirty forcing him over the line like that??
[2010/07/11 9:12]  Gemma Vuckovic: nope …
[2010/07/11 9:12]  diamond Marchant: all is fair in love and sailing…
[2010/07/11 9:13]  don Berithos: this is the Vuitton. All gloves are off!

I was high overhead, watching the action from the next sim. That’s a great place to get the overview, but I missed the the details… and I admit the details in this race were critical. Luckily there was a full house watching the race, and I had a chance to chat with Amythest Wingtips, who won Round Two of SL-VT. She was watching from the spectator box over the Startline, and presumably checking out her future competition. Here’s our conversation:


[9:18:13] Jane Fossett: In the third race Glorf was over early… and Angus (Firethorn) commented that Carmen forced him over.
[9:19:08] Amythest Wingtips: She did
[9:19:23] Jane Fossett: How’d she do that?… Sumo Wrestling?
[9:19:55] Amythest Wingtips: He was next to her on the port side, she moved to port [towards the line],  forcing him to cross.
He had 3 choices:

1. Cross the line early,

2. Hit her, or

3. Stop and let her go first.
[9:20:31] Jane Fossett: Beautiful! Elizabet’s comment now makes sense; Elizabet said Carmen ‘
I actually didnt think Carmen ‘
puked;’ so you agree she ‘
pushed’ Glorf.
[9:22:09] Amythest Wingtips: Lol; [Carmen] moved over, closer to the line, but since [Glorfindel] was already there,
he had to move across the line to not hit her.
So in a sense it was pushing, although they never really touched.
[9:22:57] Jane Fossett: that’s the whole idea; I love it.


After he was ‘pushed over,’ Glorfindel quickly turned and recrossed the line, still ahead of Carmen. Unfortunately in the heat of the moment, he forgot to go around one of the Startline buoys. Following the race,  the judges determined Glorf was DSQ.

When I interviewed Glorfindel afterward, he most graciously admitted committing a silly error in not rounding a Start buoy, and acknowledged Carmen had adroitly pushed him over the line, using the rules to force him into the situation. (What a gentleman!)

However,  rather remarkably, Glorf attributed his Start line duel defeat to a poor tactical decision he made a few chess moves earlier that laid the scenario, allowing Carmen to put him in ‘Check.’

Wow. Think about that. I talk to many sailors about race outcomes… they usually say ” NN cheated, or in a gangster-tone they comment “I Wuz Robbed.” 🙂
That wasn’t Glorf and Carmen… they were playing chess… they were thinking ahead… and omgThey were Match Racing. WOOTS!

Yesterday I commented that Sunday’s races brought this competition to an entirely new level. Carmen and Glorfindel proved that in spades in Race Three. Even before the Start gun sounded, they had moved far beyond a simple boat race; they were playing chess… dueling, having fun, and planning several moves ahead.

I was originally going to bypass discussing this race at all, since it ended with a start line rules decision; the race was over before it began. But… OMG, look what actually happened.:-)

Carmen played pre-start tactics as well as I’ve EVER seen them done in real life, let alone SL. And Glorfindel? He saw it coming and danced with her toe-to-toe.

It’s a level of match sailing I haven’t seen for three years, since Armchair, M1sha, and Hans faced-off in Tako Cup 2007.

Thank you, THANK-YOU, Glorfindel and Carmen!


Phew! Tomorrow I’ll add the final three races!


4 responses to “SL-VT Round Five Part Two: Glorfindel and Carmen!

  1. LDeWell Hawker

    We actually saw sailors go ‘hunting’ for their opponent hoping to draw a infraction giving the opponent the dilemma of a penalty to be completed after the start. People were hunted on starboard tack, and with leeward rights. There is however, a downside here as that you have to be very careful ‘hunting’ as the hunted boat does have rights under rule 16.1 and 16.2. Now, if in the hunt, a skipper is very aggressive clearly intending to collide to prove their point they may incur a penalty under rule 14 especially if 16.1 is involved and used by the hunted boat. Another trap that often ends up ‘backfiring’ on a skipper out hunting is rule 17 kicking in at the starting signal. Rule 17 does not apply in the pre-start as there is no proper course, but the instant the race starts, even if you are on the pre-start side it does apply and an over aggressive skipper still forcing up their opponent often get caught violating rule 17. The message here is yes you can hunt all you like, but the best strategy is ‘be aware’ and take advantage of a situation. And remember there is a counter move for each attack which can turn the tables on any aggressive sailor out hunting!

    A couple of informational comments regarding the incident of Glor and Gemma at the gate mark: That situation actually had a series of issues to be considered before any decision could have been rendered if a protest had been lodged. It was not a simple leeward rights situation. First, was either boat clear ahead or astern as they entered the zone? Knowing that changes rights; Second was the overlap gained by Glor from clear astern within two hull lengths then rule 17 kicked in both needed to maintain proper course which of course is a direct line to the red gate; The lee mark (blue white buoy) had to be a near perfect turn to fetch the red pin on starboard without having to tack to port. From your photos neither made a good turn as Glor chose to go outside, not inside and claim room inside from his ‘shadow attack’ The question then to be raised could he have fetched the mark close hauled was he already pinching? I do know that both judges Jules and Soro did have close eye on the situation. Perhaps think…oh wow… this is going to be a tough one…

    For future races, Gate marks should be left to downwind and the organizers need to grant an exception requiring a set of gates for each Vuitton course, where courses in locations where placing temporary marks requires an act of the linden gods. BTW…gates are marks, room does apply however aspects of room with gates is governed by rule 18.4 and what is also interesting is that in some situations the ZONE of both gates could overlap depending on what the original gates were intended for, and with gates proper course could be either gate — Yikes.

    Suggestion for racers, spend some time at the Sailing Academy especially (section C rules and rules at marks) and are if you are really unsure discuss them with others, go out and sail each of these circumstances. In the heat of a close match you need to be able to react, you don’t have time to study the rules. The organizers also need to carefully define if zone differences between Fleet races and Match races are invoked as these races are more aligned to one on one fleet races as well as other match rule exceptions and modifications.

    It is a very difficult job for the judges to render quick decisions in light of tough situations as well as take into account the SL limitations of LAG and SIM crossings that can create a protest situation totally beyond the control of the skipper.

    But judges will be looking for: FACTS, RIGHTS, AND OBLIGATIONS of EACH skipper to render an DECISION. Skippers need to answer if they are KEEPING CLEAR, KNOW if NEED TO GIVE ROOM and RISK OF CONTACT to avoid a penalty situation.

  2. Woots! Thank you so much for expanding on the Rules and issues as they apply here. I think we all appreciate protests and judging will get more complicated as SL’s sailing emulation becomes more robust.
    Contesting the Rules is half the fun in RL racing. 🙂
    I also hope as we get closer to a RL Race Ruleset, we can retain the sense of true fun and humor we all prize in SL Sailing. xxx

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