Monthly Archives: September 2010

Sansara Shines

Several months ago I talked about Sansara Sailing and Sansara Racing, following up on prior Forum posts. I complained that sailboat racing had nearly died across the Sansara continent, partly due to ‘aging raceline infrastructure.’

Since that time a good deal has happened, and I wanted to give a shout-out today to all the sailors who got involved over the issues, voiced their opinions, and advocated for the Sansara changes they preferred.

In that context, please stand up and give Elisha Paklena, Indigo Mertel, and Saxxon Domela a long, loud, standing ovation. They kept the faith for years and set the foundation for many of the changes that will finally go in this summer.

A BIG thanks also goes to Michael and Blondin Linden, in addition to the GREAT LL Department of Public Works Mole Team that is responsible for the new content. I know the work is not all finished yet and DPW is stretched by staff cuts, but wow it’s looking very nice.

Sansara is out of the doldrums, and it’s truly becoming a great place to sail again!

SaNSARA Changes

As I discussed in earlier posts, Sansara is the original Second Life continent and it’s arguably where SLSailing first began. Sansara was the location of Kanker Greenacre’s sailing club and the ‘test track’ for the Tako sailboat. Sansara is also the home of Saxxon Domela’s Mowry Bay Yacht Club which, as far as I know, remains the oldest and largest continuously active sailing community on all SL Mainland. Sansara was additionally the central focus for qualifying rounds in the 2006 SLSF Cup, the original SLSailing regatta series. It helped set the stage for much that followed.

However, as other sailing venues emerged and SL opportunities expanded, Sansara seemed to lose it’s glitter and it’s grove; it was the meatloaf-and-mashed-potatoes of sailing; pretty comfortable, but not too exciting. 🙂

The three primordial Linden racelines were left unattended and never upgraded. They eventually became unusable. The continent was due for a ‘refit.’

The graphic on the right is from the SL Wiki. It shows a 2008 grid of the different Sansara sims and regions, and it may help sailors see what’s old and appreciate the new changes.  Actually, if you’d like to see how the Mainland map has changed over many years, go visit slmaps. It’s a pretty great site for SL-history buffs :-).

In March and again in May 2010 I posted maps that focused on Sansara’s waterways and nautical features. Today, however, I’m quite happy to announce those maps quickly went out of date.

Here’s a new map that I think is correct as of August 29 2010.  If the map is hard to read, please click on it and you’ll get a 5,199×3,614px  detailed image that includes Sim and Region names, Waterways, and Raceline locations. 🙂 There’s a lot of new stuff!

Click to enlarge (you may need to double-click!)

sansara aug 29 2010 no annotations

I appreciate some sailors may want a template to use for race courses, cruising, or regatta planning, so here’s another copy of the large chart without  the labels; just click the image on the right. The original graphic is large enough so sailors should be able to download it and crop out their own area of interest without losing any resolution.

So OK What’s New?

Actually, a lot! Much more than I have time to cover here. 🙂


As I discussed in the prior articles a few months ago, Sansara’s three Linden racelines dated from 2006 and were pretty much unusable. Saxxon Domela organized meetings that engaged a large group of concerned Sansara sailors to advocate for an upgrade. The group pleaded for simple upgrades of the three existing racelines and requested networkable Hay Ah lines.

Over thirty sailors and Sansara residents supported the jira and endorsed the ‘tickets’ submitted to LL.

Yuu Nakamichi offerred a contrarian view, initially arguing against any Sansara upgrades, and then proposing his own start line instead of one the group requested. Yuu’s comments actually ended up very helpful; they drew attention to the problem and brought many more sailors to the table.

The end result is actually pretty great! Although the original request was for a simple upgrade-in-place for three existing racelines, Sansara will now get at least five new racelines, new race marks, and improved sailing waterways.

HEPURN: MBYC has sailed from the Linden Hepurn raceline since the Pleistocene era. It now has a brand-new Hay Ah 80m raceline that’s positioned 30m North of the old spot, and DPW has also re-installed the traditional Mowry Race bouys. Woots! The new line puts Mow-Mows back on the water!

The Hepurn line is networkable and has a WWC windsetter included. It’s parcelled so it will always get current updates and never ‘fall-behind’ again. The new Rez area is a large rectangle set slightly south of the line and it extends all the way back to the clubhouse.

Thank you to Saxxon Domela and David Wetherby for pushing this issue over the past few months; thank you also to Aleister Biondetti and Armano Xaris, who each provided extensive written commentary on the issues involved and what MBYC needed. Thank you also to all the 30+ sailors who attended meetings, supported tickets, did posts, and sent e-mail expressing their concerns over Mowry’s sailing future; LL listened and Mowry got what it needed. 🙂

ARAFURA: Arafura now contains a 100m Hay Ah raceline with several nearby rez areas. Arafura is located just South of GGYC-Borden, and it’s a small handful of sims from Free Adriatic too. The location was picked by Yuu Nakamichi, and after some adjustments with don Berthios’ input, it seems a rather perfect racing venue for both local sailing clubs.

don Berthios also worked with DPW on sim depth issues and buoy placements relative to the Arafura and Adriatic lines, and its my understanding he, Roan, and elMegro Magic are all quite happy with the results. Free Adriatic held an SLVT qualifying regatta from Arafura three weeks ago, and GGYC-Borden is currently running several weekly races from Arafura in varied boat classes!

ADRIATIC: Adriatic’s old line is now replaced by a Yuu Nakamichi raceline coupled with a series of buoys suitable for gates and small boat match races. With DPW’s help, the nearby sims were dredged so bigger boats can race or cruise the nearby waters as well.

Bea Wo0dget and Liv Leigh have both expressed interest to use the new facilities for the upcoming 2010 Fizz Cup. Woots!

When you visit, don’t forget to stop by the new islands that dot the Sea of Fables; the Moles have worked hard to adorn the region with a host of new, attractive and theme-appropriate builds! Here’s a view of the new “Celebes” Island (and yes, Virginia, the old Star Wars memorabilia is finally gone.)

Here’s another map with a series of red arrows indicating the locations of new islands throughout Fables.  These are big changes, so it’s worth a visit!

MARGERY: In a previous post I told you about Mare Secundus, a new maritime region set up by DPW. The construction is quite nice, and it’s centrally located with readily accessible waterway access to Mowry Bay, Sea of Fables (via Mallard Channel), and the rather extensive waters lying West in Sansara.

Mare Secundus gets its own raceline too. There’s a new Yuu line located in Margery that’s angled to facilitate race starts along the the long axis of the Secundus waterway. There are multiple rez zones and small boat/match race buoys in place as well!

ANWR: The short, four-sim waterway connecting Sansara with Heterocera Atoll has considerable historic significance for SLSailing. The ANWR raceline was the test track for Kazenojin Seiringu and spawned the Flying Tako.

Naeve Rossini, Yuu Nakamichi, LDewell Hawker and Arrekusu Miromachi now propose to replace the old ANWR line with a new Rezzer that will let sailors chose either the Yuu or Hay line for a particular race.  They are also adjusting the buoy locations to optimize the rather narrow, obstacle ridden space for Matches. On the right I’ve copied the latest map of proposed changes, and you can read the transcript of the discussion here.

ANWR will hopefully open for racing soon!

Sansara non stop

Woots, I apologize for the narrow focus above, since Sansara’s ‘fashion makeover’ is not just about racelines! There are new islands, and many new builds… and proposals for new sims as well.

Look under your boat at the new content in Ionian!

In that context, I’ll admit that many sailors, myself included, felt a bit uneasy when multiple new islands emerged in Fables… the builds are great, but it’s also true that each new island in Fables potentially restricted the navigable waterway options for the sailing community.

Saxxon Domela’s Sansara Sailing Group discussed this issue at some length back in May, and endorsed a few broad  objectives, including:

(1) To advocate for essential navigable waterways (such as Sansara’s Mallard Channel).  Such passages are truly critical to sailors and the entire maritime community.
(2) To advocate for new navigation channels or water sims needed to link sailing communities together.

I’m pretty strongly convinced DPW is aware of these issues too, and is trying to appropriately prioritize them. In the past two weeks, during office hours Michael Linden emphasized that DPW would help sailors maintain key navigation channels (like Mallard). He also supported the Bay City proposal for a waterway link that could join their region with Sansara’s open sailing waters lying East… 🙂
What a great idea that is!!!

Michael also listed several possible locations for new water sims that might fix critical navigation problems. His list was neither final nor approved, so there is no guarantee that any of the sim upgrades he cited will occur in the near future, if ever.

However, given the remarkable changes for Sansara Sailing in recent months and the obvious efforts Lindens and DPW are making to improve sailing and address our needs… maybe they deserve our patience, our support and our help.

Working Mallard Channel

DominaAkhAsshA Bravin’s Videos

I wanted to give a shout-out to DominaAkhAsshA Bravin for all her great sailing videos on Youtube! Here is her view of the ‘Final Tiebreaker‘ match between Armano Xaris and Takabou Destiny that decided the winner of August 28’s SL-Vuitton Trophy Regatta:

Vodpod videos no longer available.
DominaAkhAsshA Bravin – Final SLVT Race
, posted with vodpod

You can find many more of DominaAkhAsshA’s videos from the SL-VT series posted there, including a great version of the first match between Armano and Hawk that I talked about so much on Metaverse here and here. 🙂

Also, please don’t forget to visit elMegro Magic’s blog; he hosts and highlights DominaAkhAsshA’s videos, and has a lot of great content and commentary as well!

Risks, Rules, and Rachel

Many of the Dire Strait SL-VT Matches highlighted issues with the race mark in Rachel sim. Rachel is blessed with some interesting Rule and strategy issues. 🙂

I wrote about this on Monday; several sailors replied with good comments and questions. It seemed a fun idea to continue the discussion here today. We might end up with a general consensus about how the SL Rules apply when obstructions are close to race markers. On the other hand, we might conclude the setup in Rachel is just awful, and agree to request a change from LL DPW! 🙂

As you can see in the above map, there are Dire Strait race lines in both Fedallah and Queequeg. The Fedallah line recently got an industrial-strength workout during the final phases of the SL-VT regatta. Although GGYC used several different charts, they all followed a pretty typical Match Race, Upwind-Downwind course format as hinted above.

Racers started in Fedallah, then beat windward to clear a top mark just south of Leviathan Island  in Ahab’s Haunt. The skippers then turned their gaze for home, doing a multi-sim downwind ride back towards GGYC that usually included a pit-stop in Rachel at the orange-white race mark.

The map above shows that general layout… focusing on that last turn in Rachel and emphasizing the location of the two buoys in the sim.

The Northern Rachel buoy is a tetrahedron ‘race mark;’ it’s orange with a white stripe. Most Fedallah courses are designed so racing boats pass that mark counterclockwise, before heading to the Fedallah Finish a short distance away.

The Rachel Race Mark is interesting, since there’s another buoy, an old, rusted, Linden ‘nav can,’ sitting a short 44 m SSW of the Mark. That navigation buoy is really a warning marker, indicating the site of a sunken shipwreck.

A skipper that attempts to swing wide at that Nav Buoy could be in for a surprise. The submerged wreck is actually quite large, and rather easy to hit unless a sailor exhibits considerable caution.  But… how can you show caution if you don’t know exactly what’s going on beneath your boat? I wanted to know the details on this too… so I made some graphics that only show the objects in Rachel that extend above Z=16 m.

Why z=16? Well… the surface of nearly all Linden water is set to z=20, so z=16 defines a 4 m water depth. The Trudeau J-Class, Columbia, and prolly many additional vessels have keel depth over 3 m.  Other keelboats draw slightly less, between 1.5-3.0 m. (I have a fantastic picture someplace of Taku Raymaker’s ACA32 keel slamming full speed into a rock off Svar Beckersted’s  island in 2008…) 🙂

Z=16 seems a reasonable, minimum depth for safe sailing. Anything above that may qualify as a hazard or obstruction, although it certainly depends on the boat class.

Anyway, here’s the result.  The blue rectangle in the picture above shows all of Rachel sim. It’s nearly all deep water, except for a few objects in the northeast quadrant. The “mark” on that graphic indicates the location of the orange/white race mark;  Forty-four meters SSW from that point lies the Linden buoy, the one that indicates the wreck. Just north of the Linden buoy there’s a bright red object that shows where the shipwreck’s bow breaks the water surface. The rest of the wreck is submerged, but it continues south just below the water surface for a full 24 m SSE (irregular black lines in the graphic).

Be careful as you pass the wreck! You may think you won’t hit it…but…
Well, Kaz hit it… and Tak hit it…
You think you sail better than they do? 🙂

OK; with that basic info, let’s get practical… and talk about racing Rachel’s ‘obstructions.’ 🙂

If you look at the RACHEL BUOYS map illustration I posted above you’ll  appreciate that match race boats often end up close together in the latter half of the race doing a downwind run to the Rachel Orange Mark.

Amy and Kaz

With two good skippers, that downwind long segment gives the trailing boat a chance to shadow the leader and catch up. The two boats are frequently in tandem when they reach Rachel, since shadow lets a skipper catch-up, but doesn’t help them pass the lead boat.

That sets up the two boats for a ‘confrontation with obstruction‘ when they reach the Rachel shipwreck. 🙂

The insert shown to the right- above has Amy and Kaz nicely parallel and heading toward the Rachel Mark. You can see the shipwreck obstruction with the Orange Mark just a bit further distant. The skippers need to clear the obstruction and then pass the race mark CCW.

However, the actual distance from the visible tip of the wreck to the race marker is 44 m, and race boats usually approach that gap at an acute angle, with sails winged. Under those conditions there is not enough room for both boats to  do this in tandem. So who has ROW?

Let’s take the case of Amy and Kaz, shown in the right side picture above. As they approach the obstruction, the two boats are parallel and overlapped; Amy is leeward and she has has ROW under Rule 11.

However, the shipwreck is a obstruction, and Rule 19.2(b) applies as they approach it:

19.2. Giving Room at an Obstruction
(b) When boats are overlapped, the outside boat shall give the inside boat room between her and the obstruction, unless she has been unable to do so from the time the overlap began.

Amy is the “outside boat” in this case, and she is obliged to give Takabou room. Depending on the circumstance, that could even mean Amy needs to turn so far away she could miss the race mark.

But wait... this issue gets complicated. Both boats are also fetching the race mark a short distance ahead. Match Races usually use a ‘two boat length zone‘ around race marks, and within that zone, Rule 18 turns on.


18.2 Giving Mark-Room
(a) When boats are overlapped the outside boat shall give the
inside boat mark-room, unless rule 18.2(b) applies.
(b) If boats are overlapped when the first of them reaches the zone,
the outside boat at that moment shall thereafter give the inside
boat mark-room. If a boat is clear ahead when she reaches the
zone, the boat clear astern at that moment shall thereafter give
her mark-room.
(c) When a boat is required to give mark-room by rule 18.2(b), she
shall continue to do so even if later an overlap is broken or a
new overlap begins. …

When the boats enter the ‘zone,’ Rule 18 applies and Amy is the inside boat. She has right-of-way to clear the Mark, and Takabou is supposed to keep clear. However, if you look below the two boat length zone in this case is 46 m; it actually includes the northern end of the wreck/ obstruction!

Oops… Who has right-of-way now? Kaz has Rule 19 protection, but Amy is the Rule 18 Zone Diva.

I’m sure there are other opinions on this, but I thought it was pretty clear. In a match race with two boats approaching the mark, an obstruction requires the skippers to heed Rule 19 to avoid ‘collision carnage.’ This is an important issue, and Amy must yield to Kaz so he gets past that shipwreck.

However, as soon as Kaz clears the wreck, Rule 19 switches off and has no standing since there is no more obstruction. At that point, Rule 18 takes priority, and Amy has ROW for ‘mark room.‘ Kaz needs to return Amy’s favor and now give her space so she can do her thing.

Grin. Racing Rules are part of sailing fun, and RL sailors spend long summer nights arguing these points on Club decks after matches… I’m telling you my thoughts, but not insisting it’s right for SL; I’d love to know other views on this, so we have a consistent understanding for the next regatta!