Daily Archives: March 9, 2011

One World Appreciation

On March 5, 2011, with the approval of Silber Sands’ Judging Committee and with the unanimous agreement of the Finalists, Race Director Hay Ah brought the ONE WORLD REGATTA to an Official CLOSE for 2011.

It took a few days for all the salt spray to settle, but now I’d like to take a moment to express thanks to everyone who took part, and pay tribute to all who helped make ONE WORLD  a big success. 🙂

ONE WORLD Wonders

Most people reading this column (all six of you) are already aware that ONE WORLD was an online, multi-week sail racing series. You most likely also know that it held a deeper purpose, too.  ONE WORLD was planned as a celebration of online Sailing; it was a fun way to showcase the wondrous community of intelligent, skillful sailors who ply the digital waters of Second Life, and the present format was inspired by the global ONE.org campaign.

Well, over two dozen teams and more than 150 sailors had a similar idea. They signed up and joined in; ONE WORLD grew much larger than I ever initially intended.

The final schedule proved fairly overwhelming; it included nine weeks of sail races, and each event was linked to Regatta-specific global parties and concerts hosted by over a dozen Clubs and Maritime Estates.🙂 Let me recap just a few of the highlights:

Round One

The first weekend in January kicked off the whole event with Round One in Sailors Cove Estate. The event was hosted by Hay Ah and Kentrock Messmer from Fishers Island Yacht Club -SL.

Woots! The Opening Party was rather awesome, and the four races that followed produced some of the most memorable images of the whole event. 🙂

I’m deeply indebted to Sailors Cove owners Fanci Beebe and Patrick Leavitt for their help, their wisdom, and their unfailing generosity at all stages of ONE WORLD. I admit I’m at a loss for words here trying to express my deep thanks to them… but let me offer this one, fun observation:

Note: Last week I overhead a Coast Guard discussion about staffing the races at Sailors Cove. One of the Coasties was truly excited about it, and commented: “…That place is beautiful!” 🙂

I admit, all I could think to add was: “Yup, it certainly is. Come sail!”

However, there are many other great places to sail too, and ONE WORLD was designed to get everyone sharing and sailing across the huge community we all value.

Round TWO

ROUND TWO was in Fruit Islands and Mango Yacht Club. Fruit is Dennis Landar and Equinox Pinion’s rather huge residential sim complex, and it’s a wonderful place to sail!

Since J-CLASSIC debuted Fruit’s racing sims there in 2009, Elbag Gable and Brenda Hoisin have added several handfuls of sims that now greatly expand the navigable waters!

Let me also jump up and down here in praise of of Isis Rexie, Elbag, and LDewell Hawker! As a result of their efforts and the ongoing support of Dennis and Equi, Fruit Islands has rapidly emerged as a truly fantastic spot to learn sailing, to cruise, and to Race!

Whoops, did I forget to mention Estate Manager Lizzo Dreamscape? Grin… Lizzo (as always) made SLSailing’s race coordination with Fruit Islands Estate a total breeze (no pun intended) for ONE WORLD!

Late on Saturday when I left ONE WORLD’s Party at Eden early to set up for the last Round Two Race, I counted fifty-four people in the sim for the pre-race Concert! 🙂
Yikes! That was twenty minutes before the first call for sailors! I have no idea how many more flooded in after that… (What a great community!)

Round Three

The ONE WORLD Third Round next moved to Blake Sea, hosted by Nantucket Yacht Club -SL. The setting was beautiful, and Gemma Vuckovic planned out the course and adroitly organized the four-race set that took off from the Atlantic line. Her expert group managed event issues rather flawlessly.

Good evidence of that assessment came from the ad hoc protests ( including my own). 🙂 They were all about fairly trivial issues that would not change any of the race committee conclusions. Grin… a race that’s good enough to let everyone focus on trivia and future improvements… well, that sounds pretty perfect to me.

THANKS GEMMA and NYC!

Consistent with that assessment, Commodore Francois Jacques turned the ultimate hostess for both the opening OO7 Party and the closing Elton John Concert for Round Three! Woots! Pretty fantastic!

Round Four

Triumphal Yacht Club then brought Round Four to mainland Nautilus, and Uber Race Director Orca Flotta took center stage!

Orca was actually everywhere, all-at-once, and she deserves huge applause for doing it all. She did everything from design the race course, to negotiating new rez areas with Lindens, to getting the Bingo Strait InfoHub changed, and even to throwing the Round Four Opening Party! WOOTS ORCS!

Of course, behind the scenes huge kudos also go to Charlz and Fiona, the owners of Triumphal. As I emphasized over three months ago, Charlz was absolutely critical to the success of both J-CLASSIC and ONE WORLD. In fact, Charlz and Fi’s ideas and encouragement were a major reason ONE WORLD began.

Grin, now the hard stuff was done and the races were underway, I should also add that TrYC’s Pirate-themed Round 4 Party was also great;

I have pics of Trapez I really need to post that will prove it… 🙂

Round Five

Round Five belonged to Waypoint Yacht Club, but Commodore Taku Raymaker had the kindness and generosity to let me move the event to Sansara’s Sea of Fables, and share Round Five with New Port Yacht Club and Free Adriatic.

Sansara’s inland sea recently underwent a total makeover, and the One World qualifying races provided a unique opportunity for sailors to showcase the changes — and the opportunities — presented by those upgrades. Sea of Fables turned out to be huge fun, and Round Five’s “interclub cooperation theme” was topped off by Mango YC’s Elbag Gable, who hosted a great Victorian Regatta-themed party to wrap up the event!

It’s a little out of order here, but since his name just came up again, let me throw out a loud THANK-YOU and a big hug to Elbag. He quietly did a great deal to help ONE WORLD behind the scenes. More importantly I guess, Elbag’s done a huge amount to support SL Sailing this past year at nearly every turn.

He’s a Brit and polite, so he may not tell you, but I don’t have that problem. 🙂
Just ask me about Elbag!

Oh, and Waypoint? Since WYC so kindly shared their Round-slot, I think many of us across the Sailing Grid now owe Waypoint a Sailing Regatta, on their terms, whenever WYC is ready. 🙂

Round Six

Round Six was next in line, and the races bounced back to Nautilus mainland, where Tradewinds Yacht Club took charge!

Commodore Liv Leigh’s Course looked like a simple square. It went from the Siracusa line along Nautilus Coastal water, then cut West into Dire Strait, tacked South, and came back home.

Grin; That competition track proved a lot more complicated (and huge amount of fun) under actual race conditions! It was a pretty wondrous example of race course design and planning! Actually, speaking of wondrous planning…

TYC’s Jakespeed Northman also got in the ONE WORLD mood for Round Six. He orchestrated a Phantom of the Opera party as well as a Chess-themed closing event that were truly remarkable. I left thinking, “There’s no way to top this… Jakespeed?? We are not worthy….” 🙂

Round Seven

The moment Round Six closed, Golden Gate Yacht Club jumped into center stage for Round Seven; they had big shoes to fill!

However, Don Berthios and Roan Blackburn were in charge, and they had it planned and were ready to roll.

After considerable discussion of the Dire Strait course options online, Don’s final race chart drew uniform praise from all the teams. The GGYC Round Seven Chart was a real ‘keeper‘ that left  all the competition skippers wooting in applause; it turned out to be a fun test of true sailing skills. (and please remember, that compliment also comes from Jane, the person who complained 81 times about that damn race mark in Rachel! 🙂 )

Speaking of fun: OMG, the Jersey Shore theme for GGYC’s opening party proved to be the the dress-down, flip-side to Jakespeed’s Round Six wondrous parties!

The GGYC’s Boardwalk and slightly-sleazy Arcade theme made the event a perfect counterpoint match!

Woots, the Round Seven Closer party was equally wonderful in the San Francisco sims…  but I admit the party may not have been the most important thing.  I’m pretty sure a lot of sailors were dancing, but had their eyes glued on the water and the potential for new racing and regatta events there. 🙂

Round EIGHT

The last qualifying round came back to Blake Sea, and to legendary Starboards Yacht Club, one of the original founders of Sailing in Second Life.

Commodores Chad Sawson and Aislin Keynes were hosts, and Chad’s race course was by far the most challenging of the eight qualifying events. That seemed appropriate, however, since SYC was the “Qualifying Round Closer.

Everyone indeed kept heart, and all chipped in. However, on race day the weather turned foul, with many teams crashing ten times or more. Nonetheless, nearly all teams Finished. Those that could not complete the long course gave it a truly great try… in fact, an incredible try.

It was actually pretty amazing; even the few who were forced to throw in the towel after a dozen horrific crashes were all smiling and telling jokes when they pulled out their boats…

As I watched it unfold, I kept thinking those teams were the real heroes.
SYC of course had no control over the weather, and Chad and his crew did a really masterful job coordinating everything under difficult circumstances.

But WOW, what great spirit the sailors and staff showed; I think I could now publish a whole article just on “Jokes to tell the fleet after you’ve crashed for the tenth time in a critical race!

As I said, all of that was beyond SYC’s control. However, what I do hold  Aislin and Chad responsible for… was the GREAT SYC Mardi Gras Party that followed.

WOOTS! It produced some of the best Flickr images of the whole regatta! 🙂 Thank you SYC and all the sailors!

One World Finals

Well, after eight qualifying events, four finalists emerged from the fleet, all tied for points:
EUREKA,
FIYC NEW EXPERIMENT,
KENOBI, and
SVC-472
.

It was time to choose a winner.

I will write up the FINALS later, as I did for J-CLASSIC last year, so I won’t go into details here. Let me just say again that Sailors Cove stepped in to host the event, and did an outstanding job.

Hay Ah took over as the Finals RD. Hay actually held my hand through the whole regatta, and was the true ‘Rock’ behind One World. There were moments when scripts failed or problems happened, or Jane was going hysterical… but Hay was the spiritual RD through it all. 🙂

And OMG Kentrock. He was always there too, whether it was his home port of Sailors Cove, or anyplace else. In the Finals, Kent took charge and designed the Race Courses.

(Please note: Kent actually resigned from Team Kenobi to do that. Think about it… He gave up his spot on the winning boat so he could work behind the scenes. He wanted to make the Final event better for everyone. WOOTS Kent!!!).

Silber Sands also stepped and took charge as #1 Judge. She had sailed and ruled on innumerable races, she knew ONE WORLD inside-out, and I was sure there was no one more capable. She recruited a lean team of super, experienced people who tracked each boat. They all knew the Rules, and they all had ONE WORLD experience. Silber then politely fired me as a judge. 🙂

I admit it, that was one of my happiest moments in the entire regatta!
I got to sit down, watch, and be a cheerleader for the whole fleet!

The four final races went much, much better than I initially thought they might. However out of respect to all the staff: please never think that was due just to ‘luck‘ or some ‘god-given accident of good weather.

For the entire week ahead of the Finals, Kentrock, Joyofrlc, Hay, and many others were on the water in Sailors Cove, repeatedly testing the courses, problem solving, and debating the fine details.

On Race day, just before the Finals, Fanci Beebe restarted all the racing sims; that seemed a prudent move. However, I hope everyone noticed after Race Two there was a five minute bathroom break…

In that brief interlude, Fanci took no chances; she went back to reboot a few of the laggier sims again. Wooots…

Fanci Beebe doesn’t get much time to sail or race, but in my opinion two years ago she earned her salt-water wings. In March 2009 she and Epicurus Emmons won their division in the Mowry Sprints Regatta, against a truly epic fleet of SL Sailing Legends, and they did it with a gut-wrenching, valid -00:01 start time. How cool was that… 🙂

This year, for jumping in, going the extra 99 yards, and rere-starting the race sims she wasn’t happy with, Fanci deserves extra mega-kudos.
She’s the Silver Hammer of Sailors Cove Racing in my book! Woooots!

_____

Oops, I just realized this article is running much too long.

I already said I have several more articles to follow, and I certainly have many more people I need to mention, including all the judges, Lindens, the SL Coast Guard, and MarkTwain White. However, before I close today, let me add a shout-out for two people who played special roles.

The first is momomos Netizen. His blimps made it possible for us to manage spectator crowds that added an average of sixty people to each event. Woots! Spectators are very important for the viability of sailing… but crowds of that magnitude showing up for 36 races add huge, and often unexpected logistical problems. Momomos gave us a major solution for part of the problem. I’m forever thankful to him, but not just for the blimps. This year and last, Momomos radiated calm understanding about the issues and problems, and was always there to help problem solve any difficulty. He helped keep me sane.

I feel the same for Dil Spitz. We all know that three weeks from now most will forget about the ONE WORLD Regatta.  It will be added to the brine in our collective, historical bilge.

What lives on, however, are all the great images and emotions from the regatta, expressed in the photos posted by Dil and others on the ONE WORLD REGATTA 2011 flickr group. I think they are truly magical. Each reflects an incredible moment we all shared, and their sum evokes the whole, underlying intent of ONE WORLD’s grid-wide, community sailing experience. I know I’ll keep coming back to those images again and again…

PS: OMG, I forgot to mention: KENOBI won the Finals! 🙂
They were fantastic, and so were all the other teams, but that’s a story I’ll tell you later!
(And besides… winning wasn’t the real point of ONE WORLD, was it?)  🙂