Monthly Archives: May 2013

Details for Second Sol Teams

Second Sol 2013

2013 Second Sol Regatta

A Sail4Life Race Event
June 14-23, 2013


There will be two rounds of Qualifying Races. Round One will be held on June 15, and Round Two will be held on June 22.

The full competition fleet will be divided into timeslot groups for the qualifying races. If there are 16 boats, there will be four timeslots; if there are 20 boats there will be five (Four boats in each group). Each race team will be assigned to the same timeslot for both rounds. The winner of each timeslot group will advance to a Finals series on June 23.

Timeslot Races:

Each timeslot race will consist of four heats on a short course that should take 8-12 minutes to complete. The races will be hosted by several different clubs and marine estates in Second Life. The race course and wind settings will be determined by the host Race Director. These will be posted several days in advance of the qualifying rounds.

Finals Event:

The winners of the timeslot group qualifying races will all advanced to a Finals series that would be held in North sea on June 23. The details of the finals event will be announced separately.


Teams will race a pre-release version of the Trudeau Patchogue II.

The boats will have individual Race ID numbers printed on the sails, so please use that number as your “Race ID,” and do not alter the sail textures.
The Race ID is not your Channel number. You may use any channel number you prefer (including your Race ID)

Some specific details:

— Simple landmark setters (such as TRAPNAV) that show race mark locations as ‘world map teleport points,’ are allowed. Anything more complicated that shows boat position or gives additional numerical data is not allowed.

— The use of simple ‘stop-watch’ timers is allowed.


Boats competing in the regatta will be registered to a “sailing team” that includes one or more people (yes, one person can be a ‘Team.”).

For any particular race, the boat’s team will decide which team members should crew, and which will skipper. (The minimum number aboard a race boat is a solo skipper; the maximum number is one skipper plus three crew).

Even in the middle of a race, a team can decide to add or remove crew, or switch skippers.

The number of crew aboard any boat at the START can be different from the number of crew crossing the FINISH line.

A sailor can be a skipper in only one timeslot on June 15 and 22, but any sailor can crew for any team in timeslots where they are not the skipper. (In other words, a sailor can skipper in the 9:00 timeslot but still crew for other teams in the 12:00 and 18:00 timeslots).

Each competing race boat must use a unique ID pre-printed on the boat’s sails and registered to the boat’s team. That ID should be loaded into the boat by the team so the boat will trigger the raceline.

All competing boats will use the Race Wind provided by the Start line windsetter (WWC Cruise Wind).


If a skipper crashes during a race, another team member can take the helm and continue sailing. The owner can also rez a new boat if needed. However, the new boat should rez at the nearest point to the crash site. The judges may call a penalty if they rule the new rez site is inappropriately far ahead of the crash.


A collision only occurs when a non-phantom part of the boat strikes another non-phantom object. The Patchogue II has phantom sails, but the mast and boom are physical.


The Qualifying Timeslot Races will use the ISAF Appendix A Standard Low Point scoring system. Four races will be held in each timeslot on June 15, and the timeslots will be repeated on June 22. That gives each team the opportunity to race a total eight qualifying heats. NOTE: Teams will get four discards. 

The final score will be determined by adding the best four results for each boat (after eliminating the four discards).

ISAF Appendix A 8.1 and 8.2 will be used to resolve any ties.

The boats with the lowest scores in each timeslot will then advance to the Finals Round. (Please note: If there are only four qualifying timeslots, and the results show one timeslot where two boats have an identical score, the Race Committee may decide to advance both tied boats to the Finals).


ISAF Rules

The ISAF Race Rules will apply unless otherwise noted.

Please help us make sure the ‘rules’ are understood by all, and the judging and protest review is uniform, valid, and consistent.

Additional Rules Specific for Second Sol. 🙂

Note: Rule exceptions and SL-specific additions will be listed in the SECOND SOL thread on and also published in-world.

Judges will use a two boat-length zone to resolve Rule 18 protests over ROW at racemarks. Rule 18 does not apply at start line marks, but will apply at the marks that define a GATE, except as stated in Rule 18.4.

Rule 30.1 will be enforced:

“…(if) any part of a boat’s hull, crew or equipment is on the course side of the starting line or one of its  extensions during the last minute before her starting signal, she shall thereafter sail from the course side across an extension to the prestart side before starting.”

Rule 31 will also be enforced:

“31 TOUCHING A MARK  While racing, a boat shall not touch a starting mark before starting, a mark that begins, bounds or ends the leg of the course on which she is sailing, or a finishing mark after finishing.”



Sportsmanship is a fundamental rule of sailing. the race committee will work hard to ensure a fair and orderly competition. Please follow the general guidelines below to register and resolve protests during the competition in a way that that respects the skill and pride of the many sailors participating in this event.

Please note: it is not appropriate for any racer to argue with the crew of another boat or argue with the Regatta staff except as outlined below. Any sailor who use defamatory language toward other sailors or makes inappropriate derogatory comments about the judging decisions will be given a warning. Any member of the race staff has the right to issue such a warning.

If a team receives a warning during a particular heat but continues to act inappropriately, then the judges can vote at any time to DSQ the boat from that particular heat for “unsportsmanlike conduct.” If a team continues to act inappropriately following such a DSQ, the judges can vote to DSQ that team from the entire regatta.

As discussed in more detail below, any team has the right to appeal a protest decision if they think the decision is in error under the RRS. They can also appeal a DSQ for unsportsmanlike conduct, but they must do so in an appropriate manner that is respectful of the sport of sailing and their fellow sailors.


As soon as practical after an event occurs, the protesting boat should shout “PROTEST XXX” in open chat, where XXX is the name of the offending boat. The protestor should also announce it over the SECOND SOL Group Chat (or SLSA Group Chat if the other fails) to ensure the protest was heard. A Race Judge will acknowledge receipt of the protest.

An offending boat that accepts a protest from another boat or Judge shall acknowledge the acceptance of the foul by sailing clear of other boats and doing one 360 degree circle turn (two gybes) as soon as reasonably possible, and clear of the competition fleet.

A boat who does not accept a protest can settle the protest following the race with a protest hearing.

In either case, the crew of the protested boat must reply to the protest by shouting Accept or Deny in local chat and over the Group Chat channel as soon as practical after the protest is made.

At the conclusion of a race the RD and the #1 Judge should be the first people to speak to the finished boats once they are collected at the raceline. The staff may use local chat or group chat, whichever is most appropriate. The #1 Judge should ask: “Is there any protest?” and each skipper should reply “YES” or “NO.” If any skipper says YES, the #1 Judge is the ONLY race officer who should speak to the involved race teams about the protested event until that matter is resolved.

The #1 judge should collect standard information (in public chat or group channel) from the boat making the protest (“What protest? What Rule? Against which boat? What Circumstances?“). The #1 judge will then get the alleged offending boat’s response to the protest claim (again in public chat).

Please note: One sailor aboard the boat, preferably the skipper, should speak for each boat.

The Judges and umpires (and any others they chose to involve) then confer in private.

If the Protest Committee is in full agreement regarding a protest and penalty, the #1 judge will then announce the decision to the sailors and the observers in public chat. (For example: “Protest by Team Fossett sailing 82JF is DENIED. NO PENALTY.”)

The judge should then immediately go on to consider the next Protest or shout “NEXT RACE!” and turn management back over to the Race Director.

If a team thinks the Protest Committee made an error, the team should ask for an APPEAL. If the Protest Committee itself fails to reach a unanimous decision, they too should ask for an APPEAL.

The regatta should then continue, and the Appeals Judge(s) will render a final decision at the end of that qualifying timeslot series.

The Appeals Judge(s) will be the members of the Race Committee who were present for the race in question. They may involve other members of the Timeslot Race staff (such as the RD) in their discussions.

Three Weeks to Second Sol!

Sec Sol Poster 5a

The Second Sol Regatta is only three weeks away!

Second Sol is a Sail4Life fundraising regatta that will cover two weekends, from June 15-June 23; you can read all about it here and here. A few days ago the race version of the boat was released, and delivered to fifteen race teams that are already signed up :-). Here are Team Coordinators for the fleet so far, followed by their assigned race number for the event:

Arrekusu Muromachi 001
pensive missionPhill Plasma 002
lesbo charisma 003
SerenityAeon Resident 004
VitorCr Resident 005
ariel gallais 006
Allie Tomsen 007
EmmanuelMara 008
Ronin Zane 009
Chaos Mandelbrot 010
Sarah Solo 011
Pensive Mission 012
JoyofRLC Acker 013
erickson 014
Alain Gloster 015
moontears vought 016

Please note:

1. Only one race boat goes to each team, but we’ll deploy a demo vendor so all team sailors can practice on the boat.
2. The boats are eached numbered in the order sailors signed up to race; that number will be displayed on the team’s sails. Please use it as your race ID for this regatta!
3. The race ID for each team boat is different from the “Channel ID.” Teams are encouraged to use whatever channel is most convenient for them (other then “Channel 1,” of course).
4. The sails have fixed textures for this event. Each one is preprinted with the team’s assigned race number. When the Patchogue II officially launches, the race boats will be replaced with an official release version that is fully texturizible!

Patch II trials

Please also note:

1. Although we initially planned for a total of only 16 raceboats in four qualifying timeslots on Saturday, June 15 and June 22, the response was impressive and several sailors have asked for an additional Friday time slot. If enough sailors sign up, that time slot will be 12:30 on Friday, June 14 and June 21.
2. That means right now we still have five more slots for race teams that want to sign up! You can join the fleet by signing up here, or you can contact Jane Fossett for more information in Second Life. 🙂

SecSol2013 poster 02b


Woodstock 2013 on June 1st !!

Woodstock Poster 2013 II

Last year’s most successful Sail4Life fundraiser was a rather wondrous day-long concert and party that recreated the 1969 Woodstock Festival. This year BennyThe Boozehound, Runa McMillan, Charlz Price and Fiona Harworth are doing it again on June 1st!  Here’s the info from Benny:



12 Hours of Peace, Love and Music
June 1st, 2013, 9am to 9pm.

A Sail For Life/Relay for Life Event
benefitting the American Cancer Society.

Presented by BennyTunes, Woodstock is a carefully produced recreation of the 1969 event that changed a generation and indeed generations to come.
woodstock blingLast year’s performance raised nearly $L 1 Million to support the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life with sim-busting crowds all day.

Culled from every available source the music is the most complete and wide ranging performance of this event to be found in Second life. Remastered and edited for time we present every artist that played at the original event. woodstock rainIncluded are several full performances including Janis Joplin, Santana, The Who and Jimi Hendrix. All music is presented in the historical order in which it was played at the 1969 festival.

The build done on a complete sim will be the absolutely amazing and is not to be missed. If you didn’t come last year and even if you did, you will not want to miss this years performance it will be epic.

Please enjoy the free shirts and feel free to copy and display the Woodstock 2013 posters yourself or share with friends.

For more info visit

Produced by BennyTunes
Benny The Boozehound – Audio
Charlz Price – Build
Fiona Harworth – Scripting
Runa McMillan – Multi Media Textures

woodstock bling 2


PLEASE NOTE– The event will be held at Yasgurs Farm. The sim is being built this week, May 24th – 31st and it will be open to everyone on Friday 31st of May at noon SLT. Please distribute the LM widely. Thank you!

benny woodstock

WildWind Open 60 Nears Launch

Wildwind Open 60

Corry Kamachi will soon launch her WildWind Open 60. The new boat is mesh construction and a total re-design of her 2009 JMO-60 ocean racer. Personally, I think the new Open 60 is rather awesome. 🙂

Although the boat is still technically in beta, many sailors already have ‘final beta‘ copies, and there’s a lot of buzz among racers about this latest Wildwind, so I thought I’d give you a few details about what you can expect. I know I’m “jumping the gun” here by talking about a boat that doesn’t yet exist, but please chalk that up to my youthful exuberance and enthusiasm about the boat. 🙂

When the Wildwind Open 60 finally launches, I’ll be truly delighted to write another post to emphasize the final changes in this already great sailboat.

So having said all that, here goes…

What’s an “Open 60?”

The International Monohull Open Class Association (IMOCA sets the box rule that defines the Open 60 Class  (LWL 60 ft or 18.3 meters) and manages the  Open 60 race fleet. IMOCA takes that job seriously, describing the Open 60 as “The most successful ocean racing class” in modern sailing.

Actually, they’re right, and the Open 60’s are designed to withstand the most grueling and audacious yacht races ever held. The Vendee Globe is probably the best known of these events; its a nonstop, 24,000 mile, around-the-world, pull-out-all-the-stops race, and each boat has just a solo sailor at the helm. This is the stuff superheroes are made of. 🙂

The boats are built for speed, but ocean racing demands they also emphasize endurance and safety. The real-life Open 60 raceboats are rather incredible examples of cutting-edge, high-tech engineering.

It’s no easy task to re-create the presence, performance, and penache of such a boat for the virtual sailing community, and Corry Kamachi is one of a very few builders in SL who have both the chops and sheer street cred to bring a credible Open 60 emulation to the SL raceline.

In that context, let me remind readers that I’ve also  recently reviewed two boats by Kain Xenobuilder that fit in the same ocean racing class: the Mesh Shop  Volvo Open 70 and One Design 65. If you’re in the market for an ocean race boat please keep reading below, but be sure to read about the other two boats as well. I like both the Mesh Shop and the WildWind versions; however they are quite different, and it’s up to individual sailors to determine which boat will suit their needs. 

With that caveat, let me introduce the Wildwind Open 60. Better grab your seat though; this could be a fast ride! 🙂

Open 60: Built by Wildwind

open 60 measurementThe Wildwind Open 60 is a carefully crafted mesh build that faithfully adheres to the RL IMOCA Open 60 specs.

The boat’s water-line length is roughly 18m, and the bowsprit extends that to nearly 20m at deck level. The beam is roughly six meters and the bulb keel is six meters as well.

The mast towers 25m above deck level and it supports both a mainsail and the skipper’s choice of a standard jib or gennaker. The sails are deployed and trimmed together by chat commands or through the HUD.

rig details

Before we talk about sail control however, let me mention a few more authentic details you’ll find on the WildWind Open 60 build.

The boat has paired rudders, daggerboards, and deck spreaders that are all automatically deployed while the boat is underway. (Note: Deck spreaders are poles that look like outriggers. They provide increased stability for the mast.)

dual rudders

The figure inserted to the right shows the nice level of accuracy and detail for the dual retractable rudders.

The upper image is the WildWind boat in the moored position, with both rudders up. The lower image is a similar view of the Safran RL Open 60 racer. 🙂 It’s a pretty close match;  the Wildwind‘s degree of detail for the rudder linkage, housing and struts is impressive.

Speaking of the those rudders,

in SL when the Open 60 heels, the leeward rudder will deploy and the windward rudder flips up. When the boat is flat in the water, both rudders automatically go down.

basketOK, let me throw in just one more example to shows the care that went into even the minor features in this boat.

The picture to the right shows a ‘mesh bag’ tagged to the cockpit bulkhead beneath the port winch. It’s a humorous – but authentic – detail. The bag’s there to keep the line stowed and untangled. It prevents a sailor from accidentally stepping on the line while releasing the sail sheet. (That mistake can have rather disastrous consequences if you’re a solo skipper sailing the Roaring 40’s.) 🙂

No one would fault Corry for leaving the bag out… but there it is. 🙂 It’s a nice detail.


Inside the cockpit the boat has two helm stations, and the skipper automatically flips to the windward station while under sail. (The crew flip as well!)

op60 deck spreader

Since real life Open 60‘s are usually raced single-handed, all the sailing functions on a Wildwind Open 60 are controlled by the solo skipper. Despite that, the cockpit has room for one crew member, and two more can fit in the cabin. The boat comes with a crew HUD so your passengers can see what’s happening as you sail.

Crew Quarters


Races like the Vendee Globe can last for three months under very harsh conditions, so a cabin is pretty essential.

Corry’s 2009  JMO-60 acknowledged that need; it had a little cubby forward of the cockpit where a solo sailor could squeeze if they held their breath. 🙂

By contrast, as shown in the pics to the right, the Open 60 cabin is positively luxurious! 🙂 It accommodates a pair of sailors with ease, and still has lots of space left over! RL sailors never get such good treatment… 🙂

Phantom Keel Cant

A hydraulically-tilted bulb keel is an impressive, high-tech feature of the IMOCA Open 60 design.

keel cantThe Wildwind Open 60 boat also has a canting keel that helps it stay balanced and prevents excess heel.

A skipper has the option to set it by hand or let the boat make the adjustments automatically.

Although the bulb keel is quite long, don’t worry about running aground in this boat. The keel, dagger board and rudder are all phantom while sailing; the boat draws less than 1.0 m.

In fact, only the hull and bowsprit are physical. The mast, boom, deck spreader, rigging and sails are all phantom, allowing the boat to sail under very low obstructions. So if you plan to race this boat, be sure to keep your eye on the bowsprit. That frontal protuberance is the one thing that could get you into trouble, either by a collision or by triggering the race line early.


Corry’s come up with a new system to change all the textures in this boat. The owner just preloads a script template with the uuid’s of a new texture design, and drops that on the boat.

saveol RL and SL

Bingo! One click later all the textures change to harmoniously match your request. Corry has a number of wonderful, preloaded texture packages, but the system is wide open and you can easily make your own designs.

In fact, a sailor could easily collect a whole library of templates with various texture settings. It would then take just a few seconds to load a new script and change the boat’s appearance to fit your whim.

The figure to the right shows my current favorite texture set (at least it’s my favorite this week 🙂 ).

The top image is Samantha Davies aboard her Saveol Open 60 before it dismasted, causing Sam to crash out of the Vendee Globe. The second image shows her textures applied to the Wildwind build, courtesy of Corry. Not a bad match! Here’s a short vid of Sam Davie’s pimped-out Saveol:

[Please also note: If you break your Wildwind boat, I’m pretty sure the repair will be a lot cheaper than a new mast was for Sam’s Saveol after the Vendee Globe!]

Build Bottom Line

The WildWind Open 60 build closely follows the RL Open 60 Rule. On close inspection, the boat shows a masterful balance of features. There are many realistic (and unexpected) touches, including deck spreaders and a surprisingly spacious cabin. All the components work together in a consistent, artistic harmony.

If you’re hard-nosed racer, perhaps the textures and winch details aren’t so important. In that case, let me give you the numerical bottom line: all that gorgeous, accurate mesh build I just mentioned weighs in at a miraculously small 26 prim with an LOD=28.

Enough said.


Sailing Performance

The Open 60 uses a variation of the new Wildwind sail engine that was first introduced with the Wildcat45 AC catamaran.

OP60 hudsA skipper can control the boat through chat commands or with any combination of three HUDs (shown on the right).

There is a two column button HUD that fits along the left side of your viewing screen; it includes the major control functions laid out in a logical pattern for easy access.

The buttons make it very simple to switch between boat wind and race wind, to adjust the sails, and to change the keel cant. I particularly like the “view” button that lets you step through four different camera locations behind and above the boat. I also really like the small display screen on the button HUD that constantly announces the channel you’re using, your race ID number, your wind source, and the size of your sheet adjustment steps. Some of us need that kind of reassurance while sailing!

Speaking of sailing data, the boat comes with a separate Info-HUD that graphically displays just about anything you’d ever like to know to race this boat at top speed. It’s all very nicely laid out, and any SL sailor will learn all its features in less than a minute or two.

The third HUD is a full-featured head’s up numerical display that contains a compact list of the boat’s performance numbers.

Skippers have the choice to use all the HUDs, some combination, or to just go commando (no HUDs at  all 🙂 ). You’ll probably want a HUD however, because the boat doesn’t give any auditory or visual feedback when the sails go out of tune. You won’t really miss the luffing noises, since so much information is readily available on the HUD display.


Like most boats, the Open 60 defaults to SL wind. To pick your own wind, all you have to do is press the “wind lock” button. That opens a menu box that allows you to set the exact wind speed and direction. Once you’ve done it correctly, the button HUD mini-display tells you that you’re locked, and the info HUD shows the settings.

If you want to race, click the ‘Racing‘ button instead. The boat will then lock the WWC cruise wind broadcast from a raceline. The boat even has an option to use the old SLSF wind format, if that suits your needs.

At least once you’ll need to tell the boat your race ID, so the line can recognize your boat. After that the boat will remember, and your ID will display directly on the hull whenever you’re racing.

race number


The Open 60 is a speedy boat with a Hotlaps Handicap factor of 1.07, which makes it 7% faster than the Melges-24 (the Handicap Index boat).

WildWind Open 60 polar

Click on the figure to the right to see a polar plot of the Wildwind Open 60’s boat speed at different wind angles. The red line shows the numbers for Real Wind Angles (RWA) using the Main+Jib, and the blue dashed line shows similar data for Apparent Wind Angles (AWA). The curves show that the boat suddenly springs to life with a heading just over AWA 30. It hits a max boat speed that’s roughly 13% faster than Real Wind Speed, and the response curve is fairly flat from AWA 30-60 (RWA 70-120). Over RWA 120, the jib becomes much less efficient and performance quickly deteriorates.

The green line above shows boat speed for RWA using the Gennaker instead of the Jib. The Gennaker kicks in around RWA 90, and it’s clearly superior to the Jib by RWA 110. However performance again drops off with downwind angles over RWA 150.

Open 60 and OD 65 polar

Now take a look at the figure to the right. The red curve shows boat speed vs RWA for the Wildwind Open 60 using optimal sails.

On the graph in dark green I’ve also plotted results for the Mesh Shop One Design 65; it’s a very close match. These boats should be compatible with each other in mixed fleet, “big boat” races in SL.

The black dotted line on the chart shows the same numbers for the RL Open 60 Neutrogena. The SL boats are both a bit faster, but overall it’s a remarkably nice fit.

Keel Cant

The Wildwind Open 60 performs optimally when sailing with a heel angle of 30°. Adjusting the keel cant to hit that angle can give a sailor a performance edge.
heel angle v keel

The chart to the right plots the heel angle for a boat with an RWA 90° heading at six different wind speeds. The x-axis shows the effect of changing the keel cant from “-3” (leeward cant) to “+3” (windward cant).

The data shows that keel position can have a big impact on boat heel.

boat speed v keel cantThe next chart shows what this means for boat speed.

With faster wind speeds, canting the keel to the windward side can speed up the boat by keeping it in the 30° heel sweet-spot.

At much lower wind speeds you can get a modest boost by canting the keel leeward to increase heel to 30°.

Turn Radius

A week ago I wrote about the importance of turn radius to a sailboat’s performance. That’s particularly true for a high-speed racer like the Wildwind Open 60.

turn plots of OP60-OD65-VO70

The graphic to the right shows a plot of the X, Y position of an Open 60 as it goes through a standard turn. For comparison, I’ve included similar results for the Mesh Shop VO 70 and OD 65.

The three boats end up with very similar turning properties; the Open 60 has a turning curve that nearly exactly overlaps the VO-70. As I commented earlier, although these boats are extremely different from each other I think the performance similarities indicates the builders were each trying to model the real life performance of an ocean racer, and it looks like they both hit the mark. :-)

Summary: The Wildwind Open 60

In my opinion, Wildwind’s done it again. Following up on her fantastic Wildcat45 emulation of the AC45 Catamaran, Corry Kamachi‘s now releasing her Wildwind version of the Open 60 ocean racer.

Corry is one of the most popular and proficient master builders of contemporary, high-performance virtual racing yachts in Second Life, and the new Wildwind Open 60 demonstrates her consumate skill. The boat build is accurate in detail and dimensions, and it showcases many hallmark features of this ocean racing class, including dual dagger boards, deck spreaders, rudders, a surprisingly sumptuous cabin, and a skipper-controlled canting keel. All of this is amazing in a boat that weighs a mere 26 prim with LOD=28.

The boat is powered by the recently-upgraded WildWind sail engine. That means it’s compatible with several other recent boat designs that use real world apparent wind calculations and that report headings using a geographic map compass. It’s also compatible with Hay Ah’s SL raceline system and with WWC cruise wind settings.

A single skipper controls all the sailing functions with help from three different HUDs, but there’s also room for three passengers. The boat controls are low-lag and have many adjustable features.

Under sail the boat performs like a true champ. 🙂 It is quite fast, with a wind polar curve that’s a close match for the RL Open 60. In SL, the boat’s numbers are also comparable to the Mesh Shop One Design 65.

The WildWild Open 60 has a few downsides that are part of the design. These are not real problems, but are worth mentioning:

  1. The Wildwind Open 60 does not have visible or audible sail-luffing effects;
  2. Under sail, the WildWind Open 60 is nearly all phantom except for it’s hull and bowsprit.
  3. The boat does not presently have windshadow.
  4. The boat can only be operated by the owner; there is no system to let crew take over the helm during a long sail or a multi-heat race.

The above points are common issues for many other vessels in SLSailing. In the case of Open 60, most of the points reflect the builder’s effort to optimize performance while reducing lag. It’s hard to fault that explanation, given all else the boat contains. 🙂

Bottom line, if you like contemporary ocean race boats in SL, I’m certain you’re going to love the WildWind Open 60.

Go try a demo; you’ll see. 🙂

WW Open 60

FIGAWI takes off

FIGAWI 1h10min

The FIGAWI race is a major regatta event of the East Coast sailing season. This year nearly 250 boats will take part in the races between Hyannis and Nantucket. As I write this, the fleet is over one hour into the race. I wanted to post the link for the live race tracking map for those interested in following the fleet online. 🙂

If you click here, you can then choose to see the live map that shows real-time positions of all the boats, or of any particular division. 🙂


Addendum 23:34 PST:

Here’s the rest of the first race. The first image shows the fleet emerging from Hyannisport, milling at the raceline, and starting on a SSW heading.

Much later, the second image shows the boats are now on a downwind starboard tack, and the mixed fleet is splitting into two groups, each with their own downwind angle.

The final image below confirms it. There are two mixed groups, and each use a different course to reach the same endpoint. 🙂

figawi course5

Five Weeks to Second Sol Regatta!

patch2betaSecSol Update

Woots! The Second Sol Regatta is still five weeks away, but plans are heating up, and all the details are falling into place.

Second Sol is a Sail4Life fundraising regatta that will cover two weekends, from June 15-June 23; you can read all about it here. I wanted to take a moment today to throw in a couple quick updates!

1. The Regatta was initially designed for a maximum of 16 racing teams divided into four different timeslot groups for the qualifying rounds on June 15 and June 22. Well, as of today there are more than a dozen teams already signed up and we still have more than a month to go. At the request of several sailors, I’m increasing the enrollment to 20 race teams, and adding a fifth timeslot. That last timeslot will race on Friday June 14 and 21, at a convenient time to be determined. If you want to switch to Friday, send a message to Jane Fossett in Second Life. 🙂

Waypoint patchogues 2009

2. I’m also very happy to announce the Patchogue II raceboat is on the water in beta this week, and it looks pretty great. 🙂 Today KalEl and I tried hard to break it, but the boat proved tough and stable. We sailed back-and-forth across many sims with winds >31 knots this morning. patch2beta Kal-JaneHowever, with a couple reefs in the sail and the team hiked all the way windward, the boat sailed like a real champ; we hit a speed-over-ground of over 34 knots! (And you thought Trudeaus were slow?) 🙂

Beta testing is slated to end soon, and all the teams signed up for Second Sol will get their own new Patchogue II’s delivered on May 25. That will give the fleet a full three weeks to practice before the Regatta opens!

So if you want to join in and race Second Sol with us in June, welcome aboard! Second Sol will be a great chance to Sail for Fun, Sail with Friends, and Sail4Life.

SecSol2013 poster 02b

Oppan Chomsky Style

Oppan Chomsky Style 01

Ok, I have to admit it, I thought this bit by the Korean Students Assoc at MIT was absolutely fantastic. Noam CAnd Kudos to Noam Chomsky for the cameo!

The video has boats in it, so it’s arguably “topic-relevant.

The lip-sync and dance moves are certainly a lot better than anything Crimson’s Ec Dept could muster.

Here it is:

There’s even a gaff-rigged catboat in the video! 🙂

gaff-rigged catboat

Turn Style


It’s not the meat, it’s the motion…

When a sailboat makes a turn in Second Life (and real-life), three major things happen that a skipper needs to think about:

  1. the boat changes heading in response to the hydrodynamic forces generated by the rudder deflection;
  2. the boat travels along an arc until it establishes the new heading; and
  3. the boat speed usually drops due to a loss of momentum generated by the turn.

How well a boat accomplishes these points often has a big effect on the user’s sense of fun and realism. 

For a while now I’ve been trying to come up with a few simple ways to measure the turning properties of SL boats. That information might be useful when comparing different boat classes, and it may also help assess whether a given boat is a reasonable emulation of it’s real-life counterpart. Anyway, I admit I don’t have any big conclusions at this point, but I wanted to show a few charts here to see if any sailors have better ideas how to approach this issue.



For large US merchant transport vessels, there are detailed performance standards published by the American Bureau of Shipping. The ABS is a good resource for maneuverability test requirements and discussions about the principles involved.

Probably the most common performance test is a Circle Test that monitors a boat’s ability to move through a full 360° turn. That works well for a powerboat, where the engine can maintain a constant thrust during the exercise. However, it doesn’t work very well for a sailboat, since the wind is constantly changing during the turn. A full 360° turn is pretty much never a “circle.” 🙂

It makes a lot more sense to test a sailboat using a 180° half-turn, as the boat flips into the wind from one beam reach to the other.

To do that in SL, I’ve been using FRAPS to generate screenshots each second while a boat does a standard 180° turn. I then plot the boat position data sequence on an X-Y matrix. Each data point also includes the instantaneous boat speed and heading.

Rene Marine 12

Let me give a quick shout out for the Rene Marine 12 (Tofinu). It’s a great boat for this kind of test. It’s built by Rene Underby, who has a long track record as an accomplished boatbuilder in Second Life. Her Rene Marine  boat yard is  filled with a full line of sail craft that emphasize both authentic styling and realistic performance.

racer RM12

The RM 12 is her newest creation. Apropos of this discussion, it’s designed to give a realistic response to rudder deflections, it has an option to hold the rudder at a constant angle, and it has a full info-HUD that displays the boat’s status.

Here’s a chart of boat position for the RM-12 as it does a half- turn.

RM12 turn rev

click to enlarge

It shows a plot of the X-Y map location at each second for an RM 12 with RWS= 15kn. The boat begins on a starboard tack with RWA 90°; it then turns through 180° to a new heading of RWA 270°.

The boat initially sails in a straight line with a constant boat speed of 8.6 (green arrow). The skipper then swings the wheel hard over to initiate the turn (indicated by “TILLER” above) and locks the rudder at maximum deflection until the turn is complete.

If you then follow the dots, you’ll see that within a few seconds the boat responds to the rudder deflection by turning into the wind and losing speed. At the point indicated by a red star (*),  the sails suddenly flip over, changing the boat to a port tack. That actually happens quite early, when the boat is only beginning the actual turn. It then takes approximately 15 more seconds to complete the 180° course change. By that time the boat speed has dropped  to 4.2, half the original. In addition, the arc of the turn moves the new heading approximately 30 m further windward (Red Arrow).

A boat’s initial speed and consequent momentum has a big impact on how wide a turn the boat will carve in the water. This is nicely shown in the figure below.

turn radius - RM12 two RWS

The green curve to the right shows the sequence of positions each second for a RM-12 as it goes through the half turn powered by a 15 kn wind. The dark red curve shows the same boat, but this time powered by an 8.0 kn breeze. Under the lessened wind, the boat travels more slowly (the dots are closer together), and the boat cuts a much sharper turn.


The fact that the slower boat has the sharpest turn deserves an extra comment or two.

First of all, if a boat is not moving through the water, the rudder is useless and the boat can’t turn. The force that causes the boat to change direction is generated by the deflection of the water flow passing the angled rudder. This point is sort of obvious, but it’s worth mentioning since most SL builders add a small ‘kick’ to their boats so skippers can still maneuver them even without sail power or headway. The RM-12 and a few other SL boats are more realistic, and you’ll find the RM-12 won’t turn unless it’s moving. 🙂

Second point: Once a boat is underway, the turning force produced goes up with the square of the water velocity over the rudder. In other words, the turning force at 4kn is four times the force at 2kn; the faster boat turns more quickly. However, if you look at the figure above, it shows that the faster boat actually cuts a wider turn. That’s due in large part to the greater residual forward momentum at faster speeds. The turning force may be stronger, but it has more work to do to reverse the boat direction.

A Few Comparisons

Why is any of this worth worrying about? Well actually it’s not worth worrying about, but it is interesting when you start to compare the turning ability of different boats powered by the same wind speed.

turn radius - multi-boat test

Here’s the same chart I posted above, showing the RM-12 at 15 kn (green) and 8.0 kn (purple). I’ve now superimposed two more curves. The orange curve is for the popular Melges-24 racer.

Although it’s quite a speedy boat, the M-24 can cut one of the sharpest turns of the entire sailboat fleet in SL as shown above in orange.

So if you love the maneuverability of the  Melges-24, the chart explains why! The Melges is a spry, high tech, and compact raceboat. It’s designed to slice a turn as sharply as possible and the SL data backs it up!

racers m24

Now look at the other boat I’ve added to the chart above in red. It’s the Wildwind Open 60, a new, very fast ocean racer that’s slated to replace the JMO-60 very soon. The shape of the turn in the Open 60 falls right on top of the RM-12. However, don’t let that fool you. If you look at the distance between each of the dots in the curve, you’ll see that the Open 60 is moving easily twice as fast as the more traditional and reserved RM-12. At those speeds, the Open 60 gets around race marks pretty well, but you do need to leave a lot of room!

turn plots of OP60-OD65-VO70

OK, here’s another comparison to the right. This time it’s for three pretty similar ocean racers: the Wildwind Open 60, the Mesh Shop VO 70, and the Mesh Shop OD 65.

The three boats end up with very similar turning properties. In fact, although they are totally different designs coming from boat yards in  Japan and Netherlands, the Open 60 has a turning curve that nearly exactly overlaps the VO-70. I think that indicates both builders came up with designs that reflected real life performance, and it looks like they both hit the mark. 🙂


And More…

The last chart for today is shown below, and I apologize it’s really ugly; it looks like clumps of seaweed, or Lindsay Lohan’s hair after a particularly rough night.

turn radius - many

The chart overlaps turn plots from a variety of different boats, to give you a flavor of the diversity in the fleet.

There are some interesting findings. For example, the Mesh Shop OD-65 has the same turning radius as the Trudeau New York 30. However, once again the OD-65 has a much faster boat speed that likely explains the apparent similarity.

Two boats have a surprising overlap on the chart that I can’t easily explain. Motor Loon’s Loonetta 31 is an absolutely delightful, fully appointed cruiser. It’s not intended for competitive sailing, and in fact Loon went out of his way to make it clear the boat was not a racer. Well kids, here’s another reason to love your Loonetta: it turns out to have the same turning radius as the Mesh Shop Laser One, and it does it at the same boat speed!

Anyone up for a Loonetta Regatta? 🙂

racers laser

 Quo Vadis

I admit I’m still not sure what to make of these curves, if anything. For the moment, I think they just provide another way to display some performance characteristics of virtual boats we all sail. There are certainly no “good curves,” or bad ones. The results are just interesting, and maybe some are fun.

A few might even have something to do with sailing in SL. 🙂

virtual turns

Fire Island Light Preview

Fire Island previewIf you love lighthouses (and who doesn’t), you may want to stop in Stoogle for a preview look at RJ Kikuchiyo‘s recreation of New York’s Fire Island light.

The lighthouse was first commissioned by Congress in the mid-19th century, and for several generations it safely guided merchant vessels into New York Harbor. FI lightFire Island light was often the first glimpse of this new country for the throngs of immigrants that came to America over a century ago.

In 1974 the venerable beacon was decommissioned and it fell into disrepair due to the limited resources of the National Park Service. It was at risk of being demolished.

Many community members were determined to prevent that, however. They appreciated the importance of Fire Island Light to America’s maritime history, and they understood it’s iconic symbolism. Thirty years ago they formed the Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society, raising over 1.3 million dollars for the restoration and preservation of the lighthouse. In 1984 Fire Island Light was placed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the FILPS continues to manage it.

RJ Kikuchiyo knows Fire Island Light well in real life, so it’s no surprise that he put his masterful building skills to use re-creating the historic build for Second Life. However, from the beginning of the project RJ’s intention was to make FILH a special build, an inspirational centerpiece for the Sail4Life installation on Linden Lab’s Relay For Life weekend.

Well, since last September Fire Island Light has been quietly sitting over in DYC’s Stoogle annex, waiting for it’s RFL debut in July. As you can see from the video above, this is a highly detailed, museum-quality built that stands as a fitting tribute to both FILH and the litany of other coastal beacons that shone through fog and darkness to guide mariners home.

FILH location

As part of the ongoing DYC renovations, we recently opened up the southern channel into Stoogle (the red arrow in the above map). So if you want to stop by for a preview inspection of Fire Island Lighthouse, you’re welcome to sail over and tie up at the lighthouse dock. Auto return for visitors is set at 30 minutes there, so you’ll have plenty of time to explore RJ’s build.

Be sure to visit in the next several weeks, though; you might not get another chance. 🙂 RJ’s decided that his Fire Island Lighthouse will be unique. There will only be one Fire Island Light in Second Life, and it will go to the highest bidder at the Sail4Life charity auction in July.

The sailor that has the heart to dig deep enough to make a winning bid on that day is going to take home far more than just a beautiful build. They’ll be graced with an enduring monument to the spirit of community that binds sailors for all time.

FILH Fresnel

Debelox raceline

debelox racelineI wanted to post a quick shout-out for the raceline in Debelox. 🙂

Debelox (outlined with a red square on the above map) is a Linden sim that lies at the West end of the water bridge connecting Corsica with Gaeta. From that location the Debelox raceline can support a number of long distance races and cruises over both continents.


The Debelox raceline is actually pretty unique. Debelox is a full sim, and the raceline is the only major object there. That means that the sim has a rather remarkable 14,962 free prim, with a corresponding low script overhead. The rez zone is also nicely sized, with a prim capacity of 1,274.

If you ever want to race Ernestinas, or just hold a rather massive fleet race, this is the line to use! It’s built to support all the boats, scripts, and sailing avatars you’ll need. 🙂

Hannelore Ballinger had some difficulty coaxing the line to ‘network’ this past Saturday for the Volvo racers, so I took that opportunity to update all the Debelox raceline stuff, including adding a new windsetter. The WWC is now in the Green Nun at the northern end of the line; that matches the default set up at nearly all the other Hay Ah racelines in SL. 🙂

debelox line_004