Category Archives: Fastnet

Waypoint Sails New York 32

NY32 WYC Jan13

Commodore Taku Raymaker used Waypoint’s racing timeslot on Sunday  to showcase the new 2.0 upgrade for Maiko Taurog’s ‘Galiko’ New York 32. The Galiko is modeled after Olin Stephens’ 1935 design for the  New York Yacht Club, where the boat was the successor to Herreshoff’s legendary New York 30; Stephens gave the NY32 a fresh approach by adding a modern sloop rig, a new sail plan, and greater ocean racing capability.

NY32v20 by MaikoMaiko Taurog’s version of the NY32 is powered by a Fizz 3.3 engine, and it has a highly detailed, sculpted hull with room for a skipper and multiple crew. The original version was featured at the 2010 Tradewinds Boat Show. The latest 2.0 release has a host of new features, and you can check it out over at Waypoint Yacht Club.

I can’t tell you much more than that since I got my own copy of NY32 just a few days ago, but I promise to give you a full rundown once I get a chance to put the boat through the usual battery of tests. 🙂


Anyway, when I logged in on Sunday morning, Taku announced a fleet race for NY32’s from the start line in Blake Sea – Arabian. It was a great chance to get a glimpse of how this boat performs under competition conditions.


Race #1

When I teleported in, seven NY32’s were rezzed near the start line and raring to go. Since this was a relatively new boat for the fleet, Commodore Raymaker intelligently chose a short and classic race format. He used an upwind/downwind course to the blue buoy in Mizzen, just five sims distant. It was actually a great course to test boat performance and skipper handling skill.

The image below shows the Start of Race #1. When the gun went off, it was pretty remarkable how cleanly the WYC fleet crossed the line. Remember, these are rather big boats and there were seven of them all vying to occupy the same takeoff point next to the committee boat. That’s often a recipe for a fiberglass-crunching, bumper-car pileup… but not this Sunday morning. Waypoint sailors know what they’re doing, and the entire fleet executed a truly beautiful and orderly start; it was like watching a ballet troupe in action. 🙂

In image A below, you can see how nearly all the skippers tacked over to the far windward edge during the pre-start; they then turned in single file fashion to begin the race on a starboard tack.

You can also see that Kaz Destiny wasn’t buying this “crowd” approach; he took off for open water by splitting the line in the middle on a more leeward tack position. 🙂

NYC32 race 1 A

The next image below shows the situation a bit later, as the fleet started to fan out on the initial leg of the upwind beat to the Mizzen buoy. Maiko Taurog (MT) was the first skipper across the start line, and she smartly held onto the lead by staying windward of the rest of the fleet. Michiya Yoshikawa (MY) came up from clear astern to overlap between Maiko and Kaz, and the image below makes it look like the race is nearly tied at this point.

Of course, that’s not really true; MT had the height on this tack and was in control with a lot of options. Anyone trying to pass her leeward would get trapped in shadow, and if they tried to cut windward, it would take them an extra tack and would almost certainly fail.


As the lead windward boat, MT had another big advantage. The entire fleet was on a zigzag beat upwind, and they all needed to flip to a port tack in order to stay on course. However, in a tight race with large boats the windward leader often rules.

In other words, in the above picture MY, KD, and KY are all looking at MT, waiting for her to tack. If MY tries to tack before MT, there’s a fair chance MT will be in the way. MY will  need to fall astern of her, losing both momentum and tactical position on the next leg.

All the racers knew this, and you could literally count the heartbeats of the skippers as they watched and waited for Maiko to make her move. Image A below shows that moment, with MT suddenly breaking to port tack while the rest of the fleet holds course, wondering whether to follow. 🙂

Well, a lot more happened in that heat, but I’m going to interrupt it here and fast forward, since Maiko Taurog eventually crashed out after sailing a really great race. The win went to Michiya Yoshikawa, who also had a great ride and kept on MT’s tail the whole way. When MT crashed out, MY saw the opening and took it, crossing the line thirty seconds ahead ahead of the remaining fleet for a well-deserved win.

Both ayahoshi Resident and KazumaHs Destiny grabbed the runner-up and third-place spots!


Race #1 Results: 
 1: michiya Yoshikawa   ID064MY — 00:18:23
 2: ayahoshi Resident   ID361AR — 00:18:53
 3: KazumaHs Destiny   ID789KD — 00:19:06
 4: Kunika Yoshikawa   ID810KY — 00:19:45
 5: notohama Resident   ID983NR — 00:21:32
 6: Maiko Taurog   ID968MT — not Finished
 7: jeremia Spotter   ID020JS — not Finished

Lap Times: 
 michiya Yoshikawa   ID064MY — Start: 00:00:13  —  Last lap: 00:18:10
 ayahoshi Resident   ID361AR — Start: 00:00:27  —  Last lap: 00:18:26
 KazumaHs Destiny   ID789KD — Start: 00:00:19  —  Last lap: 00:18:47
 Kunika Yoshikawa   ID810KY — Start: 00:00:27  —  Last lap: 00:19:18
 notohama Resident   ID983NR — Start: 00:01:08  —  Last lap: 00:20:24
 Maiko Taurog   ID968MT — Start: 00:00:04  —  Last lap: not finished
 jeremia Spotter   ID020JS — Start: 00:00:49  —  Last lap: not finished

end of 1

Race #2

OK; after what I wrote above, you might think that Michiya Yoshikawa was just lucky and perhaps didn’t deserve to win Race #1… Well, sports fans, that’s why they have a Race #2. 🙂 By the start of Race #2 all the skippers were ‘cached up‘ and familiar with the sim conditions. It was a pretty exciting heat.

Take a look at the Start below; once again it was dead-on, with seven large boats cutting the line at the windward edge, and not a single foul. That’s nice sailing, Waypoint!

nyc32 wyc 2 1

The next image below shows the fleet a bit later; Michiya Yoshikawa won the start and stayed out front through the initial upwind leg.

KD, KY and MT were all on a more windward tack but they were at least three boat lengths astern of MY, far out of striking distance.

nyc32 wyc 2 2

Maiko Taurog and ayahoshi Resident both had late starts. Given the tightly packed fleet in front of them, both opted to cut away from the crowd and move to clean air by tacking to port early. In the first image below you can see MT in the distance moving away from the fleet as Michiya Yoshikawa is just starting to make his turn up front.

The second picture below shows the result after all boats have tacked. MT is making good progress, but she’s on a considerably lower course than MY. The trio of KY, KD, and NR took the turn together, and all three boats ended up in tight parallel overlap, breathing dirty air on each other as they tried to break free.

NY32 WYC Jan13 Port tack

On the other hand, MY was in open water and clean air, and his port tack brought him to the southern border of Fastnet rock (Image A below).

In the meantime, MT and AR had already switched back to starboard to catch up with the fleet. You can see them steaming in to converge with MY just as they all reach the lighthouse.

Image B below shows the setup. Both AR and MT had the momentum to pass by MY at this point, but MY plans his tack well. The small yellow arrows below show the wake behind MY’s boat, as he zips around MT to grab the windward position for the starboard tack sprint to the mark.

MY’s gambit turned out to be pretty impressive. Take a look where the mark is, and then look at the headings for the three boats. Although AR and MT had plenty of speed at this point, they were both too low to reach the buoy in Mizzen. AR and MT were forced to make two additional short tacks to fetch the mark.

NY32 WYC Jan13 Fastnet turn

MY planned his tack better by moving windward of the other two boats; that placement dropped him right on top of the Mizzen buoy, and he took the turn several boat lengths ahead of MT.

From there it was a downwind spinnaker ride home, but look at the second picture below. It’s a view from high above the fleet, showing that all the boats sailed back single file, using identical broad reach tacks. It will be interesting to see what this boat’s polar looks like. 🙂

Mizzen mark

On the final ride in, MT was able to stay within shadow range of MY. That kept the boats relatively glued together, but MT was never able to get close enough to be a threat. Michiya Yoshikawa blew across the finish line in 16:36, just 10 seconds ahead of Maiko Taurog (16:46), and more than a minute ahead of the rest of the fleet.

Nice moves, Michiya!
Pretty great sailing, Waypoint!

MY and MT win

Race Results:
1: michiya Yoshikawa   ID064MY — 00:16:36
2: Maiko Taurog   ID909MT — 00:16:46
3: KazumaHs Destiny   ID789KD — 00:17:44
4: ayahoshi Resident   ID361AR — 00:18:06
5: notohama Resident   ID983NR — 00:18:23
6: Kunika Yoshikawa   ID810KY — 00:19:04
7: jeremia Spotter   ID020JS — not Finished

Lap Times:
michiya Yoshikawa   ID064MY — Start: 00:00:11  —  Last lap: 00:16:25
Maiko Taurog   ID909MT — Start: 00:00:41  —  Last lap: 00:16:05
KazumaHs Destiny   ID789KD — Start: 00:00:12  —  Last lap: 00:17:32
ayahoshi Resident   ID361AR — Start: 00:00:41  —  Last lap: 00:17:25
notohama Resident   ID983NR — Start: 00:00:25  —  Last lap: 00:17:58
Kunika Yoshikawa   ID810KY — Start: 00:00:23  —  Last lap: 00:18:41
jeremia Spotter   ID020JS — Start: 00:00:32  —  Last lap: not finished

MY amd MT

You can see the rest of the pictures from this race on Flickr.

Drama Photo of the Week

click to enlarge

I have not sailed the new VO-70 enough to appreciate it’s handling and sailing features, but wow, does it make a great crash! 🙂

The above scene took place during Hannelore Ballinger’s Aug 23 Thursday VO-70 race as the fleet came around Fastnet Light. (I tell you I shouted ROOM! as we approached the turn… or at least that’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it!)

Everybody had a good laugh, then we picked up all the broken toys and continued the race. 🙂

Maybe this is an appropriate moment to repost good-old Rules 19-20:

19.1 When Rule 19 Applies
Rule 19 applies between boats at an obstruction except when it is
also a mark the boats are required to leave on the same side. However,
at a continuing obstruction, rule 19 always applies and rule 18
does not.
19.2 Giving Room at an Obstruction
(a) A right-of-way boat may choose to pass an obstruction on
either side.
(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.

(c) While boats are passing a continuing obstruction, if a boat that
was clear astern and required to keep clear becomes overlapped
between the other boat and the obstruction and, at the
moment the overlap begins, there is not room for her to pass
between them, she is not entitled to room under rule 19.2(b).
While the boats remain overlapped, she shall keep clear and
rules 10 and 11 do not apply.

20.1 Hailing and Responding
When approaching an obstruction, a boat sailing close-hauled or
above may hail for room to tack and avoid another boat on the same
tack. After a boat hails,
(a) she shall give the hailed boat time to respond;
(b) the hailed boat shall respond either by tacking as soon as possible,
or by immediately replying ‘You tack’ and then giving
the hailing boat room to tack and avoid her; and
(c) when the hailed boat responds, the hailing boat shall tack as
soon as possible.
20.2 Exoneration
When a boat is taking room to which she is entitled under rule
20.1(b), she shall be exonerated if she breaks a rule of Section A or
rule 15 or 16.
20.3 When Not to Hail
A boat shall not hail unless safety requires her to make a substantial
course change to avoid the obstruction. Also, she shall not hail if the
obstruction is a mark that the hailed boat is fetching.

Come to think of it, since Fastnet Rock was a mark on the race course, Rule 18 probably applied as well. 🙂

No protests were made though, no one drown, and everyone crossed the Finish Line happy. That’s the important thing for a pick-up race on a Thursday in August!

SL-VT Round Five: Part I


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

A fantastic fleet of racers converged in Blake Sea – Atlantic for two days of match competition, and the contest proved to be the most exciting display of ACA racing skill so far revealed in the qualifying series. The Round Five skippers truly set a new, high bar of racing finesse.  In fact, the sailing was so much fun and so full of tight finishes and close Rules calls that I wasn’t able to fit it all in one article here; today I’ll just tell you just about the first two races!

Round 5 Match Finals:

NYC chose to hold elimination races in various timeslots on Saturday, and then advanced the top four sailors into a round-robin shoot-out on Sunday. Here’s how that six-race lineup looked as the haze cleared over the Atlantic race line Sunday morning: 

1 Astro Marksman — Carmen Foden
2 Gemma Vuckovic — Glorfindel Arrow
3 Carmen Foden — Glorfindel Arrow
4 Gemma Vuckovic — Astro Marksman
5 Glorfindel Arrow — Astro Marksman
6 Carmen Foden — Gemma Vuckovic

 The race course is shown above on the right. With a wind from due South, it favored a Starboard start from the West (Windward) side of the line. Under ideal conditions, a skipper could clear the startline and then choose a first-leg turn point that could get them all the way to the second mark in only two tacks. ( that sounds good, but when was the last time race conditions were ideal? 🙂 )

 In any event, the course was short, simple, and undoubtedly familiar to most in the SL-VT competition fleet.  On Sunday morning, the four qualifying finalists were Ready to Roar.

Race One: Astro Marksman — Carmen Foden

 It’s hard to imagine two sailors who have more enthusiasm or raw “ACA racing street-credibility” than Carmen and Astro. Even though this was the first match of the day, it promised to be pretty exciting.

Wow, it was way more than that. The show Carmen and Astro put on strongly raised the standard of competition to a new level, and clearly demonstrated what it’s going to take to win this regatta in August.

Match racing is, of course, not about being the fastest boat. Sure, speed helps, but a match race is really a competition between two skippers, and the strategy they use at each step to gain advantage as they try to knock out their opponent. It’s a boxing match between friends wearing sailing gloves.

Winning the Start is a big deal in any race, and it’s particularly true sailing the ACA33. A good deal of match race skill therefore focuses on ‘prestart’ strategy and tactics. In the first race, Carmen and Astro gave a free demonstration of how that’s done. From the moment the clock began the three minute countdown, the two skippers went at each other in a fast-paced duel where they dodged and parried for position, each trying to block the other and gain a start advantage that would throw their opponent off balance.

There were woots, gasps and and loud cheers from the spectators watching these prestart pyrotechnics, and I admit this turned out to be one of the most exciting, and most realistic ACA match races I’ve seen in SL.

Most skippers will opt for a Starboard start in fleet races, but in a 2-boat match race there’s less of a starboard advantage. Carmen apparently decided on a ‘port strategy’ for the Round Five match series, and as the final clock seconds ticked away, she broke away from Astro. As shown above, Carmen flipped to a port tack and headed to the opposite end of the line. 

That put Astro six seconds ahead, but Carmen clearly knew what she was doing.

After she crossed the far side of the line she quickly flipped back to a Starboard tack; the maneuver put her on a fast, windward beat with the first mark in her gunsites.

Astro of course had a similar plan, but he opted to cross the line on Staboard; when he turned to fetch the mark, that put him on Port tack.

You can see the result above; Carmen and Astro arrived together at the first mark, but Carmen had Starboard ROW.

She used it to full advantage, zipping inside past Astro and taking the lead as both boats circled Fastnet.

Although Astro stayed glued to Carmen’s stern during the long downwind run back to Atlantic, Carmen was able to successfully blocked  each of his  passing attempts. The image sequence below shows what then happened as the two boats rounded the Blue/White ‘bottom mark” at the end of the Run.

The first picture shows that Carmen was clearly in the lead going into the turn, and both boats were on Starboard tack.  As shown in the middle image below, Carmen gybed immediately after passing the bouy; she presumably planned to cross the race line ‘gate’ using her Port tack strategy again.  Astro was right on her heels however and took the turn a moment later, but he elected to remain on Starboard to cross the line.  That meant Carmen effectively gybed right across Astro’s bow! The boats were so close that neither boat had any time to avoid a collision; as the crowd of watchful sailors gasped in unison, Astro tumbled highspeed and headlong into Carmen’s aft quarter! 

 Keeping her head, Carmen immediately gybed back to Starboard, disengaging the two boats. Both sailors then crossed the ‘Atlantic gate’ on close haul, as shown below.

Carmen accepted Astro’s protest over the above event, and did a 360° penalty turn as soon as she crossed the line and was in free water (Woots Carmen!! What a ‘pro’ you are).  That of course gave Astro the opening he needed, and he was able to sprint ahead into clean air, unobstructed. Carmen remained game to the end and fought back hard, but Race One went to Astro; he deserved it.

In fact they both deserved a standing ovation. Race One was easily the most exciting, intelligent, and “technically proficient” ACA match race I’ve ever seen in SL.  Judging from the comments of the spectators and Race Staff, I’m pretty sure everyone else agreed with that assessment.   Nice job, Astro and Carmen!!

Lap Times:
Astro Marksman — Start: 00:00:01 — Lap 1: 00:04:51 — Lap 2: 00:03:18
Carmen Foden — Start: 00:00:07 — Lap 1: 00:04:29 — Lap 2: 00:03:49


Race Two: Gemma Vuckovic — Glorfindel Arrow

The second race matched up Gemma Vuckovic and Glorfindel Arrow, two seasoned sailors with an impressive, storybook lineage of  regatta victories in multiple boat classes. They avoided a pre-start duel  for this match, both approaching the Windward end of the startine on starboard closehaul as the clock ticked down.

As shown below, Glorfindel was in the lead coming up to the line. He arrived a few seconds early however, and had to fall off to leeward and run the line, waiting for “00:00.”

 When the gun went off  Glorf crossed the Start first. Although Gemma was a heartbeat behind him, she actually owned the momentum and held the windward position as the two boats headed for the first mark.

 As shown below, Gemma played those factors to advantage; she won the first mark and grabbed a slight lead as the two boats came around Fastnet Rock.

However, Glorf was actually in a good spot as the boats head into the next leg, the downwind run to the bottom mark.

Glorf was able to smother Gemma in his windshadow and repeatedly tried to pass her leeward to grab away the lead. Gemma never gave an inch however, and successfully fended off his attempts.

Frankly, as the two boats began the turn at the bottom mark, they were so close and so tightly overlapped in this squabble, it looked like Glorf and Gemma were exchanging genetic material. (Forget that image 🙂 ; let’s focus on racing!)   

As you can see from the image above, as the two boats took the bottom turn, Glof was outside and leeward. both boats then fell on a Starboard close haul, aiming for the far, leeward corner of the Atlantic raceline ‘gate.’ The competition was dead-even at that point; both sailors had the skill and experience to win this race.  But look what happened next! 

Gemma and Glorfindel both aimed for the leeward edge of the raceline, planning to cross adjacent to the red buoy (please note: all my pictures were taken from high overhead in a different sim, and the green-red raceline buoys never rezzed; they are not shown in the pictures). The above image shows both race boats as they crossed the line at the extreme lee end; Gemma was in front, overlapped,  and windward of Glorf. Gemma cut the buoy pretty close, leaving Glorf no room. To avoid a collision, Glorf slammed into the buoy and came to a near dead stop.

 As shown above, this gave Gemma the clear opening she needed;  She took off and  was unstoppable, finishing the race far ahead of her opponent.

Lap Times:

Gemma Vuckovic — Start: 00:00:03 — Lap 1: 00:04:18 — Lap 2: 00:03:18
Glorfindel Arrow — Start: 00:00:02 — Lap 1: 00:04:21 — Lap 2: 00:03:58


At the conclusion of the race, Glorfindel Arrow requested a Rules Clarification:

[2010/07/11 9:03] Quirky Torok: for those interested in such things….
[2010/07/11 8:58] ::: Glorfindel Arrow: ok, I have a question
[2010/07/11 8:59] ::: Glorfindel Arrow: what the rule about that line, is it a gate? 
[8:59] Gemma Vuckovic: I think Glor is querying my closure at the line
[8:59] Soro Dagostino: Yes
[9:00] Glorfindel Arrow: yeah, dose she have to give lee row at the ‘gate’? I think there is some rule about it
[9:00] Glorfindel Arrow: just asking
[9:00] Soro Dagostino: If it is an obtsruction
[9:00] Soro Dagostino: Mark of the course.
[9:01] Glorfindel Arrow: well i sort of hit the mark if it is considered a mark
[9:01] Soro Dagostino: I saw that.
[9:01] Gemma Vuckovic: I was sailing proper course, my sails close to wind
[9:01] LDeWell Hawker: I don’t belive room…is required at a gate…
[9:01] LDeWell Hawker: and..
[9:02] Soro Dagostino: Agreed

Glorfindel actually never protested during the race and did not request “mark room,” so there was no official complaint for the protest committee to consider. In fact, Glorfindel took pains above to emphasize he was was not actually protesting, just asking for rules clarification. The judge’s public comments above left the answer ambiguous. Since it’s an important point that deserves more discussion, let me offer my RL/ SL understanding here.

A gate is defined by two race marks; a racing boat needs to travel between them and ‘go through the gate.’ Gates are often used at the top or bottom mark where racing boats are expected to gybe and reverse direction. Since the gate has two marks, race boats have the option to go around one or the other mark to make their turn. This configuration reduces traffic congestion and enhances strategy. Don Berithos’ GGYC Round 3 course was a good example of such a “Windward-Leeward Course with a Gate.”

In Round Two and Five, the Start lines were used as gates, although the racing boats passed though them without gybing. Nonetheless, the buoys on either side that define the gates are considered ‘Race Marks’ and fall under Rule 18 (Room at a Mark).

Glorfindel was the leeward boat overlapped with Gemma. He was on a fixed course that would cross the line exactly where Gemma was headed. Glorf had ROW.

As I understand it, he never protested, so there was no judging issue. From his leeward advantage, however, he could have shouted “Up, Up!!”, luffed Gemma windward, and most likely grabbed a controlling lead position as they passed the gate. Anyone disagree?

Woots; thats enough for today; tomorrow I’ll post the other four races!

Memorials and Monuments

Linden Garden

A few weeks ago I wrote a short article about the Second Life Day of Remembrance and the new Linden Memorial Park. The Park provides a place where the Second Life Community can spend time in quiet reflection or engage in activities that memorialize those SL members who enriched our lives in this medium, but then were lost to us when they died in real life. In that article I also commented on a particular feature of the Park, the flower garden. SL members could plant flowers there in tribute to their deceased SL friends and colleagues,  and the named  flowers would be a permanent  memorial to their memory.

Shortly after I wrote that article, however, the option to plant new flowers in the  garden was disabled when griefing problems arose. Several sailors asked me about the issue, so I  spoke with Michael Linden and Brent Linden about reopening the garden; they both strongly agreed the Memorial Park should be a priority.

 I’m therefore very happy to tell you the Garden is once again open, and all SL residents are welcome to stop by and plant a flower there in memory of a lost friend. The process is very simple. Just click on the  small sign  in front of the flower bed; a simple pop-up menu will appear explaining what to do. It takes less than a minute.

Linden Garden 2

Today I dedicated a flower to Lachlan Campbell, a sailor I met soon after I joined Second Life. He let me crew with him a few times so I could learn about sailing, back when I was still figuring out how to walk. Lachlan was a voluble, talkative, wonderful person who expressed himself by typing in a rather overdone Scottish brough (grin). His accent-of style was actually a perfect fit for the bright red Scottish Lion Tako sails he flew. 

Lach passed away several weeks ago. Over a two year battle with cancer, and while recovering from radical surgery and chemotherapy, he was there on the raceline sailing with us. Many sailors were touched by his grace, in small and large ways; we all mourn his passing, and are grateful for what he shared with us.

Earlier this evening, the Mowry Bay Cruising Club fleet held an excursion from Yamm in Nautilus City over to Fastnet Light in the center of Blake. A sizable group of sailors had a chance to discuss the RL and SL Fastnet with the person who brought it to life in SL, RJ Kikuchiyo. We all also got a chance to visit the simple granite block RJ installed there to commemorate the sailors who died in the 1979 Fastnet Race Disaster. 

I kept thinking that the simple incription on the Fastnet monument applied  just as genuinely to our friend and fellow sailor, Lachlan Campbell.

I liontaib Dé go ghcastar simm.

Lach, you will remain forever in our thoughts, and we will never forget. 

Fastnet memorial copy