Category Archives: Fizz Cup 2009

Reprise: 2009 World Fizz Round Six

The qualifying rounds for the 2012 World Fizz Cup will hit the water this coming weekend on November 17-18, and the Finals are planned for December 1-2. You can get Liv Leigh’s official¬†schedule, up-to-the moment announcements, and racer commentary on the FizzCup2012 Tumblr page!

As part of the build-up for what should be a great event full of sailing skill and Fizz fireworks, I thought to repost a few Fizz Cup articles from past years. The 2012 World Cup has a long history in SLSailing, and kudos to Liv Leigh and her team for keeping that great tradition alive this year!

Speaking of which, I’ll be away sailing for ten days during the Fizz Cup, so I’ll miss most of the action. However, if anyone would like to take pictures and write up a rough play-by-play of one or more of the races, I’d be happy to help rewrite it with them, and then paste it up here on MetaverseSailing.com. That part I can do even on a sailboat. ūüôā If you’re interested, send me a message in Second Life.

Anyway, here’s what happened three and a half years ago during Qualifying Round Six of Fizz 2009:

*******

World Fizz Round Six: Reia Rules!

Originally posted to SLSailing.com on June 15, 2009 by Jane Fossett

header round 6

A month and a half ago, World Fizz Cup 2009 kicked off with an initial series of qualifying races hosted by the major yacht clubs in Second Life. Since then, each week the sailors reconvene, the bar rises, skill level goes up… and the tension builds. June 13 and 14 was the sixth time the competition fleet met to lock horns, testing their endurance and their mettle to earn a spot in the World Fizz Cup 2009 Finals.

FYC09This week was the last match in the regular series, hosted by Max Starostin and Far East Yacht Club.

The race course was an interesting mix of classic and novel features that promised a good test of the qualifying skippers’ experience and skill. As you can see in the figure to the right, the race course begins with an upwind beat to the first mark. The tack points are restricted by the dock on the starboard side and an island to port. The fleet makes an acute turn around the top mark (#1) and then sets a genniker course for the #2 reach buoy.  The route is confined by two islands that make this leg potentially tactically interesting.

The #2 mark also requires an acute change in direction, this time reaching to a small island (#3) before setting sights on the final, bottom mark (#4). From there it’s a short, but difficult upwind beat to the Finish. The course presented several challenges that were similar to the Schiffsratten races the week before.

FYC 2_003

The race¬† I am going to tell you about today¬†took place at 7:30am Sunday morning.¬†The 6:00am race was cancelled at the last moment due to under-enrollment and so several sailors moved up to the next slot, making the 7:30am race ‚Äúa full dance card‚ÄĚ with six boats competing. The skippers that showed up at 7:30 because of that turn of events might easily foreshadow the final race lineup.

Seraina Benelli, reia Setsuko, macro Nacht,  joro Aya, Odysseus Yiyuan, andREVO Blitz rezzed boats on the far side of the line, turning Sunday morning into a multifaceted showdown that included the third, fourth, fifth, eighth, and 12th ranked contenders in the series so far. That meant FYC, perhaps somewhat unexpectedly, ended up hosting an early morning race that pitted sailors with the greatest concentration of talent from any qualifying round against each other. And the stakes were high indeed: A shot at the Cup. It was immediately apparent to both the Fizz Cup Staff and the skippers that Sunday’s race could prove to be the greatest challenge of the entire competition.

Of course we won‚Äôt know that ‚Äúuntil the fat lady sings,‚ÄĚ but¬†I can certainly confirm the Sunday morning fleet made a breathtaking performance and pushed the limits far beyond the prior qualifying round standards. Liv Leigh commented that the first¬†heat was probably the best Fizz Cup race she had ever seen. ¬†She may well be right; from what I saw, although the sizable fleet was plagued by lag at many points, their performance was truly extraordinary.

Let me tell you what happened.

Joro Aya cut the line first at¬†00:09; she then immediately¬†pivoted and took off on a port tack.¬†¬† As shown above, Ody, Macro, Seraina and REVO started close behind Joro, but all opted for a more traditional starboard tack first leg. Reia Setsuko started the race in the dead last position, a full 30 seconds behind the leader. In that desperate situation she chose a port tack start. It actually made perfect sense; in last place no one was going to call ‚Äėright of way‚Äô against her.

FYC 2_007

The image above shows the fleet a short while later. Ody still leads the four boats, and they are nearing the first tack point. Off in the distance you can see Joro’s pink sails; she’s already come about, and is now on starboard tack as she zig-zags to the first mark.
FYC 2_010

The four boats then all flip to port tack, and fall on a course that will intersect with Joro, with Reia still far in the distance.

FYC 2_013

Joro brilliantly played the upwind beat to this point. She chose to cut to port  at the beginning to get clean air without obstructions, and when she changed course to overlap with the fleet she ended up on a starboard tack that landed her squarely in front of Ody and Macro.  Joro had Right of Way, so both Ody and Macro needed to turn aside, losing position and momentum. Very nicely done, Joro!

FYC 2_014

But don’t count out Reia! As you can see above, she is following in the footsteps of Joro and gaining ground, threatening to block Seriana and REVO!

FYC 2_017

Joro now tacks again, and runs parallel to the other four boats. In the upper left can see the double-circle that marks the ‚Äėzone‚Äô at the first mark. All the boats will need to tack at least one more time to reach it. Although it looks like Ody and Macro are ahead in the image above, Joro is actually in a very good strategic position, ¬†since she is much further windword and can gain speed by falling off more than the other boats. By planning her position and timing her tack correctly, she can maintain a windward advantage after the next turn. That will give her the necessary speed to make it to the zone first, while fending off the other contenders with her shadow.
FYC 2_022a

It doesn’t quite work out that way, however. Ody, Macro, and Seraina prove extremely fast, and it’s Ody rather than Joro that times the tack correctly. In the first frame above, you can see that Ody’s already flipped over and picking up steam on starboard tack while Joro is still in mid-turn. Ody’s got the momentum, and slides around Joro’s aft quarter into the windward slot, erasing all Joro’s earlier advantage.

FYC 2_026

Remember though, these skippers are ‚Äėthe best of the best,‚Äô and Joro‚Äôs not giving up that easily. She‚Äôs able to hold her own in the leeward position while remaining parallel and overlapped up to the mark. They entered the two boat length zone together, giving Joro Right of Way to round the mark inside Ody‚Äôs turn. As you can see above, this once again gives Joro a slight lead over Ody as she takes the turn past the buoy onto the reach leg, with Macro less than a boat length behind the two frontrunners.
FYC 2_029

A few seconds later the other three boats reach the mark, and REVO has the inside track. But look where Reia is! You recall she started in last place, a full 30 seconds behind Joro. Here, at the first mark, she’s not only caught up, she’s passed REVO and Seraina!  I don’t know what vitamins she’s taking but that’s some incredible sailing!
FYC 2_031

The next section of the course is a broad reach that brings the boats through a channel between two islands on the way to the second mark. As you can see above, Joro and Ody continue their duel the entire way. Ody’s got control, however. He’s in the Windward position and slightly ahead. He can’t shadow Joro at this wind angle and Joro’s present position, but Joro can’t pass, either. As soon as she tries, she’ll fall under Ody’s windward boat blanket and lose momentum.

Ody knows he has her trapped, too: The channel is looming ahead, and the reach mark is on the starboard side past the islands. Joro therefore has no option to fall futher leeward to find clean air. Joro‚Äôs only option here is to ‚Äėfeint‚Äô by first dropping back momentarily, then swinging across Ody‚Äôs stern to power into the windward position.

Joro’s got the skill to do it; she’ racked up more consecutive wins than any skipper in the history of Fizz Cup. But in this race she’s up against Ody, who’s ranked third overall in the Fizz 2009 fleet, with 16 clean wins under his belt. Joro’s chance to pull a feint and snatch windward from Ody  in this situation is, well…  zero.
FYC 2_034

The duel cost both skippers time and energy, however, and the remaining four sailors took the advantage. Flashing the skill they had all amply demonstrated in the prior heats of this series, Macro, Seraina, Reia and REVO all surged ahead to challenge the leaders. Although two minutes earlier the boats had been on opposite tacks and spread out over the width of the race course, now they were once again closely packed together as they flew through the channel, with Macro, Ody, Reia and Joro all vying for the lead.

FYC 2_037

Macro and Reia edged ahead and caught the reach mark first, free of any overlap with Ody or Joro (see above). Reia had the inside, and played it for all it was worth, chiseling the turn and breaking out front.

FYC 2_039

Macro then pulled a smart move. Although he was outside of Reia taking the turn, as shown above Macro swung hard around the mark to move to Reia’s opposite side, placing his boat windward of Reia’s aft quarter. On some other day, against some other skipper, Macro might use that advantage to steal the lead; but not this day, not this race. Reia had too much headway and Macro lost momentum in trade for the windward position.

FYC 2_041

Reia wrestled free from Macro and broke into clean air. For the first time in the race, there was no one ahead and nothing holding her back. With barely a nod to her fans on the beach, she suddenly exploded into overdrive, stretching her lead so fast the rest of the pack appeared as though standing still.  Come to think of it, considering the lag, they may have been.

FYC 2_043

This fight was still far from over, however. Ody and Jaro held the lead too long to let it go quite this easily. Macro held then off at the small island that served as the third mark, using it as an obstruction to keep Joro astern. Once in open water again, however, Joro made her move, attempting to pass windward of Macro.

FYC 2_045

On a different point of sail, this might be an effective strategy. The leg from the island (#3) to the bottom mark (#4) is a beam reach, however. With that heading Joro could not shadow from behind, and Macro had multiple options to change course in order to keep Joro at bay.  Joro had the heart, and never gave up the fight, but this time her efforts proved futile. Macro progressively widened his lead.

bottom mark

The image above shows how truly close the race still was at the bottom mark with just a short way to go to the finish. Reia maintained her lead, although Macro continued to close the gap all the way to the very end. ¬†As I mentioned above, Macro successfully pulled away from the rest of the fleet, guaranteeing his second-place finish. Joro, Ody, and Seraina however were still so tightly packed that all three boats were completely in the zone for the final marker at the same time. And don‚Äôt forget REVO! He was in the rear, but was the same distance behind the ‚Äėgang of three‚Äô in the middle as Reia was ahead. In other words, this was a tight, excellent fleet they were all in the game together throughout.

FYC 2_054

Liv Leigh commented that many sailors think the FYC09 racecourse was ‚Äėall about the start.‚Äô In other words, if you win the start, you win the race. ¬†For short dinghy races that emphasize technical expertise, that‚Äôs often true.

However, Reia on Sunday showed us something else. She came from dead last place, she chose an alternate port-tack strategy, and she relentlessly inched her way forward. Her progress in the race wasn’t luck. It didn’t depend on the errors of others.

Reia won this race in the best possibly way. In this first heat Sunday morning, Reia just outsailed everybody.

What a great race! Woot!

FYC 2_055

2 RESPONSES TO WORLD FIZZ ROUND SIX: REIA RULES!

  1. Kei Cioc | June 15, 2009 at 5:41 pm | Reply | Edit

    It was wonderful race !!
    The excitement on that day revives.

    This report is likely to get exited as much as movies for the slow, long Fizz3 racing.

    Of course I know that it is a favor of Jane’s superior composition power.

    thx :)

  2. janefossett | July 7, 2009 at 12:33 pm | Reply | Edit

    Tim Warrhol held a wonderful ‚ÄėRules‚Äô discussion this past weekend. What else can I say but: ‚ÄúWOOT!!‚ÄĚ
    During that discussion, a number of questions came up; some were clarified, some undoubtedly need more discussion.

    I brought up the FYC09 racecourse. There is a small island with a house identified as the #3 Race Mark. My understanding is that boats must pass that island ‚ÄúCCW.‚ÄĚ

    In my commentary above, I considered that island an ‚Äėobstruction,‚Äô not a race mark per se, but of course there is a big difference.

    I went back and looked at all of my own pictures and comments… in the race discussed above it made no difference.

    I‚Äôm just raising it here to remind myself and everybody else that a small island like that‚Ķ if clearly identified as a race marker‚Ķ and without any features that might make it an arguable ‚Äúobstruction‚Ķ‚ÄĚ could be accepted as a regular ‚ÄúRace Mark‚ÄĚ by a race committee.
    In that case the island/mark would be subject to all of the ROW rules that apply to the average, run-of-the-mill race buoy.

    I haven’t heard any complaints, but now in retrospect I think I made a mistake above. Instead of saying
    ‚ÄúMacro held them off at the small island that served as the third mark, using it as an obstruction to keep Joro astern‚Ķ‚ÄĚ
    I now think I should have said something like:
    ‚ÄúThe third mark was a tiny circular island. Macro approached it ahead of the fleet with no overlap; Joro was at his heels but clearly astern. Macro made the tiny course adjustment that signified he had cleared #3 and was setting a new course to #4.‚ÄĚ
    This time it mad no difference; next time it might.

    Grin. Yup. I learned something.
    Thx Tim!

Fizz Cup: Round Three, Group 1 Recap

Fizz Cup’s in full swing, and the Round Three Regatta went off well this past weekend, hosted by EmmanuelMara Resident and the Marina Sport Racer Sailing Club. As one of the judges for the 6:00am race set, I was in a good position to snap pics of the race boats at some key points.

The competition fleet that morning had seven experienced sailors, and they were all strong contenders to win the ultimate Fizz crown. In alphabetical order, the intrepid group included: EmmanuelMara Resident (the Round 3 host ūüôā ), Liv Leigh (who sailed under the pseudonym “LivvLeigh Resident”), Miwha Masala¬† (who sailed under the pseudonym “Miwha Masala”), Ox Seetan, Porter Tracy, Sandra Absent, and ziz Kidd.

Armano Xaris stepped in as Celebrity Race Director for the occasion, and Lothor Vlodovic bellied up for the awesome responsibility of Chief Justice for the event. Lothor did a great job, and he was backed up by an able judging crew that consisted of Gemma, Jane, and Kentrock.

The race took place in MSRSC’s home waters, and I thought it turned out rather great. Kudos to EmmanuelMara Resident and Fizz Cup staff for all the preparation! I know there was a lot of behind the scenes trouble-shooting, but at 6:00am everything gelled, and in my humble opinion the conditions for Group 1’s races turned out better than anticipated. From a judging perspective, it was possible to relax and actually have some fun. (How often does that happen in a major regatta series?! ūüôā )

Anyway, the racecourse chart is depicted in the graphic at the top of this post. It was a simple “Olympic style” triangle with equal legs. It began from the San Lucas raceline with an upwind beat to the Top Mark in Larate. That was followed by a reach leg to a race buoy in McGoubrey. The fleet then came back to a buoy in San Lucas to close the triangle, but before finishing, the fleet took an extra windward/leeward lap out to the Larate Top Mark again.

The course was pretty classic, and a good test of a sailor’s technical skill. It reminded me a lot of the old Mowry Bay Olympic “TPS” course (TPS stood for the shape of the course, which was a “Triangle Plus Sausage” ūüôā ).

So here’s how it played out Saturday morning:

Race 1:

The first race is often¬† a ‘shake out,’ where everyone gets their sea legs. The race skippers experience the grid quirks for that day in that location, and they make adjustments. There is a saying in poker: “You play the hand you’re dealt.

That was in evidence during the first race; It was a bit more sloppy than the ones that followed.

When the race started, everyone took off on a starboard tack and Miwha won the pole position. She cut the line next to the committee boat a scant one second ahead of ziz Kidd, who opted for a safer start in open water further leeward.

Liv was right on Miwha’s heels, but the Award for Effort in thAt race has got to go to Ox Seetan. Ox started eleven seconds behind Miwha and and from a worse angle. However, at the end of a tough upwind beat against a savvy crowd of expert racers, Ox caught up to Miwha. As they took the turn around the Top Mark Orange Can, Ox was tightly overlapped, parallel, and had the inside advantage. Miwha correctly gave room, allowing Ox to capture the lead as they finished the turn.

Sadly, at that point Miwha crashed, so we wont know how that duel might have ended if Ox and Miwha went toe-to-toe for the full fifteen rounds. However, a win is a win, and Ox looked great all the way through Race #1, taking first place in that heat, followed by Liv (#2) and ziz (#3).

Here are the finish times:

1: Ox Seetan¬† ¬†ID900OS — 00:16:35
2: LivvLeigh Resident¬† ¬†ID077LR — 00:17:16
3: ziz Kidd¬† ¬†ID311ZK — 00:17:53
4: Sandra Absent¬† ¬†ID033SA — 00:19:33
5: EmmanuelMara Resident¬† ¬†ID017ER — 00:21:52
6: Miwha Masala¬† ¬†ID710MM — DNF
7: Porter Tracy¬† ¬†ID451PT — DNF

————-

Race 2:

Once again, in Race 2 all the skippers chose a starboard start. This time ziz Kidd lead the pack, again choosing to cut the line far lee of the other boats.

Liv crossed two seconds behind ziz, followed by Miwha.

In this second race, the skippers showed they had found a groove; the fleet beat to the top mark in expert precision. However, the whole idea of starting a race with an upwind beat is to ‘break up’ the competion fleet through a series of tacks. That didn’t happen in race two; the competition skippers chose to stay glued together as they tacked back and forth. It’s a testament to their wonderful skill that nearly the whole fleet converged on the top mark at the same time. (Yikes!) ūüôā

You can see a bit of what happened above (and please click on the images to get a full sized view). As you can see in the first frame, MM and ZK were in front, and MM tacked to the mark first. ZK followed suit, but was clearly astern to MM in the middle frame. (as you can see, LR and the rest of the fleet were converging on the Mark as well!).¬† Anyway, in the third frame you can see ZK slam into MM’s stern, and Miwha called a protest, and ZK counter-protested. At the race’s end, the judges unanimously agreed the penalty should go to ZK in this case, not MM or LR. Since ZK failed to do a penalty turn, he was scored DSQ for race #2. Since Lothor was Head Judge, I’ll defer the details to him. ūüôā

Well, that traffic pileup and collision at the top mark now opened up the field for Liv. She took full advantage and adroitly skirted around the rest of the fleet trying to tack. Liv then set her sites on Miwha as the two lead boats raced towards the Reach Mark. Liv sailed that leg superbly, catching up with Miwha just as they came to the race buoy, but as shown below, under the intense pressure of the moment Liv suddenly pitch-poled right in front of the Mark!

That gave Miwha a free ride, and she ran the rest of the bases with skill and finesse, ending a full 40 seconds ahead of Ox Seetan, who took the second-place slot.

Here are the finish times:

1: Miwha Masala¬† ¬†ID710MM — 00:16:08
2: Ox Seetan¬† ¬†ID900OS — 00:16:48
3: LivvLeigh Resident¬† ¬†ID077LR — 00:17:20
5: ziz Kidd¬† ¬†ID311ZK — 00:17:57 – DSQ
6: EmmanuelMara Resident¬† ¬†ID017ER — 00:21:15
7: Sandra Absent – DNF

—–

Race 3:

With one more race to go, the top spots were still up for grabs. Luckily, the weather held clear and sailors had a good chance to show their stuff.

Well, Miwha Masala certainly took advantage of the sailing conditions. She pulled out all the stops in Race #3, crossing the line a full eight seconds ahead of Ox Seetan. With clean air and open water in front of her, Miwha never looked back, doing a victory lap around the course ahead of her competitors.

Ox Seetan and Liv Leigh sailed closely behind Miwha, but they lost precious seconds dueling for the 2-3 spots, and they were never a real threat to the lead boat.

Although there was no protest called, an interesting pileup occurred at the reach mark in Race 3, as shown below. ūüôā As PT, SA, and ZK all came around the buoy, from my far vantage point it looked like first SA, then ZK landed ‘inside punches’ on poor PT. ūüôā

Well, nobody protested, and if there’s no protest, it didn’t happen. I think that’s the Sailing Rule of Omerta.

Click (or double click) to enlarge

Anyway, here are the Race 3 finish times:

1: Miwha Masala¬† ¬†ID710MM — 00:15:55
2: Ox Seetan¬† ¬†ID900OS — 00:16:13
3: LivvLeigh Resident¬† ¬†ID077LR — 00:16:15
4: ziz Kidd¬† ¬†ID311ZK — 00:17:51
5: Sandra Absent¬† ¬†ID033SA — 00:17:52
6: Porter Tracy¬† ¬†ID451PT — 00:18:19
7: EmmanuelMara Resident¬† ¬†ID017ER — 00:21:06

And the Overall Group 1 Ranking for the three-race set:

1: Miwha Masala
2: Ox Seetan
3: Liv Leigh
4: ziz Kidd
5: Sandra Absent
6: Porter Tracy
7: EmmanuelMara Resident
_____

Nice sailing, Fizzies!!

Kei Cioc takes Fizz Gold

Gold Finals_006

The World Fizz Cup 2009 came to a close this past weekend with¬†Sunday morning’s¬†Gold Cup Regatta.¬†¬†It was the culmination of eight weeks of hard sailing; over that long haul¬†five sailors rose to the top of the qualifying fleet, distinguishing themselves with a truly remarkable show of tenacity and skill, and earning a spot in the Gold Cup Finals.

The top five sailors were: Miwha Marsala, Kie Cioc, Odysseus Yiyuan, reia Setsuko, and joro Aya. On Saturday Tim Warrhol took the Silver Cup; that gave him the ticket for the sixth spot to round out the Gold cup fleet.

Sunday morning’s final contest in Turnbuckle turned out to be a test of the sailor’s skill and force of will. The six races were all in expert mode, and the course conditions were designed to enhance the difficulty.¬†Although the¬†seasoned sailors were up for the challenge, severe lag plagued the regatta and¬†technical issues¬†kept several contenders from showing their true ability under the pressure of this ultimate competition.

expert mode Race6_077

Having said that, however, it’s also true that every sailor knows that¬†race conditions are like poker. You play the hand you’re dealt, and you can’t complain about the cards you get.

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BREAKING NEWS: Tim Warrhol Takes Fizz Silver!!!

Tim Warrhol takes Silver

After two months of intensive sailing in qualifying rounds hosted by a half-dozen Yacht Clubs in SL, the Silver Cup Finals were held today, and after six grueling heats Tim Warrhol emerged victorious as the winner of World Fizz 2009’s Silver Cup.

The fleet that converged today on Turnbuckle included six truly outstanding contenders who had demonstrated not only their sailing talent and proficiency, but also a hard-earned gritty tenacity to repeatedly come out on top of whatever race scenario the Fizz Committee threw at them.¬†Dahral Huet,¬†Tim Warrhol,¬†Seraina Benelli,¬†Toraba Magic, nobuko Criss and Kentrock Messmer; ¬†you’ve seen these names before, many times.

Through six technically challenging races that lasted more than three hours, these sailors repeatedly did battle together. After five rounds, only the thinnest of point-margins separated the top contenders.

In fact, the outcome remained a real toss-up until the final race. Two false starts in that sixth heat rachetted up the tension even further, as everything came down to one last sail. Tim Warrhol rose to the occasion, however; he burst to the fore and lead the fleet around the course, wrapping up the regatta with a masterful win that paid off in silver.

As the crowd surged forward with wild enthusiasm and applause, I was not able to hear all of Tim’s utterance as he crossed the line, but Liv Leigh will confirm that… for the record… Tim’s winning comments included “My ass hurts...” Following this personal revelation, he turned to the skipper who finished after him and shouted: “NOBUKO…YOU ARE MY NEW BEST FRIEND!!!!!”

Whether these two statements are indeed related to each other must await a careful analysis of the video.

CONGRATULATIONS TIM WARRHOL,

WINNER OF FIZZ SILVER 2009!!!!

Tim W woot

Interview with Claudia Debruyere

Interview with Claudia Debruyere

Claudia Debruyere is probably one of the prettiest competitors in the 2009 Fizz Cup. While she called herself ¬†‘The Queen of Capsizes‘ before, she must have caused a number of swimming excursions for her distracted sailing friends as well. Despite all the pressure on her person to do so, she did not enter the ‘Miss Fizz’ competition. Liv Leigh¬†was in for a few surprises in this interview, as she followed Claudia into a seaside villa with paintings of late-nineteenth century masters. The conversation became a story about Claudia’s love for the sea, her sailing family… and her grandchildren.

Toujours jeune


 Claudia at home

Liv Leigh: This weekend we will have the finals of the Fizz Cup 2009, you have sailed in all 6 events so far, but for now the race is done for you. How do you look back on it?
claudia Debruyere: I had a wonderful time with all these events ! before i didn’t sail in races it was the first time for me!! I was stressed but very excited too! lol

Liv Leigh: So it was your first tournament really. And you were thrown into the deep with all those sharks..
claudia Debruyere: Ah lol I am a beginner with the fizz and all the other sailors are wonderful! and had many trainings before !! Not me !lol But they helped me very much with kindness ! They are not sharks, but friends for me!

Liv Leigh: Ah yes, how long before the cup started did you buy your fizz?
claudia Debruyere: I received the fizz with the Glenans group on 23 march! The new fizz ! before I had a simple fizz and I used it only two trainings with Bea.

Liv Leigh: Ah.. so Bea Woodget taught you to sail in it… Have you been sailing a lot before in SL?
claudia Debruyere: I met Bea at Les Glenans club to have a sailing teacher , I used my first fizz with fun mode ! She learned me how to use it in novice mode. I began with competition mode on 23th of march.

Liv Leigh: So you just started to sail in SL in 2009?
claudia Debruyere: Only yes ! but I am a sea woman!! lol I love the sea and RL sailing !

Liv Leigh: You sail in RL… What kind of boats?
claudia Debruyere: Less now, but in my youth very much: I cruised with my parents and all the family in mediterranée at Cannes ! After we went to Bretagne and we spent the summer at an island: houat ! there i sailed with friends on a 420!
claudia Debruyere: Just for the fun, not for races!

Liv Leigh: Ow.. that makes you a much more experienced sailor RL than I am lol And it’s really a thing that’s in the family..
claudia Debruyere: Yes, my father, my sisters and brothers and now one of my sons race in competitons at la rochelle. My two brothers were French champions in the 470. My father sails today to Spain with a big boat !!

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World Fizz Round Six: Reia Rules!

header round 6

A month and a half ago, World Fizz Cup 2009 kicked off with an initial series of qualifying races hosted by the major yacht clubs in Second Life. Since then, each week the sailors reconvene, the bar rises, skill level goes up… and the tension builds. June 13 and 14 was the sixth time the competition fleet met to lock horns, testing their endurance and their mettle to earn a spot in the World Fizz Cup 2009 Finals.

FYC09This week was the last match in the regular series, hosted by Max Starostin and Far East Yacht Club.

The race course was an interesting mix of classic and novel features that promised a good test of the qualifying skippers’ experience and skill. As you can see in the figure to the right, the race course begins with an upwind beat to the first mark. The tack points are restricted by the dock on the starboard side and an island to port. The fleet makes an acute turn around the¬†top mark (#1) and then sets a genniker course for the #2 reach buoy.¬† The route is confined by two islands that make this leg potentially tactically interesting.

The #2 mark also requires an acute change in direction, this time reaching to a small island (#3) before setting sights on the final, bottom mark (#4). From there it’s a short, but difficult upwind beat to the Finish. The course presented several challenges that were similar to the Schiffsratten races the week before.

FYC 2_003

The race¬† I am going to tell you about today¬†took place at 7:30am Sunday morning.¬†The 6:00am race was cancelled at the last moment due to under-enrollment and so several sailors moved up to the next slot, making the 7:30am race “a full dance card” with six boats competing. The skippers that showed up at 7:30 because of that turn of events might easily foreshadow the final race lineup.

Seraina Benelli, reia Setsuko, macro Nacht, ¬†joro Aya, Odysseus Yiyuan, and REVO Blitz rezzed boats on the far side of the line, turning Sunday morning into a multifaceted showdown that included the third, fourth, fifth, eighth, and 12th ranked contenders in the series so far. That meant FYC, perhaps somewhat unexpectedly, ended up¬†hosting an early morning race¬†that pitted sailors with¬†the greatest concentration of talent from any qualifying round against each other. And the stakes were high indeed: A shot at the Cup. It was immediately apparent to both the Fizz Cup Staff and the skippers that Sunday’s race¬†could prove to be the greatest challenge of the entire competition.

Of course we won’t know that “until the fat lady sings,” but¬†I can certainly confirm the Sunday morning fleet made a breathtaking performance and pushed the limits far beyond the prior qualifying round standards. Liv Leigh commented that the first¬†heat was probably the best Fizz Cup race she had ever seen. ¬†She may well be right; from what I saw, although the sizable fleet was plagued by lag at many points, their performance was truly extraordinary.

Let me tell you what happened.

Joro Aya cut the line first at 00:09; she then immediately¬†pivoted and took off on a port tack.¬†¬† As shown above, Ody, Macro, Seraina and REVO started close behind Joro, but all opted for a more traditional starboard tack first leg. Reia Setsuko started the race in the dead last position, a full 30 seconds behind the leader. In that desperate situation she chose a port tack start. It actually made perfect sense; in last place no one was going to call ‘right of way’ against her.

FYC 2_007

The image above shows the fleet a short while later. Ody still leads the four boats, and they are nearing the first tack point. Off in the distance you can see Joro’s pink sails; she’s already come about, and is¬†now on starboard tack as she¬†zig-zags to the first mark.
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The four boats then all flip to port tack, and fall on a course that will intersect with Joro, with Reia still far in the distance.

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Joro brilliantly played the upwind beat to this point. She chose to cut to port  at the beginning to get clean air without obstructions, and when she changed course to overlap with the fleet she ended up on a starboard tack that landed her squarely in front of Ody and Macro.  Joro had Right of Way, so both Ody and Macro needed to turn aside, losing position and momentum. Very nicely done, Joro!

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But don’t count out Reia! As you can see above, she is following in the footsteps of Joro and gaining ground, threatening to block Seriana and REVO!

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Joro now tacks again, and runs parallel to the other four boats. In the upper left can see the double-circle that marks the ‘zone’ at the first mark. All the boats will need to tack at least one more time to reach it. Although it looks like Ody and Macro are ahead in the image above, Joro is actually in a very good strategic position, ¬†since she is much further windword and can gain speed by falling off more than the other boats. By planning her position and timing her tack correctly, she can maintain a windward advantage after the next turn. That will give her the necessary speed to make it to the zone first, while fending off the other contenders with her shadow.
FYC 2_022a

It doesn’t quite work out that way, however. Ody, Macro, and Seraina prove extremely fast, and it’s Ody rather than Joro that times the tack correctly. In the first frame above, you can see that Ody’s already flipped over and picking up steam on starboard tack while Joro is still in mid-turn. Ody’s got the momentum, and slides around Joro’s aft quarter into the windward slot, erasing all Joro’s earlier advantage.

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Remember though, these skippers are ‘the best of the best,’ and Joro’s not giving up that easily. She’s able to hold her own in the leeward position while remaining parallel and overlapped up to the mark. They entered the two boat length zone together, giving Joro Right of Way to round the mark inside Ody’s turn. As you can see above, this once again gives Joro a slight lead over Ody as she takes the turn past the buoy onto the reach leg, with Macro less than a boat length behind the two frontrunners.
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A few seconds later the other three boats reach the mark, and REVO has the inside track. But look where Reia is! You recall she started in last place, a full 30 seconds behind Joro. Here, at the first mark, she’s not only caught up, she’s passed REVO and Seraina! ¬†I don’t know what vitamins she’s taking but that’s some incredible sailing!
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The next section of the course is a broad reach that brings the boats through a channel between two islands on the way to the second mark. As you can see above, Joro and Ody continue their duel the entire way. Ody’s got control, however. He’s in the Windward position and slightly ahead. He can’t shadow Joro at this wind angle and Joro’s present position, but Joro can’t pass, either. As soon as she tries, she’ll fall under Ody’s windward boat blanket and lose momentum.

Ody knows he has her trapped, too: The channel is looming ahead, and the reach mark is on the starboard side past the islands. Joro therefore has no option to fall futher leeward to find clean air. Joro’s only option here is to ‘feint’ by first dropping back momentarily, then swinging across Ody’s stern to power into the windward position.

Joro’s got the skill to do it; she’ racked up more consecutive wins than any skipper in the history of Fizz Cup. But in this race she’s up against Ody, who’s ranked third overall in the Fizz 2009 fleet, with 16 clean wins under his belt. Joro’s chance to pull a feint and snatch windward from Ody ¬†in this situation is, well… ¬†zero.
FYC 2_034

The duel cost both skippers time and energy, however, and the remaining four sailors took the advantage. Flashing the skill they had all amply demonstrated in the prior heats of this series, Macro, Seraina, Reia and REVO all surged ahead to challenge the leaders. Although two minutes earlier the boats had been on opposite tacks and spread out over the width of the race course, now they were once again closely packed together as they flew through the channel, with Macro, Ody, Reia and Joro all vying for the lead.

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Macro and Reia edged ahead and caught the reach mark first, free of any overlap with Ody or Joro (see above). Reia had the inside, and played it for all it was worth, chiseling the turn and breaking out front.

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Macro then pulled a smart move. Although he was outside of Reia taking the turn, as shown above Macro swung hard around the mark to move to Reia’s opposite side, placing his boat windward of Reia’s aft quarter. On some other day, against some other skipper, Macro might use that advantage to steal the lead; but not this day, not this race. Reia had too much headway and Macro lost momentum in trade for the windward position.

FYC 2_041

Reia wrestled free from Macro and broke into clean air. For the first time in the race, there was no one ahead and nothing holding her back. With barely a nod to her fans on the beach, she suddenly exploded into overdrive, stretching her lead so fast the rest of the pack appeared as though standing still.  Come to think of it, considering the lag, they may have been.

FYC 2_043

This fight was still far from over, however. Ody and Jaro held the lead too long to let it go quite this easily. Macro held then off at the small island that served as the third mark, using it as an obstruction to keep Joro astern. Once in open water again, however, Joro made her move, attempting to pass windward of Macro.

FYC 2_045

On a different point of sail, this might be an effective strategy. The leg from the island (#3) to the bottom mark (#4) is a beam reach, however. With that heading Joro could not shadow from behind, and Macro had multiple options to change course in order to keep Joro at bay.  Joro had the heart, and never gave up the fight, but this time her efforts proved futile. Macro progressively widened his lead.

bottom mark

The image above shows how truly close the race still was at the bottom mark with just a short way to go to the finish. Reia maintained her lead, although Macro continued to close the gap all the way to the very end. ¬†As I mentioned above, Macro successfully pulled away from the rest of the fleet, guaranteeing his second-place finish. Joro, Ody, and Seraina however were still so tightly packed that all three boats were completely in the zone for the final marker at the same time. And don’t forget REVO! He was in the rear, but was the same distance behind the ‘gang of three’ in the middle as Reia was ahead. In other words, this was a tight, excellent fleet they were all in the game together throughout.

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Liv Leigh commented that many sailors think the FYC09 racecourse was ‘all about the start.’ In other words, if you win the start, you win the race. ¬†For short dinghy races that emphasize technical expertise, that’s often true.

However, Reia on Sunday showed us something else. She came from dead last place, she chose an alternate port-tack strategy, and she relentlessly inched her way forward. Her progress in the race wasn’t luck. It didn’t depend on the errors of others.

Reia won this race in the best possibly way. In this first heat Sunday morning, Reia just outsailed everybody.

What a great race! Woot!

FYC 2_055

Live Fast, Die Young: Two minutes from Fizz Round Five

FIZZ 5  Live Fast Die Young copy

Woot!

If you watched any of the fourth or fifth round qualifying races for the Fizz 2009 World Cup, you know exactly what I’m excited about. The Cup’s organization and the management by both NYC and SRYC were absolutely flawless, but¬†it was¬†the racing that was truly incredible. I ended up with thousands of pictures documenting hundreds of tactical duels, technical twists, strategic juggernauts… and just plain glorious, gutsy sailing.

SpoonDrift - SRYC02Bea Woodget’s also doing a¬†pretty great¬†job keeping everybody up-to-date on the regatta standings and the individual race results; I therefore thought it would make more sense for me to continue focusing on¬†specific races and competitions, to highlight the skill of the individual sailors and the excitement and¬†drama of the competition.

Today I’m going to kick that off by¬†telling you about just two minutes¬†from a race that didn’t even count…¬†but the action was so tightly-paced that when I reviewed the pictures the next day I found myself jumping up and down and¬†shouting at the monitor!

The Round Five races were hosted by Schiffsratten Yacht Club on¬†the Spoondrift Raceline. The SRYC courses were¬†longer¬†than prior weeks,¬†and¬†featured an¬†interesting¬†mixture of¬† island obstacles and racing marks. Round Five¬†was a pretty good test of¬†both the skippers’ sailing ability¬†and their¬†technical know-how.

The first set of races tested the skills of five sailors well-known to the SL competition circuit: Kentrock Messmer, Tim Warrhol, Cacio Tomsen, Kei Cioc, and Toraba Magic. Tim Warrhol may be newer to SL Sailing than some others in the fleet, but his RL knowledge of sailing quickly earned him the respect of fellow sailors. Most consider him a seasoned skipper and serious competition for the Fizz Cup. In fact when Tim teleported to the Spoondrift line, I half expected him to shout “ROOM!” so he could rez his boat.

¬†As I mentioned, today I’m only going to tell you about a snippet of the regatta, beginning as this small group of superstars raised sail for the third race…

   fizz5 TS1-1-3x_114 copy

The illustration above shows three pictures of the start line during the final seconds of the countdown. The first leg is upwind beat to the blue/white mark. Many sailors will argue that a starboard tack is the best and safest start, since the race line can be a crowded place and starboard has right of way. Starting at the starboard side of the line near the red buoy also has advantages, since it gives the longest leg before tacking and can put a skipper windward of the pack, riding clean air and offering an unencumbered path to the mark.

In Spoondrift, the average wind angle was 10¬į, not zero, adding to the starboard start advantage.

The Fizz fleet knew this, and all boats began on starboard in each race. In the illustration above, two sailors (TM and CT) chose to safely cross in the middle of the line, avoiding any time-wasting confrontations that might arise from the cluster of argumentative skippers that gathered at the red buoy end.

At -00:03, the middle image shows TW, KC, and KM all overlapped and flying in to cross the line near the starboard end. They’re all sailing nearly parallel to the race line, trying to optimize the lift force of the apparent wind and also allowing more flexibility if they fall on the line early. It’s a¬†nice lesson on how to set up for ¬†a good race start.

If you look more carefully, however, TW ended up in a dangerous position. Approaching the starboard end of the line he is the most windward boat of the three, and he’s left minimal room to maneuver without hitting the Red line buoy. In fact, this is a classic racing tactic.KC is leeward, parallel and overlapped with TW.KC has right of way, and could have very easily called UP! UP! UP! as the boats approached the line, forcing TW to turn windward, and pushing him completely off the race course. Kei decided against it apparently; I assume he thought the race might be boring without Tim along.

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Now take a look at the illustration above a few seconds later. All five boats are continuing along close-hauled to starboard moving to the first tack point.TM is out front, but remember he started further down the line and his leeward position will cost him ground when the boats tack to port.

You can see something else interesting in that top picture: TW es windward of KC at the line, but now TW’s in the leeward slot.KC chose to pinch windward. TW’s moving faster but KC is in a nice tactical position, closer to the mark and potentially blocking TW’s tacking options.

You can see what I’m talking about in the middle frame. TW decides he’s high enough to reach the mark, so he flips to a port tack and makes a dash at the blue buoy. This is a potentially highly risky maneuver; as the middle picture shows, TW cuts straight across KC’s bow. KC could loudly protest here on at least two points:

Rule 16.1 ‚ÄúCHANGING COURSE: When a right-of-way boat changes course, she shall give the other boat room to keep clear‚ÄĚ
and
Rule 10: ‚ÄúON OPPOSITE TACKS: When boats are on opposite tacks, a port-tack boat shall keep clear of a starboard-tack boat.‚ÄĚ

Please! I’m not being critical of Tim here. There was no protest at the time, and I am looking at pictures from a single perspective.¬† If a protest were raised,¬† it’s quite possible the pooled information from the judges and Race officials¬†would show Tim had sufficient room to pass.¬† The point I’m making is that it’s a gutsy maneuver, and I assume¬†Tim was holding his breath; God knows, I certainly was.¬†(But hey… no guts, no glory.¬† It’s a boat race, remember?)

If you look at the third image above, you’ll see that KC took this in stride, and did not protest. After all, he needed to tack anyway, and it was still pretty early in the race; no need to cause a commotion. KC therefore fell parallel and overlapped in the lee position with¬†TW.

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¬†The images above show the situation a few seconds later.¬†¬† As¬†the boats reached the “zone” at the first mark they were still overlapped and¬†that gave KC the inside slot under Rule 18. TW courteously stepped aside, allowing KC room to pass and gain slight headway. KM and TM were immediately behind the lead boats, And also parallel and overlapped with each other. They also cleared the mark together with no incident and all 4 boats gaised gennikers moving South on a broad reach to the next Mark. As they approached the¬†East end of the start line (third image above), TW was¬†lying windward and¬†slightly astern of Kei; it was the perfect position to steal KC’s air and hold him captive all the way to the next Mark.

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No surprise, KC knew this too. his only chance was to break away, but falling further leeward would sacrifice the lead to TW. KC therefore played his best remaining card. As the lee boat he had ROW and therefore cut into the path of TW, forcing TW to a slower downwind course. It was effective, but as you can see in the middle picture above, this damaging duel between Tim and Kei sapped their momentum and opened the door for the pair of boats trailing them, skippered by KM and TM. In a remarkable move, KM and TM surged forward alongside the battling boats, and took the windward positions.  A scant moment later,  for the first time KM and TM were actually able to move out front and decisively capture the lead.

The second picture above shows this remarkable situation, with all four boats closely packed and gennikers overlapping. That certainly can’t be a healthy situation and gives all involved a heavy dose of ‘bad air.’ That’s nicely demonstrated If you look at CT’s progress from the second to the third frame. All along he has been bringing up the rear, but now suddenly he’s almost on top of the other four boats!

race 3 stops short

For a brief instant all five boats were more tightly clustered together on the racecourse then they had been while moored before the race began. And all five boats were straining sail on a reach, trying to grab an extra ounce of momentum and break from the pack.

Cacio Tomsen

Cacio Tomsen: "It wasn't all that bad."

Well, it wasn’t going to happen.

Unbeknownst to any of us, Tiga sim suddenly went off-line and all five boats¬† crumpled in unison into the unyieding sim edge. I admit it was probably the most¬†cataclysmic crash of canvas and fiberglass I’ve ever seen on the waters of SL.¬† Cacio Tomsen concurred with that apocalyptic assessment, offerring the constructive suggestion that the World Was About to End. Kentrock Messmer took a more practical approach: “In that case, can I have a beer?”

Once the sims were back up and all the broken toys were hauled away, the five intrepid sailors bellied up to the raceline in new boats that still had that fresh-rezzed smell, and they did Race #3 all over again.

Wait till I tell you about what happened in the REAL Race #3!

_____________

Interview with Kei Cioc

 kei cioc header

by Liv Leigh

In Dutch, my native language, ‘Kei’ means ‘rock’ or ‘stone’. If a person is a ‘kei’ at something, we mean that he is very good at it. Kei Cioc, 2008 Fizz Cup finalist, has a house full of trophies. His photo wall shows numerous portraits of him and his girlfriend, posing in front of yet another victorious boat on display at ‘Winner’s Row’. After well over a year of racing in more than a dozen of boat classes, Kei’s tenacity is well-known by his opponents. He’s that old fox, always ready to snatch the victory off your plate.

Talent? I have no talent. I am just lucky to be able to start faster than others. And I have a little bit more experience.

 

kei

Kei and his girlfriend posing in front of Kei’s Fizz 2.0 3

You: In Dutch the name Kei means ‘rock’ or ‘stone’. If we say someone is a ‘kei’ in something, we mean he is very good at it. What does Kei mean in Japanese?
Kei Cioc: It’s a little different. Kei, śĀĶ¬† in Japanese Kanji, means ‘blessing’. It’s from a part of my RL name.
Kei Cioc: We pronounce it like: “K”, ‚Äúk-e-i‚ÄĚ
You: Okay, so very different than I would.
Kei Cioc: Yes… Not English, like “key”

Kei steps over the line

Kei steps over the line

You: Looking at your profile, I see mostly one thing:
You: sailing..
Kei Cioc: Yes.
You: Everyone who reads it knows, Kei Cioc is a sailor. Do you sail in RL or did you ever do so?
Kei Cioc: never :))
Kei cioc: I m not good at all kind of sports.
You: I see. So sailing in SL is a way to do something you would not do in real life?
Kei Cioc: Yes.
You: How did you end up in SL Sailing. Were you looking for a sport or was it something else?
Kei Cioc: Ahhh…
Kei Cioc: First of all: I live at the Hayama resort in SL, where the owner loves sailing. This man is also a friend of Taku, Taku Raymaker.
Kei Cioc: He is my teacher. He made me start sailing.

You: What were the first boats you sailed?
Kei Cioc: I bought a Tako first, then the Fizz.
Kei Cioc: The Fizz was the first boat I learned to sail correctly.
You: That was the Fizz 2? or the Fizz 1 still?
Kei Cioc: Still Fizz 1, maybe 1.03
You: One of the very first versions.
Kei Cioc: Yes, very few Japanese have it. Taku tought me to sail one on one.
You: You had private lessons from an old master lol
Kei Cioc: Yes, I was very lucky.

You: That is funny, as many Europeans and Americans learn to sail in the Tako. Or at least they think they should start in a Tako. What do you think of that: you learned sail the Fizz well before you mastered the tako. Do you recommend this to others?
Kei Cioc: Ahh… it’s a difficult question…:))
You: Or is it just that you were lucky with a good teacher and plenty talent of your own?
Kei Cioc: Talent? I have no talent lol
Kei Cioc: I am just lucky to be able to start faster than others. And I have a little bit more experience.

Kei Cioc: I like other Tako-based boat very much, they are rather different from Fizz.
You: You seem to like almost all boats..
Kei Cioc: Yes.
You: Can you tell me in which boats you never won a race?
Kei Cioc: In a Tako! lol

header syc- 3 -3-L2-_037 copy

You: I didn’t know that. It seems you win races in almost all other boats every week.. Yet, you say you have no talent.. You must be very competitive then, as you won a number of prices in big race events.
Kei Cioc: I do not like competition so much in reality.
You: Ok.. so in reality you are more calm?
Kei Cioc: I think so :))
Kei Cioc: And I like just cruising, more than racing.
You: Is that your secret? Cruising?

Kei Cioc: I like to cruise alone. The races make my skills increase. For me, a high skill level is nice to enjoy cruising with ease of mind.
You: You must see a lot of nice places cruising. Do you have any favourites?
Kei Cioc: I like my home town Hayama.
Kei Cioc: You know Masa,Ody,Takeshi… (Masahisa Greenwood, Odysseus Yiyuan, Takeshi Shnyder. Red.)
Kei Cioc: They all live there, next to my house.
You: All top sailors… and you are all neighbours..
Kei Cioc: Yep, but it’s an unknown resort. Always empty. I do a secret training there lol

You: Not everyone knows that besides the Fizz Cup finals 2008, you have won the DG470 cup and also now lead the big cat cup, in which you have competed before. How do those boats compare to you?
Kei Cioc: I like the Big Cat very much, the fastest cat in SL.
Kei Cioc: I like all of these boats, but I love Fizz much more than others.
You: I see. So, for the next big tournament, Kei will be there to challenge the others, regardless of the boat?
Kei Cioc: Not challenge, just play together.
Kei Cioc: I dont have to win, but I want to try hard.

You: You have a number of fans in SL Sailing, I know Jane Fossett is one of them. What do you think they will expect from their hero?
Kei Cioc: really ? :)))
You: She mentions you a lot in her sail reports…
Kei Cioc: Jane is my grand teacher¬†I think, She is a teacher of Taku, I have heard. And of course I’m a big fan of Jane’s articles.
Kei Cioc: I’m not a hero, but I’m happy when people have fun to watch me and others in competition.
Kei Cioc: often people who I dont know IM me ‘Good Job’, after the finish. I enjoy that.
You: Do those people also ask you for advice sometimes?
Kei Cioc: Hmm, in few cases, but rarely.
You: What would you recommend those people… or the ones who want to start sail in SL?
Kei Cioc: Do not practice alone.

 

secondlife-postcard3

Kei Cioc at his homeport in the Hayama Estate

 You: What other things you like to do in SL?
Kei Cioc: I like to build on my house…
Kei Cioc: And to watch car racing…
Kei Cioc: My partner in SL is a TOP car racer in the Japanese GrandPrix circuit. She is a very good driver, she won many more races than me.
You: I see, did you ever race cars yourself in SL.
Kei Cioc: Never lol It’s very difficult and requires hard training.

You: There is a lot of discussion in SL Sailing, on high wind speed versus low. Some say we need slower and more realistic boats, others like to race fast and far. How do you think about this?
Kei Cioc: I like both. Fast long races are very intersting of course. But so are realistic boats to me.
Kei Cioc: We need to know about rules or tactics.

You: So far you won all 3 heats in your groups in the 2009 Fizz Cup. What do you expect from yourself now?
Kei Cioc: First of all, I want to enter the GOLD series. :))
You: Let me thank you for the interview.
Kei Cioc: Thank you. ūüôā

Kei Cioc: Pronouce ‘K’
Liv Leigh: Hehe yes.
Kei Cioc: I want to tell Mark, (MarkTwain White, Red.) ¬†he called me “key chuck” in the last cup.

________________

Fizz Round 3 Snapshot

  

syc- 3 -3-L2-_013b

¬†I had a chance to watch a number of the Third Round World Fizz Cup 2009 Qualifying Races at Starboards Yacht Club this weekend. Since the official numbers are not quite up yet, I decided to tell you about just one of the races I saw; I’ll put it in context later. There were so many great matches¬†though¬†¬†it was really hard picking¬†one to talk about, so I pretty much pulled one out of¬†the hat.¬†

What that really means is: If you haven’t been following Fizz3 races… let me tell you, you’re missing something pretty spectacular.¬†

syc_l2 250

**************

OKOK, I’m psyched after watching ¬†the third race from the¬†Sunday Morning¬†¬†time set. Four sailors competed:¬† Momomos Netizen, Kei Cioc, Macro Nacht, and Shinobi Woodget. They raced the SYC-L2 course, shown here on the right.¬†In my opinion, L2 is¬†sort of a non-standard “technical” course, that tests a skipper’s boat handling skills on a sequence of four¬†hairpin,¬†150¬į-160¬į¬†turns. If you try this at home, take Dramamine first. The only tactical issue issue that might arise associated with the L2 design is the chance that a lead boat going from #3 to #4 could interact with a slower boat still¬†enroute from #1 to #2. That’s unlikely with such a small fleet, and how to handle it will depend highly on the¬†situation. So the real competition tests Fizz3 handling skills.

Here’s the Weather Forecast for Round 3:

race wind dir 225
race wind speed 15
race wind gusts 15
race wind shifts 11
race wind rate 1.0

race wave height 0.7
race wave length 60
race wave speed 8
race wave height variance 15
race wave length variance 10

race current dir 045
race current speed 0.1

syc- 3 -3-L2-_009 copy

The first leg of the L2 course is the longest, and consists of an otherwise standard, direct-shot beat to windward.

For every Round 3 race I watched,¬† all the skippers opted for a “conservative” starboard-tack start, and the third race was no different. All four boats approached the line¬†under a head of steam in¬†fairly close formation,¬†but at least three boats balked and wisely luffed sails at the last moment to avoid an ‘over-early’ call.¬†

As far as startline strategy goes, I think many sailors would agree that with a Starboard Start and a straight upwind first leg, the best starting position is at the Port side of the line near the red buoy. That position usually gives you the longest leg before the first tack, and places you upwind of the fleet in clean air. However, the red buoy is also frequently the first tactical fight in a race. Since the lee boat has ROW, if two boats are overlapped approaching that end of the line, the lee boat can call “UP” and force the windward boat off the course or into the buoy.

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In the above picture, Momomos Netizen maneuvers to gain exactly that overlapped, leeward advantage over Macro Nacht, who loses momentum and is forced to fall astern. Momomos then crosses the line ahead of the rest of the fleet at +00:00:01, a full five seconds ahead of Macro.  Audacious move, Momomos!

Kei Cioc and shinobi Woodget chose to stay out of that ‘red buoy fight;’ they cut the line in the middle, with start times of +00:00:03 and +00:00:08, respectively.

This proved to be a wise decision. Both KC and SW maintained momentum and pulled out front in the 1-2 positions on the first leg.

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¬†The above picture shows Kei expanding his lead, but remember he started from a less advantageous leeward position on the line, and he’ll have to make up that distance when he tacks.

 syc- 3 -3-L2-_023 copy

¬†You can see what I’m talking about above; Kei was the first to come about and head for the green top¬†mark, but his position cost him much of the lead; the other three boats were right on Kei’s tail as they progressed on the second tack.

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¬†syc- 3 -3-L2-_034 copyThis time however, Kei had the upwind height and he took advantage of it. He¬†accelerated as he fell off the wind to reach the green buoy, relentlessly widening his lead in the process. The lower picture above gives¬†the false impression that after taking the turn Kei actually became airbourne and took off… Grin;¬†¬†he might just as well have. With “good air” and no other boats in the way, there was nothing on earth to stop Kei, and he showed it.

Lying in his wake, Shinobi, Momomos, and Macro were still sailing closely together as they took the Green Mark and then raised gennikers for the broad reach to the #2 pink mark.

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¬†Kei’s widening lead and his flawless technical proficiency were undeniable, however. He adroitly spun around the pink buoy, changed sail, and fell into a close haul as he headed to the third, orange mark a short distance further windward.

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¬†Well, as any Fizz3 sailor will tell you, mastering this boat is far from easy; it’s quite a bit like mastering a fast racing dinghy in RL.¬† You tend to spend a lot of time swimming.

Kei is outstanding sailor in second life, and his technical prowess is amplified by his considerable experience. He’s been here before… and he came within a heartbeat of winning the cup last year. Today however, Kei had¬†a bit of extra help. Once¬†he passed the first mark he was blessed with wide open water and clean air.

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The trio of boats behind him were unfortunately saddled with a much more difficult task. They not only had to somehow catch up with Kei… they had to fend off each other in the process. That simple, obvious fact left them with few good options and added a bonus¬†sequence of headaches that still ahead in this race. Take a look at what happens next!

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¬†¬†Rounding the pink marker, Macro Nacht appropriately swerved to allow Shinobi adequate inside room to take the turn first. In the process however, Macro pitch-poled and was thrown headlong over the bow of his boat. Always the skilled sailor and unfailingly polite, however, he avoided splattering any of his¬† personal, random body parts against shinobi’s hull.

Shinobi and  Momomoso decided to let the race committee clean up what was left of Macro;  they forged ahead in overlapped formation,  moving resolutely windward toward the Orange marker a short distance away.

The picture below shows Kei still way out front, rounding that aforementioned Orange marker.  Shinobi and  Momomoso are half a sim astern, and you can also see Macro, getting back in the saddle again and doing his best to stay in the race.

 

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 Well, as I mentioned previously, the L2 racecourse seem to be designed as a test of technical boat handling. That view seemed proven once again at the Orange mark. In the image below, Momomoso is still overlapped with Shinobi as they reached the 2 boat-length zone;  Momomoso had the inside right-of-way as they both set up for an acute turn around the buoy to reverse direction and head to the bottom mark.

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¬†Momomoso cuts the turn wrong, unfortunately, and gets thrown over the handlebars into the murky brine.¬†Shenobi maintains her respectful¬†distance throughout, in accordance with Rule 18. She then proceeded to slide past Momomoso’s soggy self as she charged ahead into open water once more.

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  I have to admit, however, when I  quickly looked back,  I found it hard not to laugh out loud! There was Macro again! He not only recovered from his dunking, he had made up the distance and was pushing forward with a rather incredible, damn-the-torpedoes momentum. He barely had a moment to spare, waving to Momomoso as he passed, pirouetting around that orange mark and setting his sights on Shinobi; she was still far ahead.

¬†I’m guessing that Shinobi must have looked over her shoulder and been as surprised as I was when she caught a glimpse of Macro under full sail and bearing down on her, because in the middle of open water Shinobi suddenly then tripped and turtled, dunking her Fizz¬†a few scant meters west of the Committee Boat parked against the raceline.

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 As you can see above, there was no stopping Macro now. He steamed past Shinobi, flying to the last mark. Monomos was still game and back in the race, too, but he had no chance to get near Macro ever again in this race.

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The final image above shows Kei Cioc shortly after he crossed the finish line with a time of +00:11:09; it was truly a blistering performance, considering Macro’s second-place finish time was¬†+00:12:43, well over a minute and a half¬† later! As you can see in the above picture, Momomos was still in the race and shortly behind Macro, with Shinobi bringing up the rear. What a great showing!

¬†This was, however, only one of 24 qualifying races held this weekend, and the qualifying sequence¬†covers several weeks. The race I described above showcased a great performance by an outstanding sailor, Kei Cioc. He has the skill and ability to win this entire competition.¬† It would be foolish to make any predictions at this point, however. The field is full of outstanding competitors. In¬†the group of four I discussed above,¬†Macro Nacht showed incredible tenacity and strength today; a few weeks ago I described a race where he also seemed totally unstoppable, and finished several sims ahea of Kei.¬† In today’s race¬†Shinobi also shined and would have ¬†come in on Kei’s heels except for¬†her accidental capsize close to the finish.

And you might be wondering what I think of Momomoso. This is the first time I’ve seen Momomoso race and, compared to the others, he is fairly new to the race circuit; he only has a few official Fizz races under his belt. Maybe I should say something encouraging about his performance…?

Grin; I don’t have to. In the race that immediately preceded the one I described in detail above, Momomoso knocked Kiel, Macro, and Shinobi all flat on the mat, pulling off an impressive first-place showing in Heat #2 of the series. Pretty impressive stuff.

Hey, Momomoso? Welcome to the Varsity squad. Now all it takes is: “heart…”

Interview with joro Aya

[Note: With this post, Liv Leigh begins a series of interviews that will highlight the sailors competing in World Fizz Cup 2009. Although Liv is on the Cup Organizing Committee, any and all of her comments here reflect her personal views, not those of World Fizz 2009.

Welcome aboard, Liv!!!!]

Liv header

 The dark green Pixie next to me on the couch comes across modest, almost shy. Until two weeks ago the sailing world mostly knew her because of her humoristic nature. And a Flying Fizz mod that she made and raced in: a clog.
Flying Clogs were not allowed in the Fizz Cup 2009, but Joro’s star rose nevertheless: She swept the first two World Cup events, winning all 8 of her races. This weekend Joro might write history with the longest winning streak in Fizz Cup history. Liv spoke one of SL Sailing’s new heroes.

joro Aya: I love the sea, from a distance

Joro leads the pack in Fizz Round 2

Joro leads the pack in Fizz Round 2

Liv Leigh: I was kind of intrigued by the shop in your profile and went over for a look. Can you tell me something about it?
joro Aya: Not much to tell, it tiny little shop that sells some furniture. Fantasy inspired furniture.
joro Aya: I started making furniture, mostly beds, some four years ago with another alt. Had a big shop back then.

Liv Leigh: I see. so you go a long way back in sl.
joro Aya: Heh, not as long as some.
Liv Leigh: I know. but 4 years is a long time. did you already sail by then?
joro Aya: No.
Liv Leigh: how did you get into sailing
joro Aya: A few months ago Miss Bunnie took me sailing. Was an ACA race. After that i was hooked and bought an ACA too.
Liv Leigh: Bunnie Mills..
joro Aya: Yes. She’s good friend. we make things together.

Liv Leigh: Yes, I remember you being around a couple of months in sl sailing. I mostly noted the fizz mods you made. Especially the clogs.
joro Aya: Heh, that’s the only fizz mod me made so far. So… what others did You see? ūüôā
Liv Leigh: The flying flubbers.
joro Aya (giggles): Oh, that thing. That was never completed, was only a little experiment.
Liv Leigh: It is rather characteristic. Have you made more clogs?
joro Aya: Working on one, to replace the one I made.
Liv Leigh: Ahh I see, another boat. That is the only clog-shaped item you made?
joro Aya: No, I was sailing the clog one day and thought, “Why not use the sculptie to make boots?”
joro Aya: So me maked clogs for wearing too
Liv Leigh: For yourself or also to be sold?
joro Aya: Also to be sold, but haven’t sold a single pair yet ūüôā Could use the money, SL is expencive. but I don’t really care much. I make things because it’s fun to make them.

joro Aya in her own habitat

Liv Leigh: Back to sailing.. you entered the flying fizz cup 2009 as one of 75 subscribers, now you have won the first 2 events, sweeping all 8 races. You must be aware that it is one of the longest winning streaks in Fizz Cup history, and after this weekend it might even be called historical. What does that do to you?
cup 2 134joro Aya: Makes me feel nervous and uneasy. I entered the cup not expecting much and now… Now Ikinda feel Ihave to do good. It’s still fun though
Liv Leigh: I see. Does it also mean you are adjusting your ambitions for the cup now?
joro Aya: Would be a hoot if i reached the finals ūüôā Would like that.

Liv Leigh: What does sailing in sl now do to you. Did you ever sail in real life or would you have plans for that now?
joro Aya: Any body of water bigger then a bathtub I stay far away from ūüôā Unless it’s on a really really big boat like the ferry to England. I’m terrified of water IRL.
Liv Leigh: I see. You do not live near the sea yourself?
joro Aya: Ehm… I live on the bottom of the sea, kinda. Where I live used to be sea and the people made it land.
Liv Leigh: I see.. a polder
joro Aya: Yes.
joro Aya: I love the sea, from a distance

joro Aya: Heh, I remember the 1st time I accidently fell into SL water. I totally freaked out.
Liv Leigh: You thought your avatar would drown?
joro Aya: Didn’t think anything. I just freaked. Am over that now, I even dare to swim in SL water ūüôā
Liv Leigh: And sail in one of the most notorious boats for capsizing.
joro Aya: Yes. Is one of the things I love most about SL. Being able to do things that I would never do IRL.

Joro widens her lead on leg two at Waypoint

Joro widens her lead on leg two at Waypoint

Liv Leigh: For a final question: What would you recommend any starting sailor in sl?
joro Aya: Would recommend not to sail in front of me ūüôā
Liv Leigh: Haha great
joro Aya: But seriously…
joro Aya: I would recommend to not take things to seriously and have loads of fun.
joro Aya: And beware of pink boats.

Liv Leigh: Thanks for the interview.
joro Aya: YW.

joro Aya: Me wonder how big the cup is.
joro Aya: Me wonder how much coffee will fit in it.

joro Aya goes undefeated in Round Two for EIGHT STRAIGHT WINS in Fizz 2009
joro Aya goes undefeated in Round Two for EIGHT STRAIGHT WINS in Fizz 2009

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