Category Archives: Shelly

Hotlaps Update, September 2013

Hotlaps Handicaps September 17 2013

Hotlaps 2013 is a sailing format that helps skippers practice skills while doing fun, solo laps that are posted online. The Hotlaps database allows skippers to compare their lap time results with others; they can also contrast the relative performance of different boats that sail under the same ‘trial lap’ conditions.

There are six different Hotlaps raceline locations, and each has its own Hotlaps course: PLUMGUTBREADNUTKNAPTRACKICONLINKOUSSULU, and HEPURN. Sailing a Hotlap takes only ten minutes, and you can do it any time you want, in any boat.

hotlapsposters Just go to one of the racelines and click on the ‘Hotlaps 2013′ poster above the green buoy; it will give you all the info you need.

When you finish sailing the lap you can post it online by clicking a poster that’s labeled “Enter your lap time here.” It’s just as easy as that. 🙂

Sailors have been doing Hotlaps and posting their results since early in 2007, but this year we started a new 2013 cycle in deference to the large number of great, boats that have recently hit the water in SL. Since we began it in January, Hotlaps sailors have logged 442 lap scores sailing 45 different boat classes! Let me give a shout-out to that great group of 68 skippers who did all those laps:

2525, ak Topsail, Andi Merryman, Armano Xaris, B112, B117, B12, BM12, Brett Kjeller, Bunnie, Chaos Mandelbrot, CharliePakk, charliepakk, Dekka, Destiny Wescott, don Berthios, Emelia Azemus, Fearless Freenote, Glorfindel Arrow, gnupf gufler, Hannelore Ballinger, HansMarx, Hay Ah, IDBSDF61, JFos, Joy Acker, Justin Blade, Kain Xenobuilder, Kentrock Mesmer, Kris Hollysharp, Lance Corrimal, laured Cabassoun, Lesbo Charisma, Little Vixen, LucyInTheSky Afarensis, Maiko Taurog, michiya Yoshikawa, Nikif, notohama, nozomimi karu, Ome Audeburgh, pascal kira, Patrice Cournoyer, Pazzo Pestana, Peacy Cortes, Pensive Mission, poko Zepp, Popow Horbaczewski, Porter Tracy, Qyv Inshan, Rebbie Resident, Rim Telling, Ronin Zane, S11D, sailman, Samlara Vintner, SkyBlue Earthboy, Slanty, SteveLL resident, Takabou Destiny, Trapez Breen, VictorCR, Wolfhard Resident, Wrye Diabolito, Xi Larnia, xpaulx pain, yala74, Yuukie Onmura. ~~ WOOTS! ~~

2013 Hotlaps

All that hotlaps data goes into a public spreadsheet that contains multiple, linked pages that sort the results by race line and boat class, color-coded by skipper. Here’s an example, showing the submitted lap data for Plum Gut from January through September 16:

Sept 18 2013 Plum Gut Laps

click to enlarge

You can click the above image to get a larger view, but you can also just go to the live spreadsheet page any time to see the list of entered lap times.

2013 Handicaps

The pool of standardized lap data makes it possible to compare performance of different sailboats and calculate a “Handicap Factor” for each popular boat class.  Hotlaps 2013 uses the Melges-24 as it’s arbitrary reference standard. The M-24 is the Hotlaps index boat, and by definition it has a Handicap of 1.00. (You can see that shown in red in the first data row below).  All other boats have handicap values expressed relative to that standard.  

Here’s the current summary list of Handicaps for all the tested boats at each of the race courses:

summary HH

Each row in the above matrix represents a different boat class and the columns contain the handicap values for those boats for the six race lines.  Slower boats (i.e., those with longer lap times than M-24) have Handicap Factors that are less than 1.00,  and faster boats have handicap factors greater than 1.00. 

handicapsFor example, several sailors tested the Mesh Shop Laser One on each of the six Hotlaps courses. The average handicap values were 0.75, 0.73, 0.74, 0.62, 0.69, and 0.79. That’s a pretty tight clustering of results, considering the varied sailors involved and the differences of each course.

The average handicap for all courses was 0.72, suggesting that the Mesh Shop Laser One is 28% slower than  the Melges-24 on any typical racecourse (The M-24’s handicap= 1.00).

 The figure to the right shows a current list of handicaps for tested boats, averaged over all six lines. The slowest boats in the bunch include the Shelly, the Fizz,  and the Galiko NY32 (which has a Fizz engine). All these boats produced handicaps of 0.50-0.60, evidence they are roughly half as fast as the Melges-24.

Of course, a slow boat is not a bad thing; it just reflects the builder’s design and vision. Several other boats had handicaps as slow as the ones named above in the 0.50-0.60 range, including the Leetle Cat II, the Patchogue II, the RM Pilot, and the ACA Tiny.

Cruiser handicaps.


powered by Rotaru

However, that’s the slow end of the spectum; most cruise boats are faster than that. The cruisers in SL tended to generate handicaps that range from 0.60- 0.90. That means they are 10-40% slower than the Melges-24, at least when sailed with a 15 knot wind. Nearly all Trudeau boats fit in this 0.60-0.90 “cruiser”-group. It’s a realistic speed-spot for them, since most Trudeaus are classic designs of earlier, multipurpose vessels; they are not hotrods.

Many other popular boats also fit in that Cruiser 0.60-0.90 speed-niche. For example, Craig Kbata’s Teleri 20 scores 0.70, Manul Rotaru‘s Beach Trimaran rates a 0.82, and Rene Marine‘s RM-12 comes in at 0.69. Quest Marine has two boats in this speed range as well; the 2M (0.74) and the Scow  (0.85).

bandit 50Analyse Dean’s recent Bandit 50 is one of the quickest of this whole cruising group. It scored a 0.89, placing it just 10% behind the Melges 24 racer. Kain Xenobuilder also has a new cruiser, the Cafe del Mar 75, that uses the same BWind 2.5 engine as the Bandit 50. You might think Cafe’s sailing performance would be similar to Bandit’s, but you’d be wrong. 🙂 CDM75The Hotlaps data shows that the Café 75 is a much faster boat, earning a handicap of 1.12; that beats Bandit 50 by over 20% !!

The Cafe Del Mar is designed to emulate a beamy mid-size cruising boat, but it sails more like an ocean racer. It’s even  12% faster than the lean-and-mean, carbon and glass Melges 24! Wowzers!

I’ll tell you much more about Bandit 50, Cafe 75, and the RM 12 in a separate post soon. 🙂

Racer Handicaps

The third large group of handicaps primarily includes the large, ocean race boats in SL. They all tended to score in the 0.90-1.20 range. 

Q M-24 launchSince Hotlaps 2013 uses the Melges 24 as it’s benchmark standard to set the other handicaps, it’s no surprise that boats that score around 1.00 are also racers. For example, Kanker Greenacre’s Tako 3.3 scored a handicap of 1.03 in this series, almost identical to the M-24. 🙂 

The Quest IACC scored a 0.94, a bit behind the ACA33 Racer with 1.03. The Mesh Shop’s two ocean racers are right in that mix as well; The OD65 ranked 1.10, and the VO70 earned a 1.03.OD-65

It’s interesting to comment that the Mesh Shop VO70 has a handicap that’s identical to  the old  Wildwind VO70 (1.03). That makes a lot of sense since both builders were modeling the same boat, but it’s great to see the consistency. 🙂

Speaking of Wildwind boats, the present lap results clearly show that WildWind is continuing its reputation for building the fastest ocean racers in SL sailing. The Wildcat-45 catamaran scored a 1.12, the WW Open-60 rated 1.07, and the (still beta) WW AC-72 came in with a rather incredible 1.54. If WildWind decides to release it, the AC-72 could be the fastest sailboat ever launched in Second Life. More important, it would be a truly remarkable emulation of this year’s RL Americas Cup racer. 🙂

ac72 crew

Handicaps for History

There are still many boats to test and extra data laps to run to get accurate numbers across the whole fleet. By December 2013, we should easily exceed 500 new database laps, and that data will be added to a pool of many thousand laps on numerous courses dating back a full seven years.

That’s prolly a good time to sit back with a stiff drink and try to make some conclusions about what Hotlaps can tell us about the diversity of boats we all share and sail in Second Life. 🙂


Bella Ciao Cup Sept 15-16

Armano Xaris and Helma Beerbaum announce the:

Bella Ciao Cup

September 15-16, 2012

Armano and Helma’s invitation reads:

Hello Leetle Cat and Shelly Fizz sailors!
We have a weekend race for you
at a brand new sailing venue
owned by  Helma “bella” Beerbaum.

There are prizes for the first 3 racers over all.
All info is below!

We’re  also planning a whooping little party with DJ Helma
after the races and ceremonies close on Sunday.



Sailors can register to compete in either the Leetle Cat II division (for experienced racers) or the Shelly Fizz division (for beginning racers). Send a notecard to Armano Xaris in Second Life to enter either event, and include your timeslot preference (see below).



Saturday, september 15
Group 1: SLT 7:00 AM (–> 1. & 2. will go to finals)
Group 2: SLT 1:00 PM (–> 1. & 2. will go to finals)

Sunday, September 16
11:00 AM SLT

Sunday, September 16
9:00 AM SLT

Racers are asked to be at the raceline
15 minutes before the start.

Sunday, september 16
1:00 PM SLT
DJ Hella Beerbaum will spin tunes :)).


[3:] BOATS

The boat used in the qualifying and finals is the Leetle Cat II boat from
Trudeau (latest version). No changes in prims are allowed from the
original. This boat can be obtained here:

The boat used in the beginners race is the Shelly Fizz.
This boat can be obtained for free here:



There are 4 races planned with 1 discard for the qualifying
races, finals and beginners race.

Race 4 for qualifying group 1 will not start after SLT 8:30 am.
Race 4 for qualifying group 2 will not start after SLT 2:30 pm.
Race 4 for beginners race will not start after SLT 10:30 am.
Race 4 for finals will not start after SLT 12:30 pm

When 3 races are sailed in qualifying groups, finals or beginners
race there is a valid series with NO discard.

Results for beginners race will not be published.



Low points (winner gets 1 point, second gets 2 points,
etc.). The contestant with the lowest point total wins.


[5:] RULES:

ISAF rules are used with the exception that in all cases a penalty turn is
360 degrees.

Full rules are here:[8222].pdf or here: .

Beginners are asked to read easy situation 1 to 10, 32 and 35 on the following
website prior to races. No need to know it by heart; just read please.



Skyplatform and party area for spectators.

Party area:


Rezz zone for racers:




(3 minutes prestart) (Wind is from west. Wind will be set about 1 hour
before start.)

(3 minutes prestart) (Wind is from west. Wind will be set about 1 hour before start.)

Beginners race: A very simple course will be announced prior
to start.


[8:] FUTURE ANNOUNCEMENTS (important!):

Future announcements about qualifying groups and beginners race will be
announced using Bella Ciao event group when racers have subscribed (see below). There will be no individual notices.



Racers and interrested public are asked to join the Bella Ciao event group to
stay updated about all events on these sims. This group will also be used for
future events.
Copy and past the following in local chat to get into the group…


[10:] STAFF:

RD: Armano Xaris
Judge: To be announced.

On announcement before races the staff can switch tasks.

Cruisers and Optimists

Originally posted by Jane Fossett at on January 24, 2009

Mowry Bay Cruising Club

I have this theory about Yacht Clubs in SL.

Actually, I have a lot of theories, but you already know that.  Anyway, its Friday so I better stick to a simple, high probability story if I want to get it done in time for drinks on the deck, and  besides, I’m pretty sure I’m right about this one.

I think in the very early days of SLSailing, sim crossing limitations and  poor stability made cruising a frustrating ordeal, and certainly nothing you would ever attempt to do as part of afleet. The term “pleasure cruising” was, perhaps, an oxymoron.

On the other hand, two years ago the Tako was already a stable, well-proven one design dinghy racer. A tradition was already developing, and people were arguing loudly over race rules, regatta standings, and protest calls.
I believe the limitations of ‘sim and sim-side’ made cruising painful, and therefore clubs focused attention on short distance circular racing instead.

Mowry to Caddo

A small number of brave sailors still preferred to use their vessels for exploring, however, and in November 2006 Elisha Paklena started a very popular thread in the forum on Pleasure Cruising.  One of my favorite charts from back then was the Mowry-Caddo run by Suzanne Zeluco, shown above.

Since those early days, the number of places you can visit under sailpower has grown remarkably, and it’s pretty exciting to note that with technical improvements in the grid and the expansion of sailing opportunities, crusing has now become a real sport, not just a death-defying duel with sim crosses and ban lines.

Glida Pilote recognized this a while back, and started a weekly Voyages event at NYC. Instead of racing, the boats would sail from target to target, often visiting spots in USS none of the skippers had ever seenm before. The picture on the left was from the last Voyages “race” just before the USS moved across the grid this week. It was a great opportunity to think back over all the past year’s sailing adventures before the USS sims merge with mainland.

Glida’s cruises are great fun, but the big excitement in cruising class must be the new Mowry Bay Cruising Club! It was started by Tory Micheline and Manul Rotaru to champion the cruising lifestyle and explore new sailing venues under wind power. The club’s been a huge success, with weekly meetings at different locations on the grid and a proliferation of new charts and lists of spots where you can launch your boat and sail off toward some endless horizon.

The picture above is a closeuip from last week’s adventure, showing Chaos Mandelbrot with Tony and Manul waiting on the dock, beverages in hand.

The above picture shows Francois Jacques, Chaos and myself someplace out on the cruising course. totally lost. As usual, we proved the aphorism that you should ”Drink after the race, not during the race.”

I wanted to remind everyone that Mowry Bay Cruising Club is switching to a new day and time this week too! Starting January 27 2009, MBCC willmeet on Tuesdays at 5:00 pm SLT. This week’s cruise will sail the Nautilus Region, so don’t miss it. Check with Tory or Manul, or just join Mowry Bay Cruising Club for the details!



Did you ever sail an Optimist? Schiffsratten Yacht Club sailors did, and they still remember how much fun it was! They’ve recently refashioned the Optimist One Design hull using sculpties, and are in the process of developing the boat as a Beginner/ Training boat. It’s beautiful…


Here’s a size comparison below between the new SRYC boat and RJ Kikuchiyo’s Optimist that uses Tako 2.x scripts. The Ship Rats are still deciding what physics and features will go in their new boat.

The working name for their new boat is the “Pessimist,” but I think thats way to negative. I think “Tigger” is a better name, after their sim Tiga and the A.A. Milne children’s character (“The problem with Tiggers is they bounce a lot.”)

Optimists are used world wide in training and One Design racing programs for kids. After many decades the boat is still extremely popular and in fact my SL teeshirt is a knock off from the Opti Championships a few years back.

Pardon me if I can’t resist reprinting the thoughts I had last year on ORG about my own experience as a 12yo Opti sailor:

Thinking back on Optis, there were only a few rules for the after-school crowd:
1. The Harbor is not a bathroom; go before or after. It is not acceptable to go in, or off of, your vessel.
2. Even if you find yourself in irons with no wind, it is not acceptable to take off your life jacket and bathing suit just to get a better tan.
3. No matter what the racing rule infraction, you are not allowed to use your cell phone to complain to your parents… until you cross the finish line.
(at least that’s what I remember)

The best thing, of course was the lecture from the coach:

“You may not be able to drive a car or vote,
but here on the water you command your boat.
There are Opti fleets around the world, and today you sail with them.
For the next few hours, in your small boat,
if you have the courage and determination,
you can join thousands of years of sailors who have ventured out to sea to compete.
Today, you and your Opti have a chance to rule the world!”

Inevitably, at that point one of the kids would then shout out:
“Admiral? I have to go to the bathroom.”
Personally, I swear, I never did that.
I was the kid who said: “Pardon me…could you repeat that?
I was calling my parents to complain about a rules infraction…”