Category Archives: Dire Strait

Danshire Yacht Club Gets a Makeover

DYC April 16_024a

I wanted to take a moment to give a huge shout-out to Elbag Gable and RJ Kikuchiyo for their wonderful help expanding and remodeling Danshire Yacht Club in Knaptrackicon.

knaptrack channelKnaptrackicon

Knaptrakicon sits in the middle of Nautilus between Bingo Strait and Dire Strait, and it includes the major channel that connects the North and South waterways for the linked continents of Nautilus, Gaeta, Satori, and Corsica. That makes Knaptrackicon a rather critical gateway for many who sail there. Click on the map above, and you’ll see what I mean.


Click to enlarge: Knaptrackicon in 2009

may 10 2010  knaptrackicon

Knaptrackicon in 2010


In an effort to keep at least a narrow channel open, in early 2010 Tig Spijkers and I moved Danshire Yacht Club down to Knaptrackicon. When several more parcels went on sale there soon after, Elbag Gable joined in and picked them up, widening the waterway for all sailors to use.

The image to the right shows the channel and builds as of May 2010. The waterway is open and easily navigable, but there are still small builds on either side of the canal that make it difficult for more than one boat to pass at a time.

Well, that’s changing pretty quickly now! A few months ago, Elbag made another wonderful gesture, buying up several of the remaining parcels in the sim and deeding them through DYC to improve sailing. It was now possible to widen the channel, re-terraform the western half of the sim, and give the DYC builds a “fashion makeover.” 🙂 

That’s where RJ Kikuchiyo stepped in and took over, completely redesigning the space to give it a consistent, classic Northern European theme. RJ is a truly legendary maestro of maritime architecture in Second Life. Although the work is not yet complete, the new additions are strikingly beautiful, detailed and true, reflecting both RJ’s artistic vision and his knowledge of maritime history. Please stop by and take a look, and ask RJ about it!

DYC April 16 2013

Mandelbrot exp(7)

Quite a few sailors did stop by DYC this past Tuesday; the Leeward Cruisers celebrated  Chaos Mandelbrot’s Seventh Rez Day!

LCC April 16 map

click to enlarge

The cruise route for the day left DYC  and swung up through Dire Strait to Fedallah, before turning Southeast to cut back into Bingo Strait.

If you click on the map to the right, the green dots will give you a sense of  the size of the fleet. Early in the sail, boats were strung out all the way from DYC to the ends of Dire Strait! 🙂

Leeward April 16

As usual, the cruise was full of fun sailing and flat jokes, and Bennythe Boozehound’s music selection kept everyone pretty excited all evening. It was a great way to break in the new dockside dancefloor at DYC!

Chaos RezDay 7 Party at DYC

San Francisco Seven

Click (or double click) to enlarge


After a fantastic weekend of sailing the Tradewinds of Round Six, the next stop on the ONE WORLD pro-sailing circuit is Golden Gate Yacht Club. Don Berithos and Roan Blackburn will host the event, and the race course will showcase the great racing waters of Dire Strait. All heats will take off from the Linden raceline in Fedallah, a spot well-know to racers from this past summer’s SL-VT Cup event.

As shown below, the ONE WORLD Round Seven Course proceeds south-southwest, and seems to form a pentangle around the Leviathan in Ahabs Haunt. There’s no witchcraft involved, however, unless you’re worried about that submerged wreck in Rachel sim! Don Berithos tells me that wont be a problem with the course he’s designed, but hey– be careful anyway. 🙂

There will be two social events linked to Round Seven and hosted by GGYC. The first is on Friday, February 18, 1:00pm SLT at the GGYC Club House in Schilli. That Round Seven opener event will have a “Jersey Shore” Boardwalk theme, and promises to be a great kick-off to some kick-ass racing over the next two days. 🙂

After all the fleets have finished and the last air-horn goes quiet, GGYC will celebrate the Round Seven teams with a Regatta Gala Event on February 20 at 12 Noon SLT in Golden Gate sim. Don’t miss it!

Here’s the chart for the Round Seven races, and the wind settings are listed below it. Fair winds to all the race teams, and remember: Seven’s a lucky number!!

Click (or double click) to enlarge

Here’s the map of rez zones along the course:

Click (or double click) to enlarge

See you in San Francisco for Seven!!

Nautilus Coastal Waterways Upgrade

Carl Metropolitan's Interactive Map

Michael Linden is the Senior Content Lead for the Linden Department of Public Works; he runs the DPW Office Hour on Fridays at 3:00PM SLT in Shamon.

The Friday meetings are well attended, always fun, and pretty congenial — at least  when compared to other ‘Linden anger-management‘ hours many readers may have attended. 🙂  Michael’s DPW meetings address a variety of user content issues, suggestions, and problems, and he frequently reviews outstanding ‘ticket’ requests or ongoing major project issues.

If you have a gripe or suggestion, don’t Go Postal;’ 🙂 stop by one of the Office Hours meetings instead. DPW is responsible for much of the sim content and user concerns over a spectrum of Linden sim priorities. They can’t help you with ‘server issues’ or sim-crossings; those are other departments. However, for many general issues that impact sim features, appearance and user function, the DPW Office Hour is a good place to learn what’s up and get simple, authoritative answers to your questions.

Blondin Linden also holds biweekly sailing-specific Office Hour meetings at 8:00 AM SLT in ANWR, and all sailors are more than welcome. The topics at Blondin and Michael’s Linden OH meetings rarely overlap, so interested sailors might benefit from attending either or both sessions; you can choose what fits, based on your time zone and work schedule. (Note: Michael and Blondin coodinate efforts, so you’ll get the same answer at either session. 🙂 )


Over the past few years many sailors have advocated for interconnected waterways that would allow vessels to travel long distances. In a September office hour, Michael Linden addressed this issue and listed several possible locations under consideration for new coastal water sims that might serve this need.

He strongly emphasized these ideas were still vague topics under consideration, and he clearly indicated that none of the projects might ever get realized. Nonetheless, most in the audience felt his willingness to share such ideas was both gracious and reassuring.

The topic came up as part of a short discussion on options to connect Bay City to the major Sansara sailing regions lying East. Here’s the transcript (with my edits and redactions):

[15:45]  Michael Linden: Gulf of Lauren NE around the coast,  to ANWR would be good.
[15:45]  Yevad Doobie: crosses toes
[15:45]  Marianne McCann: Would love that, Michael.
[15:45]  Yevad Doobie: some parts of Corsica would be useful
[15:45]  Everest Piek: its an unbearable bottleneck there
[15:45]  Marianne McCann: Though if you asked between that and the southern waterway, I’d opt for the latter
[15:45]  Michael Linden: I’ve got half-a-dozen areas that could use more coastal water listed.
[15:46]  Jane Fossett: Yes, no good connection from ANWR to Fables.
[15:46]  Yevad Doobie: or around the Corsica/Nautilus join…..give the Coast Guard more work lol
[15:46]  Everest Piek: lol
[15:46]  Jane Fossett: 🙂
[15:47]  Michael Linden: These are all just vague proposals: NOT promises:

  • Luna Palisades to Abbotts: 14
    (9 if we move the sandboxes 1 row south)
  • around Terric: 4 … allows more sailing near Blake Sea
  • Mbokomu: 4 or 5 … allows sailing along coast
  • Lifstaen: 7 or 8 … allows sailing around coast
  • Leximus: 3, 5, or 8 … good sea area, allows sailing n coast
  • Gerache: 5 to 8 … connect continents with sailing route
  • Sanchon: 6 or 7 … allows sailing around big island
  • North of Old Continent: 17 or so, connects Bay City to ANWR

[2010/09/10 15:47]  Everest Piek: yea
[2010/09/10 15:47]  Jane Fossett: Any of those would be wondrous.
[2010/09/10 15:48]  Michael Linden: Someday, when Homesteads are free …
[2010/09/10 15:48]  Yevad Doobie: nice list

Vague Proposals Turn Real in Nautilus

Michael commented that “These are all just vague proposals: NOT promises…” so back in September I decided not to write about the possibilities he raised. I assumed the Linden staff cuts might limit deployment of even the best DPW ideas. Well, i was wrong. 🙂

This week ‘Pie in the Sky became Reality,’ as DPW rolled out over twenty new sims to enhance the Nautilus-region coastal waterways! Here’s a list of the new sim names and locations:

1. Between Elhaddad and Psychwar: Arezzo, Pieve, Cortona
2. Between Gerache and Rannet:
Foligno, Gubbio, Lucca, Norcia, Orvieto
3. Near Leoming: Soncino, Montefalco, Urbino, Viterbo, Volterra, Valenza, Triora, Cividale
4. Near Leximus: Spoleo, Spello, San Gimignano, Pienza, Perugia, Galgano, Pulciano

Here’s a chart showing the location of the new sims (Click on it for a for a larger view):

Yellow= New Nautilus sims; Green= proposed Satori sims.

The additional sims include a new link that joins Nautilus and Corsica (WOOT!), and a sequence of coastal sims that wrap around the land builds and obstructions in Northeast Nautilus.

The new Nautilus sims make it possible to sail remarkable distances. For example, a skipper could voyage all the way from Spoondrift in USS’ Sailor’s Cove over to Triumphal in West Bingo Strait, then chose to venture North either past Danshire YC in Knaptrackicon or  by Tradewinds in Dex, sailing through Dire Strait or along the new Elhaddad route. That sailor could wrap around Northeast Nautilus using the new ‘Lifstaen’ coastal waterway, and then choose one of two Northern passages into the continent of Corsica: either the traditional far West passage near Kinrara (wave to SLCG there!) or the brand new ‘Gerache’ waterway shown above.

Of course, once you make it to Corsica you then get a whole new plateful of options :-). You can go visit ElMegro Magic or Aquarius Paravane or dozens of other sailors with marinas waiting to welcome you… or you can just push on and circumnavigate Gaeta. If you are that ambitious, be sure to check in with Beejee Boucher and Lyle Lane along the Gaeta coast!

Frankly I can’t add up all the sims that kind of cruise plan would encompass… but wow, it’s a lot… and its now possible. 🙂

Is that important to sailors? 🙂 Well, it took Kittensusie Landar and Mowry Bay Cruising Club about five minutes to announce a fleet event using the new sims!

I think there’s no question that this small passageway will make a truly huge difference in the traffic and economy of both linked regions. Thank you Linden Lab and DPW!

The ‘Nautilus Chart’ above also shows in Green two small, coastal ‘sim patches’ in Satori, the continent South of Nautilus.

TERRIC sim lies along the Northeast coast of Satori, just south of Bingo Strait and near Blake Sea. Well over a year ago I wrote posts saying that Terric was the Southeast block to coastal cruising; there was no way around that sim. Many other sailors tried, but sadly agreed: TERRIC was the southern end of the sailing world for cruisers (at least if you came from Blake or Nautilus).

In September DPW suggested a four-sim bypass passage around Terric. That could open sailing waters along the East Coast of the entire Satori continent. Not a bad idea… 🙂

But what about Satori’s West Coast? Well, apparently DPW’s thought about that too. If you look at the chart above, a few coastal water sims North and West of MBOKOMU could provide a waterway link to expand options for Southern exploration along the Northwest aspect of Satori, while opening up sailing throughout the Western limits of Bingo Strait. I love it!

A MBOKOMU coastal simset seems a very small effort, but one that might yield a large payback in traffic, user interest and increased property value in the adjacent regions.


A few weeks ago I discussed here the DPW changes currently underway in Sansara. I focused on the traditional raceline and sailing regions, and only briefly mentioned Bay City.

Bay City is a community located on the far West shore of Sansara, and it holds an important place in the primordial geopolitical and cultural history of Second Life.

New Port Yacht Club

Bay City was DPW’s first project, and it served as a ‘template’ and test ground for LL’s concepts of urban planning. New Port Yacht Club is there, with access to roughly a dozen sims of sailable water.

Bay City has many great people, and the community is pretty successful. 🙂  On several occasions I’ve tried to attend Bay City events, only to find the sims so overcrowded  I couldn’t get in! 🙂 I guess that’s a good sign!

DPW  listened to Bay City’s request to connect their water and Yacht Club with the other Sansara sailing regions lying East. Michael Linden’s  ‘vague list‘ of possible new coastal sims includes two options for multi-sim corridors that might do the trick. I’ve indicated them in red below:

Click (or double-click) for the full size map

If you click on the above chart, you’ll see the possible “Northern Option” is a seventeen-sim route that connects Bay City’s Gulf of Lauren to the ANWR connector that links Sansara to Heterocera Atoll. That string of seventeen water sims might also provide coastal waterway access to multiple sims in the COLORS region along the Northwest Sansara shore.

However, the biggest problem with the “Northern Option” in my opinion turns out to be ANWR’s separation from the major Sansara waterways; ANWR does not easily link to Mare Secundus, MBYC, Sea of Fables, or the East River Community.

In other words, even after the addition of seventeen new water sims, Bay City could not connect with any of the major Sansara waters – or sailing groups – that lie South and East. Bay City would stay isolated from many sailing events. (That’s not good 🙂 )

A much shorter, more  practical, and better way to connect Bay City to the other Sansara sailors and sailing regions might be Michael Linden’s proposed “Southern Passage,” a nine sim connection from Luna Palisades to Abbotts that’s shown in the chart above. Marianne McCann discusses that option on her blog and argues persuasively for it.


The final proposal on Michael Linden’s Office Hours Coastal Sim Wish List was “Sanchon: 6 or 7 (sims)… allows sailing around big island.”

If you are new to SLSailing, you may not know Sanchon, and probably have not sailed much in Jeogeot.

Well, Sanchon was home to Vagabonds Yacht Club, and was a harbor of refuge for many unruly pirates in the early years of SL Sailing.

My first connection to SL Sailing was in October 2006 at the Sanchon Boat Show. I met people and I saw boats that expressed the same humor, knowledge, and excitement I knew from RL sailing. I decided to stay around.

Vagabonds is now gone, but woots! DPW remembers, and one of the proposals is to expand the coastal waters near Sanchon… so sailors can again sail around the big island there. I always thought of that island as, well… Tortola, the pirate lair of legend. 🙂

Please remember, the sim additions above were just ideas, and not in any way guaranteed. However, I think they indicate DPW listens to sailors, and in this instance at least LL is making a sincere effort to incorporate sailor’s needs in their planning.

Now can we talk about those awful sim crossings again? 🙂


DominaAkhAsshA Bravin’s Videos

I wanted to give a shout-out to DominaAkhAsshA Bravin for all her great sailing videos on Youtube! Here is her view of the ‘Final Tiebreaker‘ match between Armano Xaris and Takabou Destiny that decided the winner of August 28’s SL-Vuitton Trophy Regatta:

Vodpod videos no longer available.
DominaAkhAsshA Bravin – Final SLVT Race
, posted with vodpod

You can find many more of DominaAkhAsshA’s videos from the SL-VT series posted there, including a great version of the first match between Armano and Hawk that I talked about so much on Metaverse here and here. 🙂

Also, please don’t forget to visit elMegro Magic’s blog; he hosts and highlights DominaAkhAsshA’s videos, and has a lot of great content and commentary as well!

Lynn and Hawk join SLVT Final Four

In an epic event that often seemed a test of sheer survival skills, the second round of SLVT Quarterfinal Match races successfully ended yesterday.

Five fantastic sailors met their match (literally) on the raceline in Fedallah; each earned their spot in the finals by winning one of the grueling SLVT qualifying competitions held at different sailing clubs over recent weeks. SLVT attracted so much attention and enthusiasm, the Q-Finals required two weekends of races  to narrow down the large list of winners to a spare four skippers who would do battle on August 28 for the ultimate prize.

Last week saw the first set of quarterfinalist matches; Armano Xaris and Takabou Destiny emerged from that foray with decisive victories.

Saturday morning the second group of finalists hit the water: KazumaHs Destiny, Lynn Parkin, LDeWell Hawker, Amythest Wingtips, and Carmen Foden. Sadly, although she sailed wonderously in the quals, Carmen had RL responsibilities and was unable to engage in the day’s races. That reduced the competition fleet to a Fedallah foursome . 🙂

The races were well organized and staffed by a great panel of judges and RD’s, but ‘bad weather’ on the grid proved a major factor that complicated nearly every race. Boats crashed, sim crossings were traumatic, and on multiple occasions every boat and person in particular sims froze in place for as long as two minutes before SL ‘physics’ kicked-in again.

One can’t complain too much, I guess. Unannounced grid-wide malfunction is a common experience and, well… unexpected fluctuating weather conditions impact real-life racing too.

Everyone took it in good humor, however, and when the final gun sounded, Lynn Parkin grabbed the top spot with a perfect set of three match-wins; LDeWell Hawker was right behind her with two wins. Hawk’s winning times of 10:28 and 10:30 were also – by far – the fastest Finish times of the regatta.

Race Five: Amy and Kaz

In the midst of all these rough sea conditions, I thought the best race of the day went hands-down to Amy and Kaz. In case you missed it, Amythest Wingtips came in third place in SLVT Round One at TYC. She was right behind Hawk and Trapez, TYC’s Champion twosome.

Well, that backseat spot didn’t last too long. Fueled with a sense of victory denied, Amy roared back the following week at Mango Yacht Club’s SLVT Round Two. Amy grabbed First at MYC against a very strong fleet, garnering a spot in today’s quarterfinals!

KazumaHs Destiny had that same, indomitable spirit. In GGYC’s qualifying event, Kaz scored a decisive victory, sailing on a tough course against unrelenting competition.

Saturday’s matchup of Amy and Kaz promised to be real fun… if only the weather cooperated!!

As soon as the countdown began, Amy chose a unconventional over-the-line-strategy to break clear and find her way to a good start position. Kaz wasn’t phased, however; he tracked her nicely up to the final few seconds before the gun. At that point Amy swung into a starboard, lee position just ahead of Kaz as they both sprinted toward the windward end of the line.

As you can see above, Amy made it across the line first, but only six seconds ahead of her match partner.

Amy initially had the momentum, and widened her lead over the first upwind leg as shown in the next image.

This follow-the-leader game continued as both boats beat across the next half-dozen sims to the the top mark in Stubb.

As shown above, Amy had quite a lead when she reached that Green top mark.

At that point, the Q-Finals race course included a short  reach leg from Stubb to Bildad and back. My guess was that Kaz’s knowledge and experience would pay off on those sharp turns, and he might make up for lost time.

Wow, did he ever!

If you look at the image on the right, by the time the two boats made the loop and got back to that green Stubb mark, Kaz was steadily gaining ground on Amy.

Although still behind, Kaz now was actually in good position to play his cards. In Stubb the boats turned downwind for the long ride home to Feddalah…  and Kaz was in shadow range.

In the best two-minute sailing lesson anyone could want, KazumaHs Destiny glued himself to Amy’s stern, starving her of wind. He then smoothly slid to her windward side, keeping his dominate control position while maintaining course to the final turn in Rachel.

As the two boats approached the final turn, Kaz pulled ahead and windward of Amy,  but still overlapped. Cool and crisp, he actually gave Amy plenty of room to avoid any chance she might protest; after all… Kaz had the wind, and he had the momentum.


Swinging wide as he passed Amy put Kaz perilously close to a well-marked, sunken shipwreck that lies Southeast of the Rachel race buoy (yellow arrow below). Kaz hit the wreck with his keel and came to an instant, dead stop!

Although it may look like Kaz gave the obstruction respectful room, the images below tell the true story. There’s an old Linden navigation can (blue arrow) that marks the visible part of the wreck; however, there’s actually a much larger sunken hull that’s hidden just below the surface (yellow arrow).  Kaz’s keel came in intimate contact with the hidden wreck… and it literally took him two minutes for him to get free again.

By then, Amy was safely across the Finish and calling SL Coast Guard to give Kaz a tow!

Pretty nice race!

Here’s how the numbers fell in all six Matches:

Race 1
1: Lynn Parkin ID35LP — 00:13:31
2: KazumaHs Destiny IDKH32 — 00:15:31
Lynn Parkin ID35LP — Start: 00:00:02 — Last lap: 00:13:29
KazumaHs Destiny IDKH32 — Start: 00:00:30 — Last lap: 00:15:01

Race 2
1: LDeWell Hawker ID12 — 00:10:28
2: KazumaHs Destiny IDKH32 — not Finished
LDeWell Hawker ID12 — Start: 00:00:02 — Last lap: 00:10:26
KazumaHs Destiny IDKH32 — Start: 00:00:14 — Last lap: not finished

Race 3
1: LDeWell Hawker ID12 — 00:10:30
2: Amythest Wingtips ID69AW — 00:11:16
LDeWell Hawker ID12 — Start: 00:00:10 — Last lap: 00:10:20
Amythest Wingtips ID69AW — Start: 00:00:24 — Last lap: 00:10:52

Race 4
1: Lynn Parkin ID35LP — 00:10:44
2: Amythest Wingtips ID69AW — 00:11:23
Lynn Parkin ID35LP — Start: 00:00:05 — Last lap: 00:10:39
Amythest Wingtips ID69AW — Start:00:00:15 — Last lap: 00:11:38

Race 5
1: Amythest Wingtips ID69AW — 00:11:57
2: KazumaHs Destiny IDKH32 — 00:14:03
Amythest Wingtips ID69AW — Start: 00:00:05 — Last lap: 00:11:52
KazumaHs Destiny IDKH32 — Start: 00:00:11 — Last lap: 00:13:52

Race 6
1: Lynn Parkin ID35LP — 00:11:59
2: LDeWell Hawker ID12 — not Finished
Lynn Parkin ID35LP — Start: 00:00:12 — Last lap: 00:11:47
LDeWell Hawker ID12 — Start: 00:00:02 — DNF

SLVT QFinals Complete on August 14

The second half of the SLVT quarterfinal round robin elimination will be held in Dire Strait on Saturday August 14, hosted by Golden Gate Yacht Club -SL.

The five skippers who will vie for a ticket to the Finals tomorrow are KazumaHs Destiny, Lynn Parkin, LDeWell Hawker, Amythest Wingtips, and Carmen Foden.

Don Berthios provided a nice graphic of the Match race sequence above, and the results are spreadsheeted here. The top two winners tomorrow will face Takabou Destiny and Armano Xaris for the final shootout on August 28!

Armano Xaris, Lynn Parkin, and Garrick Deisel win Round 6

SLVT QFinals begin

Following several weeks of SL-VT qualifying matches, last week’s six-hour Regatta at Free Adriatic marked the end of the open phase of competition.
A spare, final fleet of 10 finalists remained.
Courtesy of Naeve Rossini, here’s the SLVT ACA33 Dream-Team, and their club affiliations:

In the next few weeks this decade of determined competitors will go head-to-head to earn the ultimate ACA Match Race prize… the SLVT Trophy.

The quarterfinal competition will consist of two Round-Robins held on Aug 7 and Aug 14.
The two dates will hopefully provide wide, convenient options to the contestants (since they have real lives, too).

Two skippers will advance from each Quarterfinal Round-Robin;
In fact, Armano Xaris and Takabou Destiny already won First and Second Placein the initial Aug 7 Semifinal Round.
The other half of the dance card will play out next Saturday on Aug 14.
After the Aug 14 regatta, the final Fantastic Four Cast will reconvene on August 28th for a nine-race shoot-out that will determine the 2010 SL-VT Trophy winner.

Here’s the tentative layout for Aug 28:

Match Races 1-3: The First Place Skipper from Aug 7 (namely, Armano Xaris) will race against the Second Place Skipper from Aug 14 (TBD). The first skipper who wins two races will advance.
Match Races 4-6: The First Place Skipper from Aug 14 (TBD) will race against the Second Place Skipper from Aug 7 (namely, Takabou Destiny). The first skipper who wins two races will advance.

Match Races 7-9: The winning two skippers from the above rounds will compete against each other in three final races. The first skipper who wins two races will be named Regatta Champion, and win the SLVT Trophy.

Don will fill in the important details for the Final event over the next few days..

Finals Round Robin Aug 7

Here’s the layout for August 7’s semi-final Match Series. With five sailors matched against each other in a round robin, 10 races were scheduled.

Perhaps appropriately, the location for this and subsequent final events returned to Dire Strait and the Fedallah startline, the home waters of GGYC.

In some championship regattas, competing skippers might rightfully complain that the final race course gives advantage to the home team, or at least the fleet of skippers that commonly race there. Fedallah/ Dire Strait is fairly new, and could easily be vulnerable to that criticism.

Luckily however, Don is not a very quiet Commodore; in the past few months he’s held multiple ACA races and SLVT practice rounds in Dire, and SLVT Round 3 was hosted by GGYC as well. Any ACA skipper unfamiliar with Fedallah and Dire Strait… should first check to see if they have a pulse…

Having said that, the August 7 semifinal regatta racecourse was a bit more complicated than the typical, plain-vanilla, Windward/Leeward qualifying courses. This one included a fairly long upwind beat to the mark in Yojo, followed by a brief reach to Bildad.  The race boats then made a hairpin turn back to Stubb, potentially overlapping the course of any opponent following a short distance astern. The raceboats then took a clockwise turn at the mark in Stubb, and the boats subsequently fell on a multi-sim downwind run to the turn in Rachel. Once that was cleared, it was a fast broad reach home.

When I first looked at this course, I thought it was too big, too long, and maybe inappropriate for a match race. Grin…

Each time I look at it now, I see I was wrong. I now think it’s a remarkable economy of form. Yes, it takes most skippers over 10 minutes to complete, but take a look. That 10 minute course tests…  just about every skill any SL sailor has. Nice design work there, Commodore Don. If you win on that course, in 10 minutes you just showed the online world that you deserved to win.

August 7 Race Two: Astro and Takabou

OK, You know me, I talk too much. I would love to tell you about all the races, but maybe I should just tell you about one race I thought was pretty interesting. If I have time I promise to come back and tell you more!!

I know, I know, Armano Xaris came out #1 in this regatta… I’ll have plenty of time to tell you about Armano :-). Today, however I want to write about something else, the second race in the series. I thought it was the most exciting race of the day, and it pitted Takabou Destiny against Astro Marksman.

I’ve written about both of these skippers in previous articles. I know I’m grossly oversimplifying things, but after watching more than a year of race events, I think Takabou has extremely strong fundamental skills. He’s hard to beat unless you sail a perfect race or have a trick up your sleeve.

Speaking of tricks, Astro Marksman knows some good ones.  In Round Five I flipped through a few thousand individual frames from Astro’s races, watching him go toe-to-toe with Carmen and Gemma (the latter duo is often referred to as “the devil’s spawn” (but in a nice way, of course 🙂 ). Astro showed his stuff in that competition; he was as good on the water as it ever gets, and the high level of competition brought it out. If you doubt that, go back and look. Astro was incredible.

The Aug 7 Semifinals between Astro and Takabou proved an equally amazing matchup!!

The countdown in the Aug 7 Round-Robin was only two minutes long; very few finalists took advantage of that small window to pull out their heavy tactical weaponry. Astro, however, came at it loaded for bear. He looked as though he had waited two weeks in an over-caffeinated rush awaiting this confrontation, and he raised sail with guns blazing.

When the clock began it’s countdown, Astro tacked and turned brilliantly; it’s actually hard to imagine anyone but the Destiny Duo of Takabou and/or KazumaHs who could hold up against Astro’s intense onslaught. The boats jabbed and weaved, trading punches throughout the prestart. My static pictures can’t give you the whole story, so here’s the last 90 seconds of video, courtesy of elMegro Magic:

Let me also show you a few pictures from my own perspective. 🙂 Take a look below.

Both TD and AM were jockeying for starboard tack as they crossed near the green buoy (windward) end of the line near the end of the countdown. This could be called the “money start.” If you can pull this start off so you cross first on Starb at the windward buoy… you should earn a win. Both sailors knew this…

Look what happened next, however!!

Takabou ducked below the line, hoping to come in on a reach powered by full momentum; you can actually see him using this exact tactic in SLVT Round Two.

Armano’s also been working his pre-start tricks, however. This time he swings wide and stays lee of Takabou. Just as important, he uses the stationary Race Committee dinghy as an obstruction to box Takabou in. TD’s an excellent sailor, but TD slams into Astro’s Starboard Forequarter above. He actually has no choice; Astro set him up. As soon as the collision occurs, Astro smiles and calls PROTEST! Pretty great sailing, Astro!

Actually, sigh, for a moment it’s even worse than you think for poor Takabou… look below!!!

In order to avoid such an intimate collision contact with Astro that a transmissible disease might result, Takabou is forced to turn windward sooner than he wants, and actually crosses the line a fraction of a second ahead of the clock. He’s called ‘Over Early.” Takabou Destiny needs to go around again and re-cross the  start line… losing a full 30 seconds!

OK OK OK… any reasonable sailor at this point would be saying to themselves “Time to go home and practice for the next race.” This race was over and done, right?


My entire point writing about this race is to emphasize two things. the first is how remarkable and audacious Astro’s prestart maneuvering was; I was in the judges’ conference, and it was full of gasps, woots! and loud applause over Astro’s command of pre-start strategy.
What you did was simply brilliant 🙂 .

The trouble is, Astro was up against a salt-seasoned, expert, determined skipper. There was no chance Takabou Destiny would give up, no matter how far back or how disadvantaged. Takabou got a valid start, made a legal penalty turn, and roared off upwind following Astro, who by then was a few sims ahead.

Grin. There is an English phrase that applies here. I apologize to my friends in other countries, since the phrase may not make sense. Actually, after researching the origins, it apparently makes no sense in English either :-). Anyway:

” The opera’s not over till the fat lady sings.”

The picture above shows Astro, stalwart and in solo lead, rounding the yellow buoy in Bildad.

Yikes! He then lost direction and overturned, traveling south as he took a new sextant reading. We all know that lag in headings and boat control are often frustrating… and sometimes incapacitating. That apparently occurred in this case; Astro made a bad slip. (Sometime you just need to close your eyes and ‘Sail with the Force,’ ignoring your instruments)

Surprised Astro made a slip? Grin… Remember Takabou also made a bad slip ten sims earlier too. These are great skippers, but the pressue of a tough course, an expert opponent, and high wind speeds can often induce fatal errors.

Here’s a key point though… Takabou was still in the race and relentlessly trying to make up the lost distance. After the start line foul-up, that may have seemed folly to any observer; there was no chance Tak could beat Astro… unless Astro also made a mega mistake. Well, that happened in Bildad, and Takabou was in striking distance. He roared in, rounding the buoy flawlessly as shown above, ending up a full half sim ahead of Astro!!!

WOOT! What an incredible, sudden turn of events!

Did I say  incredible? Grin… maybe that’s an understatement. Neither skipper made any other error on the way home; these sailors are pros, the Best of the Best.

In 10 minutes, they proved what sailor racing and SL friendship are all about. A matched pair that showed sailing substance and true grit. Each sailed their own style, and each demonstrated “how it’s done.”

I think we all learned important lessons from Tak and Astro in Dire on Saturday  :-)!!!


The SLVTrophy is a grid-wide competition for ACA33 racers, inspired by the Real Life Vuitton Trophy events. Don Berithos and Roan Blackburn from Golden Gate Yacht Club have tirelessly promoted the concept in both SL and RL for many months, and the pieces are now falling together quite nicely.

During the first phase of the multi-week SLVT competition, individual clubs and sailing groups are invited to hold their own in-house races; each approved club can choose two skippers they want to represent them in a final regatta series that will take place in early August.

Liv Leigh helped don develop an organizational vision for the event; it includes a great “match template” that any other club is welcome to adopt, follow, or adapt to their own needs. It consists of  a simple round-robin match race shoot-out scheme that lets each club chose the “challenge skippers” to represent them for the August event.

However, if you want to be part of SVLT and use another format, or an entirely different selection method… hey, that’s ok too.  This is an interclub event, and its up to each interested sailing group to decide what they want, what they think works best, and what’s most fun for them. Having said that, let me also comment that I’m pretty sure only one date is still open for regatta qualifying matches, and that slot will almost certainly go fast this coming week. Please contact Don, Roan, Liv, or Jane, or maybe just post a note to ISailSL if you’d like your club involved during July.

Anyway, so far SL-VT’s held THREE qualifying  events. The first two were at Tradewinds and Mango. This weekend however GGYC held Round Three in Dire Strait, sailing from the new Linden  raceline in Fedallah. GGYC’s Commodore Don Berithos was in charge, and he decided on a bare-bones, up-down racecourse and a no-nonsense strait line elimination series, as shown below.

The first day of Round Three races were held on Saturday June 26 at 6:00am and 10:00am. Although the race track was modelled after a classic Windward-Leeward course, don chose a SouthEast wind for day one; that made the initial elimination trials a fairly easy “reach sail” in both directions.

Well, easy or not, the skippers sprang into action, ready to roll. Elizabet Foxtrot showed exactly how much enthusiasm the competition fleet shared… She sailed against Don B himself in the very first race, strait out of of the blocks at 6:00am. Don drew up the course and picked the wind.  Although Don sailed very well, Elizabet handily defeated him… on that very course Don himself drew up! ( 🙂 nice going Elizabet, and thanks for taking it so graciously, Don!).

The remainer of Saturday’s matches were just as intense, and by the end of Saturday racing, the only four skippers who remained standing were Colin Nesmeth, KazumaHs Destiny, Takabou Destiny, and Elizabet Foxtrot. they were all pretty fantastic, but the SLVT rules said GGYC could only name two of them to represent the Club in the grid-wide August finals. Sunday’s races were therefore critical; Sunday would determine which half of the Saturday, 4-way celebrity dance card would advance, and who might earn the right to fly the GGYC burgee in the SL-VT ultimate race-off next month.

No surprise, the Sunday races were rather excellent. I was particularly impressed that the spectator crowd took an active, detailed interest. One viewer posted a concerned comment Saturday night saying that the race course was designed as a Windward/Leeward challenge, but Saturday’s race wind was a reach. He argued that the choice of wind wasn’t the best test condition for Round Three.

Well… Kudos to don Berithos; he apparently saw the same problem and took those outside comments to heart. Sunday’s race wind was different, more difficult. It came from the southwest, forcing  all the boats to start on a classic upwind beat to the top mark in STUBB sim.

Grin. Did I say “Classic start” and ” Traditional, RL first leg upwind beat ?”
Well those words mean a lot to seasoned racers in RL and SL…
People with the skill, determination, and experience of Team Destiny.

When I realized there was a wind shift to the ‘usual, extra-tough upwind/downwind exercize,’ I imagined that change might only advantage a few people… those sailors who had the long-term experience and the hard-won knowledge from extensive practice on such a tough course. KazumaHs and Takabou Destiny have that hard-won insight and skill. Sunday’s race wind settings should have made the course more difficult. As proof, the Sunday finish times were a full 2-3 minutes longer than Saturday.  However, my guess is that experienced sailors in SL saw it differently. They were used to an upwind beat off the line, and also familiar with all the tribulations incurred from a return leg, downwind-dead-run duel with a challenging competitor on such a course. The change in wind settings seriously favored a leathery, SL-sunburned, salty sailor.

Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not say in any way it was unfair; in fact, quite the opposite. Changing the wind on Sunday to a classic Windward/ Leeward duel pushed the competitors to show their basic skills, and maybe even reveal a few tactics.  If you make the race conditions simple and classic, it suddenly becomes impossible  for any Skipper to win by ‘accident or mistake.’   A simple design forces the fleet to show their experience and skill.

I think I commented before, and quoted others as well stating the opinion that  “Team Destiny could win this whole regatta.”

Well ladies, gentlemen,
and sportsfans everywhere…
Today in Round Three,
KazumaHs Destiny and Takabou Destiny indeed won it all.
In fact,
they blew everyone else away in the process

You think maybe that says something for precision, skill, and practice? 🙂

Hey… I told you Team Destiny was Dangerous…

How Dangerous? Well even NIKE has a publc Service Announcement trying to stop Destiny, they sail so well. 🙂

Vodpod videos no longer available.

“Five Seconds to go, Destiny panics.”
I was there today, and all the other days.
Don’t count on it; Destiny doesn’t blink,
Team Destiny doesn’t panic.
Give them an opening… and they will WIN.

KazumaHs Destiny and Takabou Destiny win Round Three

Maybe we’d all be a bit better on land and faster on the water… with some Destiny in our lives.