Category Archives: Nantucket Yacht Club- SL

Francois Jacques

by Naeve Rossini

The first time I looked at a boat in SecondLife, it was at Starboards Yacht Club. Amidst all those boats, classic and modern, the one thing that caught
my interest and led me around the room relentlessly was this one hull, an orca hull.

I asked the designer if I could buy that hull and Caf said no in the gentlest way possible. “It’s a custom,” he said, assuring me that I could make my own. That sealed the deal. I bought a custom hull for my ACA before I had even bought an ACA.

A month later, having seen Orca Flotta around a few times but disappointed that she never dropped her lovely Orca ACA, I found myself at the Nantucket
Yacht Club line for a race when Francois Jacques dropped that magical hull into the water. I knew then that I would like her, though as a total n00b, I was afraid to approach her.

I don’t know how it came to pass–my memory is muddy with so much learning at the time–but somehow I ended up as a race director for NYC and that’s
when I truly discovered who Francois was: commodore, companion and cheerleader.

She was and is a great friend and a consummate leader. She empowered me, as she did with everyone under her charge, as if I were her own child. She
pushed me to grow, to take chances, to push beyond my limits. If I had an idea, no matter how hare-brained, her first words were to encourage me to
develop it further and make it happen.

In the moments where we weren’t up to something–weren’t scheming the next tournament or building the next boat–we would take time out for her other
great love: vanity. We shopped for skins and clothes and visited so many stores. While she was the great chameleon, I was looking for my perfect look.
We would search and search.

And then she’d have her silly moments, where it seemed like she wasn’t a Serious Business Commodore of a yacht club and instead was a gleeful child on
Christmas morning. I remember getting weird toys dropped on me at utterly random moments. The jet pack. The hovercraft. That… thing I can’t describe.

Francois Jacques was all of this and more. She had a quiet dignity about her that was unquestionable. She would be the eye in the middle of the hurricane. She was the best friend anyone could hope for.

She kept her illness far away from SecondLife and I can’t help but think that we were her calm in the storm of her life, where things should could not control were asserting themselves. We were her refuge, her happy place, and for that I am honoured and privileged to have been a part of her life and she a part of mine.

I love Francois. I wish I had told her when she was alive. I never thought she wouldn’t be there. If I could have anything, I’d want that moment to tell her that and to let her know that I could be just a fraction of who she is… well, then that would be something, wouldn’t it?

Fair winds, Francois. I’ll see you on the water.

-Naeve

Benny Does Woodstock At NYC June 30!

Fashion Statement

If, unlike Chaos Mandelbrot, you had your eyes open during the Solstice races, you probably saw this month’s latest fashion statement. Most of the race fleet were wearing Woodstock teeshirts!

Francois Jacques made a wonderful pledge to donate $10,000 to Sail4Life if a race team wore her teeshirt advertising Woodstock the next S4L fundraiser, and everyone took her up on it!

It was the same thing during last night’s Leeward Cruise; loads of cruise-heads showed up to sail wearing Woodstock tees, and Jes Kattun even came decked-out in something she rezzed from back in the 1960s (that’s Jes’s backside below). 🙂

Benny’s Woodstock

So what’s up with WOODSTOCK? Well, it’s a twelve hour non-stop party at NYC this Saturday June 30 with a Woodstock theme, and it’s all to support Cancer Research!

Wait; I’ll let Benny and Francois tell you about it:

Come have fun while experiencing the famous 1969 music festival and contribute to the fight against cancer! “Benny’s Woodstock” is a 12 hr. 1960’s themed Sail for Life party to be held at Nantucket Yacht Club from 9AM to 9PM on June 30, 2012.

Experience a virtual recreation of the “Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music” held on Yasgur’s farm in upstate New York from August 15 to August 18, 1969. Dance and donate to original music performed by Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez, Santana, Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, CSN&Y, Jimi Hendrix and others compiled by BennyThe Boozehound.

Take the stage dressed as your favorite artist (low prim guitars/instruments only, please). Take a dip in a fresh water pond or play in the mud. Camping and medical attention provided.

Matching donations: you donate 1$L and 3$L or more L$ will be donated to the cause during select songs. Boat/nautical prizes for best psychedelic costumes. Drop in and drop out. Bring your friends!

“Benny’s Woodstock” is a joint NYC/TrYC Production, brought to you by Francois Jacques (Producer), Charlz Price (set), Fiona Haworth (set & scripts) and Runa McMillan (choreography and graphics).

*Music researched and presented by BennyThe Boozehound.*

 So, if you’re still having acid flashbacks, you still worry “Is Paul dead?”, and if you get stock tips from Satan by playing old vinyl records backwards, NYC is the place for you this Saturday!

Solstice Challenge Begins

Click to enlarge

Today the S4L Solstice Challenge officially opened, with a Regatta Party hosted by Elbag Gable in Eden Celebration sim. The event was rather wondrous, and well-deserved Kudos go to Elbag and all the great people in Eden, North Sea, and Fruit Islands!

And what a party it was! The first hour was a rather incredible lightshow by Tyrehl. It was so popular that at one point a full 67 people were crowded into the sim! (I didn’t think that was possible!)

courtesy of Dil Spitz

The second hour was a performance by Lightning’s ABBA tribute in SL, held at the Eden concert stage. It was a pretty fantastic kick-off to the weekend of sailboat racing coming up!

Chaos slept through it 🙂

As most readers know, Solstice Challenge is a weekend race regatta to raise contributions for Relay For Life, one of the major SL fundraisers. There are sixteen great teams sailing in SOLSTICE, and each paid a donation “entry fee” to join the race. Many others in the sailing community then generously chipped in too, matching the racer’s contributions or paying to sponsor boats, greatly increasing the fundraising total.

The response has been pretty great so far, but hey, you can still donate any time you want over the weekend to support your favorite team or the whole fleet. There will be Sail4Life kiosks at all the spectator platforms for each race!

Here’s a list of the teams that will be racing on Saturday in four timeslots. Each qualifying event is hosted by a different SL Yacht Club, and the timeslot fleet will sail that club’s home water. The four timeslot winners will then meet on Sunday morning in Sailors Cove for a FINALS shootout to pick the regatta winner!

click to enlarge

Nemo 2 Interview

Last year Nomad Zamani and Glida Pilote got together and crafted Nemo, a six meter keel-boat inspired by the Laser and Flying Fifteen. Well, Nomad and Glida are at it again; they recently launched Nemo 2, a truly innovative  pocket-racer.

Nemo’s creators kindly agreed to talk about their new build on MetaverseSailing, and their interview is posted below!

*****

JFos: Hi; thank you for taking time to talk about your new boat!
Perhaps we can review some basic nuts-and-bolts first, since many readers may not be familiar with Nemo.
Can you tell us why you decided to build the original Nemo? After all, there were several other dinghy racers available at that time, and there are even more now. What was your goal when you started this project?

Nemo: We wanted to make a boat that would encourage new people to try sailing in SL, particularly beginners. There were already free boats available, but we felt that they all had aspects that reduced their appeal somewhat (time limited, quirky styling, or whatever). So we made a sleek, good-looking boat that was fun to sail and easy to use, and that didn’t delete itself after a certain time. Now, in mid October 2011, distribution is fast-approaching an amazing 10,000 free Nemos.

JFos: I knew the first version of Nemo was popular; in fact I’m still using a Nemo Race pic as the banner for this website. 🙂

Nemo: I’ve always liked that picture – it says “shared fun on the water,” which is what it’s all about.

JFos: Wow, 10,000 free Nemos, I guess I never really appreciated how popular the boat turned out! That actually raises my next question, why did you decide to upgrade that boat to Nemo 2?

Nemo: Nemo 1 was based on the early Tako sailing engine, and an update was always on the cards, but we wanted to launch the boat to gauge interest. The response was good, so work on Nemo 2 started within a few weeks, and took about a year and a half. The main aim with Nemo 2 was better realism. There was no particular reason to release Nemo 2 now, other than the feeling that it was time to do it – that a significant milestone had been reached. There are still some ideas to come, and we’re planning to do some incremental releases to phase them in.

JFos: The original Nemo came in two flavors: a basic version for free, and an upgrade version that sailors could purchase for a small charge. Have you continued that arrangement for Nemo 2?

Nemo: No, there is now only one version. The reason for the free and retail versions of Nemo 1 was to give us a way to estimate the number of ‘conversions’ – people who tried the free boat and took enough interest to buy the low cost retail version. For Nemo 2, we reconsidered. Since the primary purpose of the Nemo is still to attract new people to sailing, and because most newbies don’t have any money, we elected to drop the retail aspect – it’s more encouraging to give them full access to all of the boat’s features right away. It also means that there is only one version of the boat to produce, so development effort can be focused in more productive areas.

JFos: Nemo is free? 🙂 Pardon me, but lets have a 30 second break here, so sailors can stand up and applaud Nomad and Glida. 🙂
I think we know that sailors don’t go to heaven, they’re too crusty and foul-mouthed for that… but if Nemo’s free, maybe you two deserve a special pass. 🙂
You’ll have to stand in line behind the builders of the free Shelly, BBK, and Fizz that came earlier, but wow that’s not bad company. 🙂 Nice work!

Nemo vendors

JFos: OK, lets continue… Where can sailors get Nemo 2? I hear that estate owners can get Nemo vendors; what’s the arrangement for that?

Nemo: Nemo 2 and its vendors are all free. The official Nemo display (Nemo HQ) is at Nantucket Yacht Club, but anyone can get a boat from any Nemo vendor, or from any Nemo (the boats themselves also function as vendors). Estate owners are more than welcome to rez a vendor at their dock, their training area, in their shopping mall, etc.

JFos: That should make them very popular!

JFos: Let’s now talk about a few Nemo 2 details, ok? How has Nemo 2’s appearance changed? Is it the same boat, or new features?

Nemo: The Nemo is still a very pretty 6m keelboat with a single sail. The basic shapes have not changed, but it does have new sails with distinctive radial stripes in a selection of bold colours, and the crew now lean in and out with heel. Other changes are more subtle, like the wind type indicator around the base of the mast, and the round trim indicator in the top half of the bulkhead instrument. We are currently working on sculpted sail shaping which will be in a forthcoming update.

JFos: Are there changes to the underlying build? I understand the new boat is now ‘Mod,’ and prims are user adjustable.

Nemo: While the basic construction is the same, Nemo 2 combines the two variants of Nemo 1, with extra flexibility into the bargain. It now has both race wind wind and a simpler (but much more sophisticated) ‘rez and sail’ type of wind, and has modify permissions. We’ve added a Settings notecard for defining custom preferences, the sail textures are full perms, and the more enterprising customizers could even replace the crew animations if they wanted.

JFos: Any thoughts about Mesh in your future? 🙂

Nemo: We’re aware of Mesh, but it’s very early days for that technology, and many current viewers are not compatible with it. It does have potential, however.

JFos: I suspect you are right. I can add here that my first tests of the Nemo 2 production release had a ‘glitch’ when I rezzed it under Firestorm. In case others experience this, the problem wasn’t the boat, it was a Server / Firestorm issue, and it spontaneously fixed after two days. Thank you to Nomad for helping me trouble shoot the problem; the Nemo crew get an ‘A’ for tech support.

JFos: OK, let’s talk Nemo 2 performance issues. 🙂 Is the script load the same? What’s changed?

Nemo: It’s hard to gauge script load in a boat  that has multiple scripts, or to compare with an earlier boat that has different characteristics. When Nemo 1 was made, certain commands weren’t available, which influenced the scripting structure. With new commands available to Nemo 2, there are fewer scripts doing more work, and some very small new scripts appeared (like the collision sound handlers). Script optimizations also help things to run more efficiently. A key aspect of Nemo is that it has always been geared towards low lag – it is not controlled using chat listeners or gestures, and there is no external hud. Suffice to say, Nemo 2 feels very responsive.

JFos: I chatted with Armano Xaris yesterday. He’s a skilled racer and highly analytical sailor. He gave me a head’s-up about the Nemo 2 wind system, and Armano thought it was pretty great. Can you tell us what he was talking about? What did you do to the wind? 🙂

Nemo: Oh, not much… …apart from completely reinvent it from the ground up. 🙂

JFos: This sounds like a big topic. Does Nemo 2 have Wind Shadow?

Nemo: Yes. The new wind system began as an experiment in implementing wind shadow that was ultra low lag. I wanted to avoid the exponential chat lag that many boats suffer from, and to be free from restrictions like chat range and sensor limits. So I networked the wind shadow. In essence, the boats to talk to a separate server rather than each other, which adds up to a dramatic reduction in the load on the SL systems, and the scope to build a far more sophisticated shadow model.

JFos: Tell us about ‘Global’ wind settings.

Nemo: There are no settings – you simply rez and sail. The boat can still use race wind (and now restore it after a crash), but global wind is a different thing entirely. The server extracts wind data from a real world weather buoy, and uses this to create a wind profile – sequences of gusts and shifts – that is made available to all boats in real time. The profile has random elements, but is consistent for all boats. The chance of the pattern of gusts and shifts repeating is effectively zero. Nobody, including me, can predict when the next puff is going to happen, or how strong it will be.

JFos: What does networked wind do that current methods don’t?

Nemo: A networked wind system can be developed in the background without having to revise the boats, and it has scope for introducing features that are impractical in implementations that are based solely on in-world scripts.
The wind profile can be refined, and other subtle wind/boat effects can be added. The first step has been taken to model local variations due to terrain – we are currently experimenting with land shadow. This is not a preconfigured system like that used in the WWC wind setters, it is real time. The lee side of an island or building moves around with the current wind. Even when the wind veers slightly during a gust, there will be subtle changes in the shape and position of the land shadow.
The client/server architecture also means that other client types can be introduced – they don’t have to be boats. There is a wind sock at NYC that reacts to the current global wind, and we have a prototype live race map that can show the positions of boats registered for a race as they sail around the course.

JFos: The first Nemo used a modified Apparent Wind calculation; Wildwind boats do a similar same thing. I appreciate this is a five year-long discussion that dates back to issues with the Tako, but its an important performance issue. Is Nemo 2’s ‘Apparent Wind Adjustment’ the same as the original Nemo?

Nemo: The scaling to compensate for Tako speeds has gone – Nemo 2 has apparent wind done right. For example, I recently experienced some sudden lulls in global wind. For a few moments, the boat’s momentum carried it forward at a higher speed relative to the now-lighter wind. The apparent wind suddenly moved forward quite a lot, and gradually moved back as the boat slowed in line with the lighter wind. This is exactly what should happen. I didn’t think about this when I programmed the app wind code – all I did was crunch the vectors and trigonometry. When I first saw it, I had one of those moments where you go, “now, why did that…. of course!”

JFos: Have you changed the wind engine polar in Nemo 2?

Nemo: The sailing engine has been rewritten from scratch. There isn’t really a polar as such, but a mathematical function that defines the boat’s characteristic power transfer curve for all points of sail. From this, the boat’s actual speed is influenced by the size of the sail, the amount of heel, sail trim, etc. A less obvious factor is wind speed – Nemo 2 has windage and will drift to leeward, so even though a stronger wind can make it go faster, the effect is non-linear – leeward drift aids you on a run, but works against you on a beat.
So, the boat does have a polar, but it is by no means ‘programmed in’ in a simple way. The entire engine is mathematical (there are no lookup tables), and while the dynamic factors have been modeled with a certain amount of independence from each other, they do interact. For instance, heel affects speed, but not directly – greater heel increases water drag, and drag affects speed. It’s nearly impossible to predict the behavior of a system built like this, so the development of the engine was done empirically – the dynamics were adjusted and tuned over many weeks to home in on a boat that felt right overall. I don’t actually know what the polars are, and it would be fascinating to see the curves for different non-varying wind speeds (and especially a comparison of the two sail sizes as the wind gets stronger).

JFos: Sailing in SL is sometimes wondrous, but frankly it often falls short of our expectations. What do you hope will change this coming year to improve sailing on SL’s grid?

Nemo: I bet you say that to all the boat builders, and I bet they all say: ‘better sim crossings’. 🙂
I’d like to see the principles behind global wind gain traction because I think the wind setter model is becoming dated. Anyone that has sailed in RL knows that nobody controls the wind – that race courses are chosen to suit the conditions rather than picking wind to suit the courses. The problem with the latter (aside from being rather bizarre to a RL sailor) is that things can get very samey – when you sail the same courses in the same wind, week in, week out, you end up being able to predict your tacks and gybes to the Nth degree. You can even use navigation tools to set waypoints for the turns you will make next week, or next month. Real sailing is not predictable and repetitive, it is a dynamic activity where things change constantly – the notion that you can practice a course that you will be racing in a week’s time simply doesn’t exist.
If SL wind had been done properly from the start, there would never have been a need to invent wind setters. The wind would have been accepted for what it is, Hay Ah’s excellent new rotating start line would have been invented long before now, and it would be natural for every sailor to know the rules of the road because every boat would be sailing in the same wind. I honestly feel that, while the wind setter model was necessary in its day, the legacy wind technology in SL is heading towards a dead end. It lacks scope for better realism, dynamism and expansion. I doubt that LL will ever fix SL wind, so my view is that, if it’s our world, our imagination, then it’s up to us to take the technology forward.
Nemo 2 and its Windmaster networked wind system is a major step towards this. By demonstrating that the technology really can be built, it will hopefully inspire others to try similar systems. Indeed, I have already had some interesting conversations with others who see the possibilities that this approach offers and want to learn more.
Over the next year, I would like to see other developers investigate networked systems with a view to eventually building something that can be used by all boats in SL. I don’t think we’ll see global wind for all within a year (it is not a trivial undertaking), but learning the systems and techniques, and possibly building the foundations of such a system, could be achieved. For Nemo, the focus will be to develop the boat further and continue enhancing the Windmaster system – and maybe do some sailing that isn’t just thinly disguised testing!

JFos: Well, those are tall orders, but they give sailors great goals to set and work for. I certainly hope they get get realized too.
Thank you for sharing your ideas, and thank you for Nemo. 🙂
I learned a lot today. 🙂

***

Addendum (JFos): There are several free boats available to new sailors in SL. Although they are free, please never think they are low-tech or ‘dumbed-down’ compared to other SL sailcraft. The Flying Fizz, the Shelly, and the BBK are all great boats with innovative, pretty wonderful scripting. It looks like Nemo 2 now joins that select group.

There’s a common saying: “Money can’t buy you love.” Well, it looks like Nomad and Glida proved it again. Nemo 2 is indeed a boat to love… but it comes free,  so it’s not so simple. You’ll need to sail with Nemo, earn the affection, and build a relationship.
My guess is that could take a full two or three minutes, depending on which of Hay Ah’s racelines is doing the countdown.

By then you’ll be hopelessly in love with this little boat. 🙂

Reprise: Epi and Oli Split Friday Takos

Two of my best friends… in fact, two people who were the best friends of every sailor they ever met in SL… are now gone forever. We all share their loss.

I feel blessed for the brief chance I had to know Epi and Oli well, and the opportunity I had through SL to share their wisdom, humor, and nobility.
Three and a half years ago at the end of a usual work-week, they got together and did a fun Tako race. Here’s the reprise recap.
Epi, Oli…

I liontaib Dé go ghcastar simm.

This article was originally posted to SLSailing.com on Oct 27, 2007

Glida Pilote is usually in charge of the Friday Tako Races at NYC. However this week, while Glida is away, this supreme responsibility fell to Jane Fossett and Oliphant Ming.

Although Glida often serves up a Friday menu of marathon courses and Force ten winds, Fossett opted for a kinder, gentler race dancecard, chosing four races on the B-1a course, each with NYC’s Standard wind (spd 11).  With unanimous consent, the Friday race sequence commenced…

Epicurus Emmons, Francois Jacques, Liv Leigh, Yuukie Onmura, Daizy Dovgal, Orca Flotta and Oliphant Ming all raced. Jane Fossett crewed while trying to find a no.2 pencil to keep track of the scores.

In the first race, Oli got over the line first, followed a few seconds later by Francois Jacques, then Yuukie Onmura. Here’s a great view of Yuukie chasing Francois:

As the first race progressed, Oli’s long experience at the tiller proved overpowering and his lead  inexorably widened. Oli took Race One with more than a minute to spare over Francois’ second place score. Yuukie finished immediately behind Francois, and Daizy Dovgal came in thirty seconds later.

Race Two: At this point, late as usual, Epicurus Emmons showed up, rezzing a distinctive tako with red sails and a wood hull. Before the fleet could inquire about Epi’s boatyard expenses to maintain that wood hull, the warning gun for the second race went off, and the fleet raised sail. This time Francois Jacques was first across the startline at 00:00 followed very quickly by the rest of the race fleet, with Epi bringing up the rear.

Epi skillfully made up for the bad start and gradually moved forward in the pack until he captured the lead at the final turn. Epi burst across the line in first place, and was immediately followed by Oli, Francois, and Yuukie. Daizy Dovgal and Liv Leigh took the fifth and sixth spots.

Race Three: In the third race, Oli changed strategy and approached the start line on a port tack, while the rest of the fleet used a more traditional starboard tack. Oli’s gambit to run for open water failed, however, when Epi and Liv Leigh made it over the line first, effectively blocking Oli’s path. Oli didn’t mind; with only miliseconds to spare he came about and fell in parallel, leeward to the lead boats. Here’s a snapshot of Oli about to make his ‘port tack’ gamble; you can see Liv and Epi waiting for him:

Once over the line, the boats beat windward, jockeying for position in Bougainville Strait. Here’s a great picture of Daizy Dovgal’s orange #53DD Tako. Daizy was caught in the twilight zone just past the “End of World” warning line; Francois Jacques moved her #08FJ tako in parallel, stealing the wind and blocking Daizy’s chance to tack free. Daizy had little choice but to bounce off the sim edge:

08FJ steals the wind from 53DD

As the boats moved south on the second leg of the B-1a course, Oliphant Ming’s tacking and sheet skills dominated, and he built a commanding lead. Here’s a bird’s eye view of the downwind run through the Solomon Sea, with Oli out front. Like a row of ducklings, the other five Takos line up to stern.

Oli went on to win the race, with Epi, Francois, and Yuukie following. A surprising duel then developed between Daizy Dovgal and Liv Leigh in the last leg, as they made the dash around the final red marker towards the finish. With textbook good sailing and a few tactical moves, Daizy finally pulled ahead, finishing scant seconds in front of Liv.

Race Four: Although the entire fleet put on a display of tight, confident sheet and sail skills, the final race of the day belonged to Epicurus Emmons from start to finish. First over the start line, he caught open air put it to good use. Here’s a view of Epi’s familiar red sail at the start, with Francois and Daizy to starboard and just behind.

Here’s a view of Yuukie and Daizy chasing Epi’s tail on the long board reach down the east shore of Bella Lavella:

And finally, here comes Epi on the final homeward lap. He lead the pack with nearly a minute to spare, followed by Francois, Yuukie, and Daizy:

It was a great conclusion to a wonderful week of racing!


Outreach and Outposts

Second Wind Kudos

Sailing in Second Life can be pretty confusing and intimidating for new skippers. If you’ve never sailed in real life, it’s easy to get bogged down and totally lost in all the sailor jargon,  variable boat features, and multiple wind physics algorithms. Actually, my guess is it takes a few weeks for most people just to figure out that “sheeting” refers to sail adjustment, not what’s on top of a sex bed! 🙂

I suspect many SL users shy away from Sailing because it appears to have a steep learning curve. It often seems hard to find quick, unbiased, and fun resources where you can get answers to embarrassingly simple questions.

Many sailing groups reach out to help new sailors. Starboards holds “Learn to Sail” classes every Sunday, Bea Woodget has the Sailing Academy, and there are many other classes and resources to help new and old sailors gain more confidence on the water. Even while I was writing this post, I received notices that Elbag Gable was teaching Beginner Instruction at Fruit Islands, and LDeWell Hawker was following Elbag’s act with a Racing Class! 🙂

Today however, I want to give a special shout-out to three people who recently took a few additional steps that may make sailing more accessible to everyone. Well-deserved kudos go to Francois Jacques, Charlz Price and Fiona Haworth, who  together launched a Second Wind initiative that promotes sailing to the large SL community.

If you’re reading this, hopefully you’ve already seen the video they produced with Surfwidow’s creative skills; it’s pretty fantastic and deserves a replay:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The goal of the video is simple; to let SL users know a well-kept secret: Sailing is the most fun, the least expensive… and yes, the most addictive thing anyone can do in Second Life. 🙂 

Building on that simple, obvious message, the Second Wind Troika is setting up outposts on the grid that serve multiple purposes, including:

– Rez points, where SL users can learn about sailing and get a flood of free information.
– access to free boats and time-limited boat trials, so new users may get a wealth of  unbiased options to choose from.
– lists of yacht clubs, marinas, and yacht yards where sailors can get more info, and the latest updates.

So far there are two Second Wind stations, both in Sansara.  The first is located in Fudo near the new expanded Sansara sailing waters. It’s dedicated to Epicurus Emmons, and I’m pretty sure someplace dear Epi has a big grin… it’s exactly what he always believed in. Please go stop by, and see if you agree:

Epi Sailing Resource Center, Fudo (19, 35, 22)
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Fudo/20/35/22

The other Resource Center is located on the East shore of Sea of Fables, near where Suzanne Zeluco, Extreme Riders Japan, and Far East Yacht Club all had outposts in past years.

Three Pines Sailing Resource Center, Owasco (46, 247, 22)
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Owasco/47/247/22

Three Pines - click to enlarge

It’s a really great spot that stands in tribute to both SL Sailing history and the current fleet of wondrous, global skippers. It’s location also celebrates the great new sailing opportunities that Lindens helped build in Sansara waters this past year.

Go stop by; I guarantee you’ll get a lot of free stuff, as well as a ton of propaganda about how great sailing is. 🙂 You’ll also get exhaustive lists of places to cruise, to race, and to get more info, or maybe to just tie up and dance, grid-wide. 🙂

(Note: if you have a place to add to the info lists, please contact Francois, Charlz or Fiona!)

LEEWARD CRUISING CLUB OUTPOSTS

As I said in my opening comments, there are a variety of initiatives to expand Sailing in Second Life, started by many great people. The Second Wind / Come Sail With Us idea is notable because it emphasizes the wide extent of sailing resources in SL, and it works closely with many others to support the diversity of SLSailing opportunities. As just one example, Second Wind’s two Resource Center are also Leeward Cruising Club Outposts.

As most sailors know, Leeward Cruising Club is a pretty wonderful group originally started by Tory Micheline and Manul Rotaru. They were trying to encourage organized, open-water cruises for fun. Their focus was on group sailing, and it was never linked to any club or ‘race competition.’ They left nobody on the dock. 🙂

After all, in real life the vast majority of sailors spend their time cruising, not racing. In RL and SL, they want to enjoy the company of so many global skippers they count as friends. They can’t do that if they are always competing on a race line.

Over considerable time and with much persistence Tory and Manul’s goal proved valid. Their fleet grew and the fun was contagious. It expanded to pretty-much every new spot a fleet could rez in SL!

Last year, Kittensusie Lander, Cate Foulsbane, and Chaos Mandelbrot took over, and woots! LCC expanded and grew even faster! I recall hosting one of their events where… no kidding… Fifty-two boats rezzed.

(Thank god Debelox sim had over 12,000 free prim!)

As I said, that was just last year; this year it’s even better. There are several cruises each week, and they follow fun courses that link great new ports many sailors might not know about. LCC fixes that, and conjoins a whole flotilla of newbies and old salts that laugh the evening away together.

Since Second Wind’s Resource Centers are also Leeward Cruising Rez sites and sailing docks, let me take this chance to add the current list of LCC spots below!

Here is a somewhat modified version of the notecard list provided by Kitten and Cate inworld this past week. Any errors are mine, transcribing their info; the text and all the hard work is theirs!

From Kitten and Cate, 11 April 2011

These areas are open for anyone to rezz their boats and explore the surrounding waters. This document will be updated when new Outposts are made available.

Corsica:

click to enlarge

Marina Sport Racer Sailing Club , Ghloogums (58, 180, 25)
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Ghloogums/58/181/25

Pendelton Resort – Marina I – CH, Charleville (163, 142, 21)
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Charleville/163/143/21

SLCG Baitoushan Airport Station, Baitoushan (164, 9, 21)
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Baitoushan/165/9/21

Marina Sport Racer Sailing Club , Skyridge (217, 27, 21)
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Skyridge/218/28/22

St Exupery Airport and Club, Gorgonzola (82, 200, 22)
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife//83/201/22

Telling Marine Queck 120,16,21
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Queck/119/20/21

Leeward CC, Twisster (24, 187, 20)
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Twisster/25/187/21

Peachy Beach, Plumpton (146, 36, 21)
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife//147/36/22

LCC Outpost, Sheershank, Gaeta V, Sheershank (134, 240, 21)
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife//135/240/21

Nautilus and the Islands to the east

Thistle Cove, Tsurington (117, 55, 21)
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Tsurington/117/55/22

LCC Outpost @ The OrCafe, Devilbrook (37, 189, 22)
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Devilbrook/38/190/23

Club Palladium @Beach Pad , Nuclear (2, 177, 21)
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Nuclear/3/178/21

Yacht Club Annex, Thorkell (243, 230, 21)
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife//244/230/21

DomusLand – Twice Bitten (25, 41, 21)
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Twice%20Bitten/26/41/21

Emillie Designs Marine Store/MOU, Raimondo (200, 124, 21)
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Raimondo/200/124/22

Abi’s Wharf, Tails (52, 30, 21)
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Tails/53/30/22

EVES Light house and Gallery, Dooknock (172, 154, 21)
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Dooknock/172/155/22

Fran’s 512 – Chaos house , Oleg (17, 178, 21)
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Oleg/17/179/22

Abi’s Wharf 2, Tordangle (218, 11, 21)
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Tordangle/219/12/22

Wicked Good, Nantucket Yacht Club (242, 117, 21)
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Nantucket%20Yacht%20Club/243/117/21

Martinique, Martinique (209, 158, 20)
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Martinique/209/158/21

Sansara

Bitterend & Threesheets Cruising, Marunogere (83, 39, 21)
Wicked Good Too, Marunogere (66, 26, 21)
(these two Outposts are situated adjacent to each other)
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife//66/26/21

Rydal Outpost, Rydal (231, 15, 24)
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Rydal/231/15/25

LCC Outpost Kaminari/Sansara, Kaminari (241, 81, 22)
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Kaminari/242/81/22

Yacht Club Annex, Horseshoe (31, 179, 87)
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Horseshoe/31/179/87

Yacht Club Annex, Wingo (134, 178, 28)
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Wingo/135/179/28

Foulsbane’s Folly, Miller (96, 233, 81)
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife//96/234/82

Svan (208,208) Moderate 2048m Wa, Svan (224, 212, 22)
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife//225/212/23

Companion’s Point, Snout (205, 27, 21)
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Snout/205/27/21

Jeogeot

Telling Marine, Caragana (226, 236, 20)
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Caragana/226/236/21

ZINDRA

SLCG Station Ursula Bay
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Villareal/74/210/22

In addition, LCC also has a Group Joiner at the Freebie Mall in Droomeiland.
Droomeiland – houses for rent, p, Droomeiland (226, 183, 21)
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Droomeiland/227/183/21

It is our hope to eventually have LCC Outposts on all the major continents. If anyone is willing to let us use their land as an Outpost (especially in the Gaeta V and Heterocera Atoll continents), please contact Kittensusie Landar, Cate Foulsbane or Chaos Mandelbrot.

All we require is a rezzable area for our boats, and a stream that can be changed to our DJ for when we party there. If you would allow us to plant an LCC flag and a group joiner there too, that would be even betterer….. Thank you 🙂

Kittensusie Landar

ONE WORLD at NYC January 21-22

Click (or double click) to enlarge

Nantucket Yacht Club- SL will host the next Round of ONE WORLD. The weekend of racing will start with a Regatta Party on Friday January 21 at 2:00pm, followed by a series of races in the four timeslots listed above.

Here’s the racechart, courtesy of Gemma Vuckovic and Francois Jacques.

Here’s the setting for the startline wind:
cruise wind dir 170 deg
cruise wind speed 20 kn
cruise wind gusts 4%
cruise wind shifts 10 deg
cruise wind rate 1.0

Click (or double click) to enlarge

Good Luck to all the great ONE WORLD Race Teams!!

Over-The-Line, Thirty, and Confused

This week I’ve been writing a lot about the July 12 SLVT Qualifying Matches. The races were remarkable, and the skippers displayed a high level of skill that truly pushed some limits of SL Sailing. One example was the skippers’ use of the start line as a tactical aid to outmaneuver opponents during the three minute prestart. Carmen Foden won Race Three essentially before it began when she skillfully pushed Glorfindel Arrow over the line during the final seconds of the countdown. A somewhat similar issue also occurred in Race Four between Gemma Vuckovic and Astro Marksman.

However, in both of those matches the post-race Penalty Committee disqualified skippers for start line errors, citing the SLVT Regatta Rules, the RRS-SL, and RRS Rule 30.1. (The Rules for Sunday’s Round Five Regatta were also posted here on Metaverse).

The trouble is that neither the SLVT Regatta Rules or the RRS-SL actually discuss Start Rule details or how they should be applied. That’s not really an error, however, since over-early rules rarely come up in ACA racing, and the prior three SLVT events were pretty tame and orderly. Last Sunday, however, that all changed! 🙂 As LDeWell Hawker put it,

“We actually saw sailors go ‘hunting’ for their opponent hoping to draw a infraction giving the opponent the dilemma of a penalty to be completed after the start.”

This certainly wasn’t a bad thing; actually it was a very exciting development and made the races pretty fantastic to watch. Carmen Foden herself confirmed Hawk’s impression:

I was out for prestart blood in the races… I’ve lost all the large events I’ve entered due to poor starts so I figured I’d mix it up to gain an advantage on the line without going over early. … Sunday was me showing off 3 months of practice…
I had so much fun hunting Astro; I was out to draw prestart fouls.
I think Astro was too.”

Carmen’s right; I spoke with Astro, and he strongly agreed the prestart sparring match added an important dimension to the races. In fact, you can see a video of Astro practicing his prestart match tactics here.

My point (as if I ever had any point) is just that emerging prestart tactics make it important for race organizers to clarify the “Start Rules.”

In case you doubt that, since Sunday I’ve asked more than a dozen avid ACA33 racers a pretty simple question: If you cross the Start line early, do you have to go around an end buoy before recrossing the line?” I received at least six different answers. That might sound surprising, considering it’s a ‘yes/no‘ question, but remember: We’re talking Sailboat Racing. 🙂

Thirty-something

The basic ISAF Start Rule is Rule 30:

30 STARTING PENALTIES

30.1 I Flag Rule
If flag I has been displayed, and any part of a boat’s hull, crew or equipment is on the course side of the starting line or one of its extensions during the last minute before her starting signal, she shall thereafter sail from the course side across an extension to the prestart side before starting.

30.2 Z Flag Rule
If flag Z has been displayed, no part of a boat’s hull, crew or equipment shall be in the triangle formed by the ends of the starting line and the first mark during the last minute before her starting signal. If a boat breaks this rule and is identified, she shall receive, without a hearing, a 20% Scoring Penalty calculated as stated in rule 44.3(c). She shall be penalized even if the race is restarted or resailed, but not if it is postponed or abandoned before the starting signal. If she is similarly identified during a subsequent attempt to start the same race, she shall receive an additional 20% Scoring Penalty.

30.3 Black Flag Rule
If a black flag has been displayed, no part of a boat’s hull, crew or equipment shall be in the triangle formed by the ends of the starting line and the first mark during the last minute before her starting signal.If a boat breaks this rule and is identified, she shall be disqualified without a hearing, even if the race is restarted or resailed, but not if it is postponed or abandoned before the starting signal. If a general recall is signalled or the race is abandoned after the starting signal,the race committee shall display her sail number before the next warning signal for that race, and if the race is restarted or resailed she shall not sail in it. If she does so, her disqualification shall not be excluded in calculating her series score.

There’s a wide range of interpretation of the above rules in both Real Life and in racing emulations. For example, the Percy Priest Yacht Club in USA (A club I picked totally at random) covers Rule 30 by saying simply that any over-early boat needs to go back and re-cross the line. There’s no discussion of  ‘end buoys.’

In SL Sailing that simplified interpretation doesn’t work very well, however. It’s fairly easy for an unrestricted SL skipper to game the system by sailing directly down the middle of the Start line during the last several seconds… then pop over when the clock hits 00:00. Having said that, it’s also true that starting boats are usually clustered around the race line in SL when the  Countdown begins. For safety reasons or by accident the often incidentally cross the start line after they raise sail. It makes little sense to penalize them for doing so.

The American Model Yacht Association has a good, short discussion of how the Start Rules can apply to a sailing emulation; they endorse  a variation of Rule 30.1. I’d suggest for the remainder of SLVT we consider using their system.

A Note on Flags

The use and importance of flags in sailing has a long history and tradition. It’s built into the Rules of Racing as well. I would never argue against signal flags in any context, but lets agree the flags are “legacy” forms of communication, and just ornamental. They have nothing to do with the actual race. The RL yacht club example I cited above and the AMYA pay homage to the ‘flag system,’ but they don’t use it. I think they correctly see that the issue is to announce the Rules for any given race beforehand and update the fleet at racetime. In SL, text communication and notecards are fairly efficient. In a busy race where skippers have reduced draw distance and selective graphics, putting out a ‘flag’ is arguably a wasted effort if its the primary form of communication. (And did I mention it intimidates the hell out of new sailors?)

Suggestion

1. I think it makes sense for race directors and regatta organizers to announce the ‘Starting Rules’ they wish to use. Of course, its entirely their choice to decide what fits a particular event  (including ‘no rules‘ or a decision ‘not to even think about it‘ 🙂 ); there is no right or wrong here.

2. Specifically for the SL-VT Regatta, as I mentioned above I’d suggest any further races use Rule 30.1 as adapted by the AMYA. In other words:

If any part of a boat’s hull, crew or equipment is on the course side of the starting line or one of its extensions during the last minute before her starting signal, she shall thereafter sail from the course side around one of the end markers to the prestart side before starting.

Does that make sense to everyone?

It may seem like a small issue, but the winners of Round Five were decided based on ‘Over-Early‘ rules issues, and the problem is now guaranteed to come up repeatedly as we move on to the SLVT Finals. To quote Carmen Foden:

I just hope the race committee has their rule books handy in August!”

_____________

SL-VT Round Five Part Two: Glorfindel and Carmen!

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

I’ve already reported on the first two races. Let’s catch up with Race Three!

Race Three: Glorfindel Arrow and Carmen Foden

The moment the Clock began it’s countdown, Carmen pulled out her boxing gloves and began sparring with Glorfindel; believe me,  Glorf gave as good as he got.

Maybe boxing isn’t the best analogy here, though; the skill, timing, and humor of the Match Race three-minute, pre-start two-step is more like a Tango. While watching Carmen and Glorf weave back and forth, Amythest Wingtips called it “the dance of love,” and wow, I think Amy got it right. 🙂

Anywayz, Glorfindel and Carmen traded some pretty fancy kisses behind the raceline for two and a half minutes, as the duo moved inexorably closer to the Start.

Here’s what the spectators heard in those final seconds:

[2010/07/11 9:09] ::: SLSA Raceline: 30 SECONDS to the start
[2010/07/11 9:09] ::: Carmen Foden: lee
[2010/07/11 9:09] ::: SLSA Raceline: 20 SECONDS to the start
[2010/07/11 9:09] Elizabet Foxtrot: she’s puching
[2010/07/11 9:10] ::: SLSA Raceline: 15 SECONDS to the start
[2010/07/11 9:10] ::: SLSA Raceline: Glorfindel Arrow is over early! Go around the buoy and recross !
[2010/07/11 9:10] ::: SLSA Raceline: 10
[2010/07/11 9:10] ::: SLSA Raceline: 9
[2010/07/11 9:10] ::: SLSA Raceline: 8
[2010/07/11 9:10] Elizabet Foxtrot: got him
[2010/07/11 9:10] ::: SLSA Raceline: 7
[2010/07/11 9:10] ::: Carmen Foden: protest
[2010/07/11 9:10] ::: SLSA Raceline: 6
[2010/07/11 9:10] ::: SLSA Raceline: 5
[2010/07/11 9:10] ::: SLSA Raceline: 4
[2010/07/11 9:10] ::: SLSA Raceline: 3
[2010/07/11 9:10] ::: SLSA Raceline: 2
[2010/07/11 9:10] ::: SLSA Raceline: 1
[2010/07/11 9:10] ::: SLSA Raceline: RACE STARTED

[2010/07/11 9:12]  Angus Firethorn: Dont you guys think thats a little dirty forcing him over the line like that??
[2010/07/11 9:12]  Gemma Vuckovic: nope …
[2010/07/11 9:12]  diamond Marchant: all is fair in love and sailing…
[2010/07/11 9:13]  don Berithos: this is the Vuitton. All gloves are off!

I was high overhead, watching the action from the next sim. That’s a great place to get the overview, but I missed the the details… and I admit the details in this race were critical. Luckily there was a full house watching the race, and I had a chance to chat with Amythest Wingtips, who won Round Two of SL-VT. She was watching from the spectator box over the Startline, and presumably checking out her future competition. Here’s our conversation:

___

[9:18:13] Jane Fossett: In the third race Glorf was over early… and Angus (Firethorn) commented that Carmen forced him over.
[9:19:08] Amythest Wingtips: She did
[9:19:23] Jane Fossett: How’d she do that?… Sumo Wrestling?
[9:19:55] Amythest Wingtips: He was next to her on the port side, she moved to port [towards the line],  forcing him to cross.
He had 3 choices:

1. Cross the line early,

2. Hit her, or

3. Stop and let her go first.
[9:20:31] Jane Fossett: Beautiful! Elizabet’s comment now makes sense; Elizabet said Carmen ‘
puched.’
I actually didnt think Carmen ‘
puked;’ so you agree she ‘
pushed’ Glorf.
[9:22:09] Amythest Wingtips: Lol; [Carmen] moved over, closer to the line, but since [Glorfindel] was already there,
he had to move across the line to not hit her.
So in a sense it was pushing, although they never really touched.
[9:22:57] Jane Fossett: that’s the whole idea; I love it.

___

After he was ‘pushed over,’ Glorfindel quickly turned and recrossed the line, still ahead of Carmen. Unfortunately in the heat of the moment, he forgot to go around one of the Startline buoys. Following the race,  the judges determined Glorf was DSQ.

When I interviewed Glorfindel afterward, he most graciously admitted committing a silly error in not rounding a Start buoy, and acknowledged Carmen had adroitly pushed him over the line, using the rules to force him into the situation. (What a gentleman!)

However,  rather remarkably, Glorf attributed his Start line duel defeat to a poor tactical decision he made a few chess moves earlier that laid the scenario, allowing Carmen to put him in ‘Check.’

Wow. Think about that. I talk to many sailors about race outcomes… they usually say ” NN cheated, or in a gangster-tone they comment “I Wuz Robbed.” 🙂
That wasn’t Glorf and Carmen… they were playing chess… they were thinking ahead… and omgThey were Match Racing. WOOTS!

Yesterday I commented that Sunday’s races brought this competition to an entirely new level. Carmen and Glorfindel proved that in spades in Race Three. Even before the Start gun sounded, they had moved far beyond a simple boat race; they were playing chess… dueling, having fun, and planning several moves ahead.

I was originally going to bypass discussing this race at all, since it ended with a start line rules decision; the race was over before it began. But… OMG, look what actually happened.:-)

Carmen played pre-start tactics as well as I’ve EVER seen them done in real life, let alone SL. And Glorfindel? He saw it coming and danced with her toe-to-toe.

It’s a level of match sailing I haven’t seen for three years, since Armchair, M1sha, and Hans faced-off in Tako Cup 2007.

Thank you, THANK-YOU, Glorfindel and Carmen!

____

Phew! Tomorrow I’ll add the final three races!

________

SL-VT Round Five: Part I

 

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

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

Round 5 Match Finals:

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

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

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

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

Race One: Astro Marksman — Carmen Foden

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Race Two: Gemma Vuckovic — Glorfindel Arrow

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lap Times:

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

Gates

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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