I am posting them a bit late now, since the next edition has already been held yesterday, but the Sunday 10 AM Flying Fizz races at Gulls Wing Sailing Club were exciting on the last sunday in June. The races were won by Paul and Justin, but Hii and also Yumiko were never far away. Iteke showed a strong performance in race 1 prior to crashing as well. Most striking in that race was Yumiko, who already raced in the 2012 Flying Fizz World Cup, but hasn’t been seen in our event yet, had a late start but caught up with the race leaders rapidly. You can see it back in her lap time for that race, which was 24 seconds faster than the one of race winner Paul.
A while ago the owners of a new marina contacted me: they had wanted to buy a startline in the shop at Tradewinds Yacht Club, but they couldn’t anymore. The vendor was gone. I helped them out by placing a line for them, thinking how inconvenient it was not to have startline vendors around anymore in the sailing community.
Second Life’s sailing infrastructure has been vulnerable at multiple points in it’s existence. When Kanker Greenacre went AWOL much of his stuff was hardly ever updated. The startline code for the SLSF Startline was updated by Cynthia Centaur then. I remember the day she approached me very well: she was leaving, for a while at least and asked me to be a curator for the startline code. I have had the old SLSF Startline in my inventory ever since.
After that, Hay Ah and Yuu Nakamichi started build startlines for racing our sailboats around Blake Sea and mainland. They, but also the likes of Jane Fossett and I, spent several long sessions talking with Blondin Linden, representing Linden Lab en the LDPW, about startlines, maintenance of them, the group they needed be in, the people that were needed in that group etc. Hay Ah is one of the few people now who is in the enigmatic group that holds almost all of Second Life mainland’s racelines (I am using that word now, as either word has been in use at some point by sailors). But just like Yuu Nakamichi did before her, she more or less vanished. I’ve seen Hay login, but the startline support requests went unanswered.
That’s the problem with infrastructure as a commercial product and dependency on just one or two vendors: when they leave you find yourself in a wasteland as the user. If the user is an entire community, that is a pretty bad thing. So a few months ago, when I heard Lalia (laliacasau) was working on a new startline for us sailors and it was going to be open sourced, I shared the old line I still had with her for reference. It was dated but it could make it easier to figure out what kind of scripting solutions would be needed.
A few days back I received a beta version of a startline. I decided to rezz it at Tradewinds Yacht Club, so that people can play with it and see how it behaves. Feedback is welcome. We desperately need good sailing infrastructure in this community that doesn’t just vanish with it’s maker.
For anyone who is familiar with aviation in Second life, the helicopters of Kelly Shergood are a must: they have fully functional cockpits and are about as good a simulator of helicopter flying as it gets in a virtual world.
This evening she has a release party, for the new S-61R ‘Pelican’, based on a rather famous real life Coast Guard helicopter. It’s a public beta, which means she may iron out a thing or two before the final release, but everyone who will obtain one now will get the final thing upgrade to the production version.
This is the text from the Shergood Aviation group:
“I know you all have been anxiously awaiting the S-61R Pelican. As such, we have decided to make a public beta version available so you can get your hands on it sooner. We will be having a release party, DJ’ed by our own Female, tomorrow Friday June 26 starting at 10am SLT at our SLWS main store. Enjoy music, dancing and Q&A with Kelly as we count down to the release at 12pm SLT. The Beta version will upgrade to the full version on final release.“
The sunday 10AM Flying Fizz races moved to another startline in the Gulls Wing estate., due to the regular region being in use for Gulls Wing’s annual carnival event. 3 new courses were created by Joanna Gackt.
Unfortunately, the lag was bad this day. We could not trace it down to something specific. It might be related to something in the regions of the alternative location, which are residential. Or it was just a bad sunday, like we’ve had them so often in the past in sailing. In race 1 we had only 1 finisher. The second race was laggy too, but 3 boats managed to complete the race, mine out of competition, since I was sailing crewed to teach Riz a thing or 2.
Lap Times: SteveLL Resident ID008SR — Start: 00:00:12 — Last lap: 00:11:21 xPaulx Paine ID855XP — Start: 00:00:25 — hii2newsplus Writer ID950HW — Start: 00:00:34 Liv Leigh ID077LL — Start: 00:00:37* *Results for the other 2 unfinished racers were lost due to them not being recorded by the Race Director. I could only reproduce this.
Race 2: 1: hii2newsplus Writer ID300HW — 00:14:53 2: Justin Blade (SteveLL Resident) ID008SR — 00:17:48 ( 2: Liv Leigh ID077LL — 00:17:02) (crewed, with Riz as crew)
Lap Times: hii2newsplus Writer ID300HW — Start: 00:00:14 — Last lap: 00:14:39 Liv Leigh ID077LL — Start: 00:00:09 — Last lap: 00:16:53 SteveLL Resident ID008SR — Start: 00:00:22 — Last lap: 00:17:26
One of the things that are easy to forget if you setup a booth at a boat show is to walk around and see things for yourself. So I dedicated one morning especially for that and explored the area that Cloud 9 dedicated to the Summer Sailstice Exposition in Second Life.
The J-class Maia, by Ktaba, is here, not to be missed of course. It looks more a turn-of-the-century cutter to me actually, but it’s a beautiful ship. But I can see myself sail this beautiful Ktaba Cirya around…
N+K was there with one of their beautiful 18th century navy ships, focused on realism in design and controls. Red Sails Shipyard had 3 pretty wooden ships on display. One of them was a free boat, I would think their sloop will make you a credible pirate.
Bandit had a huge tent, that also had some vendors for textures and sailing clothes in it and W.A.L.T. with of course the fantastic SeaRoo. They for sure attracted most attention. A lot of sailors had been anxious to try the new Bandit 22. It was also used in a special Sailstice novice regatta at North Sea. It’s said to be advanced, beginner-friendly and snappy at region crossings. I received one as a present, so I will test it later on.
I love that Rei Inoue has dedicated her time to a SL Sailing History. It’s larger than the one we have at Tradewinds now. I do have some critique though, as I noticed a number of omissions and errors. I’d like to help her out and come to a good written history of the sailing community, a balanced one, that helps us understand how we developed and that we can learn from. The devil is often in the details here, like: In “What happened in 2010” there’s no attention to the launch of Bwind, the scripting engine that is the base of a majority of sailing boats now. For later years individual boat launches are mentioned, like the Bandit Ushuaia, for instance, which are just pretty boats. Priorities do matter. Striking is also the omission of a person like Bea Woodget, who ran the SLSA infrastructure for years. But I suppose she made so many enemies in later years, she needed to be erased from memory. At least in the opinions of certain people. If only in real life we could do that with our less-loved leaders. Wouldn’t that be convenient? Or not? The people who are mentioned make sense in a way, though there is a clear bias to those who have died. Otherwise I would suggest I would be a better inclusion to that summary than at least one yacht club commodore. It all looks a bit too United Sailing Sims centric. Then there are a few smaller errors: the years the Flying Fizz Worldcups ran weren’t 2008-2011 but 2008-2014, Tradewinds Yacht Club, founded in 2007 in Sailors Cove was only mentioned in 2009 and a few other things.
All in all it was an interesting show and I think the Sailstice as a whole is an event that we would like to see back again.
We had 3 exciting races, with Justin and Hii each winning 1 race and race 3 ending unfortunately when the two racers in the lead found out that the top marker in Petrel region was missing. I had to recall that race, which brought the sunday 10AM Flying Fizz regatta to an unceremonial end. Our regular race director, Joanna, raced herself this time and Riz, who has been a regular visitor showed some serious progress in his prestart and upwind sailing, keeping up nicely with the lead for a long time.
This week the Summer Sailstice is running. In the virtual world of Second Life it’s a series of sailing events, the most prominent one being the large exposition that is hosted on the site of Cloud 9.
Close to the entry point I have placed the small mini-expo of the Flying Fizz and Fizz Fanatics group: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Banc%20auxCocos%20Isle/48/237/22. I made a few summaries for the Flying Fizz and the WWC documentation and added information about the open sourced code, where to obtain it, etc. You can also simply get the boat here and join our group.
Where I mostly left sailing other boats in 2011 for the Flying Fizz, besides joining the J-Classic run by my friend Jane Fossett, I entered racing this year again in the Star Class. It’s a nice boat, also as a racer, but no, I am not using it much outside the Free Spirit Cup. Having raced a few boats the past few months, I must say I am not that convinced on the merits of many boats that have been created the past years. They simply do not give me the feel of actually being in a boat and having to work it, balance it and they are less suited to tactical sailing in a race. So I decided to put my time an effort where my heart is and work on the Fizz and the group of sailors that sails it.
There’s another motivation: I have received a couple of requests the past few months by people looking for a startline. I hadn’t realised it until last year: but there’s no startline vendor for sailing in Second Life anymore. People who want to run races are dependent on active sailors who own a line. This pointed me to a serious issue: the lack of publicly owned infrastructure and technology in our community. There still is plenty publicly available code though, so not all builders are at a loss. Mothgirl Dibou’s Fizz Boat Builders kit is part of that. The WWC and it’s toolkit is part of that. So with this little stand I am showing people that we can still build new boats and that there’s still room for new creators to enter the scene and contribute to the community.
I will write a bit later on The Commons, Open Source and community infrastructure later, for now, I will just relax a bit and enjoy the sun.
The races last sunday were more exciting than the results may show: in race 1 Hii was leading, but he made a navigation mistake, heading for a marker another region to the north that was not part of the course. That confused me for a while too, which led to Justin catching up, but not enough to win the race. In race 2, I can’t reallly say what happened, as I was leading it most of the time. Race 3, on the by now notorious (albeit slightly redesigned) ‘America’ course, was really tough, as the wind had picked up considerably and the waves got higher. I had to make a penalty turn right after start, this time taking too much risk from port, but I soon got the lead, by choosing a path out of traffic in the upwind rodeo against the waves. I capsized once, pitchpoled actually, the Fizz turning over it’s bow, going from the last reach into the downwind, but that didn’t harm much. I suppose the capsizing festival behind me must have been much worse.
There’s a lot of discrimination in the world and being white, living in a ‘liberal country’ like The Netherlands, I usually close my eyes for it. But every now and then I hear about someone getting stopped by the police every week, or even every few days. For no apparent reason. Well, they’re black, or Moroccan, or they have a coloured skin in one way or another. That’s when I realise my country is much more racist than I would like to think. I never get stopped by the police…
Ever since the 2016 US Elections, Tasha Kostolany, the owner of the Tradewinds Yacht Club parcel, has been quite the activist in SL. And while I didn’t agree with using the club land and group for political campaigns, and not just because it attracted attention from a griefer neighbour that also tries to grab land by pestering neighbours away, I do think that there really is a limit. At some point, even in our virtual getaway world, we have to make a stance.
So I am happy that someone in my club has placed the flags in port.
Oh, yes. Remind you that there are forms of discrimination in Second Life too: against furries, against kid avatars, against people who may have a different lifestyle choice. There’s a lot of stigma on sex work and other activities here, just like in the real world. A lot of unneeded judgmental nonsense.
What can I say? Ohh, do you know that the first ever sailing champion is Second Life was a furry? Arrek (Arrekusu Muromachi), who won the 2006 Challenger Cup finals for his club, the legendary Kazenojin Seirungu.
The sunday 10AM Flying Fizz races were eventful. We had 3 different race winners. There were 2 less experienced Fizz sailors, Riz and Kit, who were fighting the boat a little still, and 4 racers who could give one another fierce competition.
The intensity sometimes caused a capsize, or two, most notably a collision in race 2, when 3 sailors chasing Hii2Newsplus Writer downwind went swimming when they met Kit, who was beating upwind. In race 1, both Wilma and Justin capsized where you would not expect it: just before the finish, Wilma recovering a few seconds faster.
[10:44] Lap Times: hii2newsplus Writer ID429HW — Start: 00:00:03 — Last lap: 00:11:09 Wilmasix Resident ID092WR — Start: 00:00:27 — Last lap: 00:12:49 SteveLL Resident ID008SR — Start: 00:00:07 — Last lap: 00:13:44 Kitten Breen ID225KB — Start: 00:00:00 — Last lap: not finished xPaulx Paine ID855XP — Start: 00:00:16 — Last lap: not finished
Race 3: 1: Justin Blade (SteveLL Resident) ID008SR — 00:15:49 2: hii2newsplus Writer ID429HW — not Finished 3: xPaulx Paine ID855XP — not Finished
[11:06] Lap Times: SteveLL Resident ID008SR — Start: 00:00:19 — Last lap: 00:15:30 hii2newsplus Writer ID429HW — Start: 00:00:04 — Last lap: not finished xPaulx Paine ID855XP — Start: 00:00:08 — Last lap: not finished
Liv Leigh is commodore of Tradewinds Yacht Club, a sailing club in the virtual world of secondlife. This blog, infrequently updated at random intervals, collects some of her ideas, her article sketches and ramblings on what is going on in the world of Secondlife Sailing.