Showing posts with label racing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label racing. Show all posts

Friday, October 4, 2013

Waiting to start

A few days back I finally found time to race again; Feeling kinda rusty or the virtual racing, now that the Fizz Cup 2013 is coming up. Nevertheless, we had two lovely Laser heats right south of Tradewinds Yacht Club. Nine people showed up at the startline, so the pulse was up. The heat was definately on. Here we are waiting for the countdown to start.
Pulse up
The racing was pretty intense and it was obvious that the Laser is perhaps easy to sail but not that easy to sail fast. I had the misfortune of crashing at least once per race. Quite puzzling. The Laser never ever did that before. However, it caused a bit of a problem. The thing is, once the RD has left the starting area, the racewind is no longer available for a new boat to acquire. I probably need to read the manuals.
Count down
Incidentally I sailed a new version of the Laser with working telltails. Woohoooo. More on that in a future post, but it was nice. Very nice. The Laser itself is a pleasure to sail with or without telltails anyway. Thanx to Iteke for hosting and thanx to the RD; His name has escaped my memory. Great fun on the water.

PS: There's no pics from the races themselves. I was so busy handling my boat, so no time for that. If you want closeups of the boat, then click "laser" right under here, or try this link.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Laser action

Enough talking... Let's see some action. Here's me and Dutch racing a bit; Me pinching, trying to cover...
Here's me, fully concentrated on getting max speed out of this thingy. The Laser is extremely lively, so it is imperative to steer and stay focused all the time...
Full speed
... Dutch is doing pretty good too. Stay focused... stay absolutely focused. No looking at the scenery. No looking back. I can hear his bow wake... is he coming closer? Stop thinking and start sailing...
Eeeek. He's got a little lift there, and maybe - just maybe - I was thinking too much instead of sailing. Hey! Ahoy there!! This here is just about close enough.
That's close enough pal
Ok, so he got away. After all he built this baby, so he should know it better. Not an excuse. Just an explanation, teehee. Nah, I kinda lost focus in sheer excitement over this boat.
Hey! That's far enough pal...
However, there's no reason to give up. Never. never give up. There is always an option to win it back. Something will happen. A lift, a shift, he will make a mistake, a huge bird will land on his boat and drag it down - something will happen... just wait for it.
Working hard, hiking hard
My turn to get a lift. See... The gab is closing; Just a few more minutes of hard hiking and...
Yes, - I am back on top. This is an absolutely amazing boat... and it isn't even done yet. I am not sure I can possibly imagine how great this will be once finished. This will raise the barre. Virtual sailing in SL will never be the same again.

Still a few details are missing. We already covered the continous sheet loop and the missing traveller in the comments here. I covered the non-carbon blocks in this post. It is not the centerboard, because it is already working. Well, it is sorta working, but only when it wants to. What's left? I wonder if anyone can spot it...

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Virtual Nacra 17 Racing

Here's a handfull of cool thoughts and hot shots from the first Tradewinds race with the fantastic virtual Nacra 17 from Dutch Kain. Tadah. This took place yesterday at 2pm SLT at Tradewinds, and I was there as part of my on going cat therapy.
Waiting for  the clock to start ticking
Here we are, beautiful boat, beautiful sailing day, right south of Tradewinds, waiting for the clock to start ticking. None of us felt very confident sailing the Nacra, and one even capsized before we got started. Ofcourse Dutch was smiling from ear to ear. He's had way more hours in this boat than any of us.
The wind was 15 knots from a northly direction, and that usually means nice, flat water south of Tradewinds. The wind had a tendency to favour a port side start. I couldn't feel it because my hairdryer driver failed to work on 64bits windows, but pointing the cat told me 12 degrees.
Measuring wind angles
I sailed around the starting area and took notes of the angles on port and starboard upwinds. This is not a WWC boat; There's no shadowing, no current and no wave simulation, but it does come with some sort of global wind variations.
So off we went. For some reason Dutch had chosen a five minute starting sequence, so I was struggling with my watch. It was preset to three minutes. That's what we usually use in SL, or at least that's what I had used last. Timing the start is pretty important here, since the boat picks up speed like a rocket. If you're not at the line when the gun goes off, then you'll never catch the leaders.
Now! There are certain rules to take into account. For instance, you always let the designer win the first race in a new boat. That didn't make Dutch smile any less, when he came first. I came second, and I swiftly switched to relaxation mode, so that the third boat could "see just how long we had waited. Like 20 seconds, teehee. You can see the clock there, saying 09:27 for third place.
Different BWinds
That's when Becca sailed by in her BWind 2.0 Baby Sloop. In the back, to the right. The Baby Sloop is the  basis for many virtual boats in SL, - including the Nacra 17. The BWind must have been tweaked quite a bit by Dutch to make it work in a cat with two people on board.
Tasha and me
We sailed another race, and Dutch won again. This time he was just plain lucky. Ok, so maybe he knows in details at what angles the boat can carry the genn and I don't. So maybe he was just a bit faster at hoisting that genn. Still, I got off to a better start, but this boat is so fast the virtual world has trouble appearing in due time. I saw nothing but water and boom! I was in the middle of a building. Talk about a set back. I needed help, so Tasha hopped on board.
Last race
We did good, and here we are, - landing in a little over seven minutes. Not too bad, but Dutch did better with Ana on bord; Probably because she is so skinny. As you can see above, - Tasha and I could easily lift one of the hulls out of the water, but it was the wrong hull, the lee hull. Duh! The daggerboards work much better, when lifting the windward hull, so no more icecream for me...
Finally, on top of Dutch
As you can see, there's lots to work with; Genn, trim, balance, timing, steering, and the crew can help trimming via the hud. This calls for coordination. More than once both Tasha and I typed genn almost simultaneously resulting in the genn flipping up and down, hehe. We had huge fun. Don't miss out when the gun goes off on friday for another few rounds of Nacra action. More Nacra 17 racing tips...

My cat therapy? I just stopped sneezing whenever I see a cat.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Fizz Cup 2012

Real soon now: Coming to a screen near you! Read all about it on the official site here: Fizz Cup 2012 or check out Liv's blog here: Liv Leigh.
Advanced virtual sailing 
Here's one of the courses. Be there or be square...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The M24 rocket in action

It has always been a great tactic to start first and then continuously increase the gap. It is so much easier to win, when you can freely pick your own optimal route to the next mark. However, this time it was just a little different.
The M24 pocket rocket
I had the experience of sailing with Ronin in the beautiful Melges 24 from Qyv. A truly unreal experience. Don't get me wrong. The skipper was nice and in a good mood. The boat was (is) nice too, but the setup somehow just didn't work for me. It was one of these popular strong wind races...
30 knots in the Blake
Dunno why strong wind sailing is so popular. Gusts approaching thirty knots really should keep people inside with a hot chocolate and a hot date in front of the fireplace. Few average Joes would race in 25 knots of wind; Maybe it is just me... I've had my share of strong wind sailing. Dinghies and keelers. Gear break down. People get hurt. Not pretty. Just imagine a hand pulled through a Harken ratchet block. Twenty knots  of wind on a 40 footer and people begin to get hurt.
Looks like 5 m/sec from east on a summer afternoon
The virtual sailing experience breaks down under extreme conditions. There is no seaspray, no waves, no excessive heeling, no broaching, no capsize, no luffing main, no indication - what so ever - that the boat is totally over powered. It is unreal. Two people keeping the M24 upright in 25 knots gusts? Duh! Logging 23 knots downwind can be done in a Melges 24, but 15 knots upwind? That's way over hull speed. Not gonna happen. We even outran a handfull of ACAs. As if in another world. In strong winds the virtual Melges 24 is an overly speedy boat. It simply fails to produce a boatly reaction  to the strong wind. It was not designed to do so.
Another World 
Sailing at high speeds fits badly in the virtual world. It is not just the fact that sim crossings get worse at high speeds. At 23 knots you've crossed the virtual ocean in like two minutes. Tactics and windshifts? Forget those. You can sail on any tack in around 25 seconds and you are out of bounds. Windshifts can barely be read or used. The scenery has problems updating at that speed. Other boats appear on the horizon and within seconds they are in the rear mirror. Nah, - the experience is something else. It does not remind me much of sailing.
The M24 doing 15 knots upwind
The virtual Melges 24 itself is perfectly capable of providing a decent sailing experience. The boat is rather true to the real thing. Beautifully build. Good looking sails and a few other nice details. However, these pictures of hefty wind sailing look just  like a beautiful afternoon lake sailing in 10 knots wind. I look forward to sailing the virtual Melges 24 in a more realistic setup;
Hard work in foul weather
The M24 - somehow - bears resemblance to the beautiful Q2m, and - no big surprise - it also reminds me of the Q2.4mR. The M24 is more fun though. It has a bow spirit and a gennaker. Crewed racing is also more fun, because it has balance. I needed to move my lil self around and do my thing: Fight the pressure of those howling wind and  the roaring waves of the Blake Sea. It sure looks like hard work, right?

Incidentally we won at least one race; We totally outpaced those of ACAs. Like tiny apples beating huge oranges in a discipline neither was built for. Now, I'd love to try the virtual Melges 24 in a 12 knot class boat race, but this racing.experience? To me it was simply uninteresting.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bending or breaking

Norregaard and Thomsen took silver at the Seiko 49 Europeans. Woot woot. What's more interesting is the on-going debate over their hiking style... Question is, - is this legal? Some have suggested a rule 47.2 infringement. It's the one about "noone can leave the boat while racing". Check the post on Look to windward. I think it is safe to say he is still on board.
Always wear flats when sailing
To me it looks more like a rule 49.1 infringement: "Use only hiking straps and stiffeners to position yourself outboard". Standing on top of another person is definately not allowed, but is it forbidden? Using another persons body to position yourself outboard? Perhaps there is something in the 49er class rules about this?

What do you think? Bending or breaking? Lethal or illegal?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Speeding in a 49er

It seems Danes Norregaard and Thomsen are leading the 49er Europeans. That's great. What's even greater is their special hiking style... It looks absolutely fantastic. It is really the transformation of the sailing circus into Circus Sailing :-D
Circus sailing or sailing circus?
Now, let's not get carried away... What I really wanna know is: Will we be able to do the same hiking  trick in a future version of the Flying Fizz?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Fizz Cup Final

I just thought I'd blog the video-teaser for this weekends mega event. So here it is:
Yup. It's serious. More on that in a little while. If you enjoyed the video, then click here to get more about the Fizz Cup 2011.

If you are wondering what makes the Fizz so great, then read this very brief summary of sailing in SL.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Real sailing with shifts

Speaking of windshifts and puffs in the Fizz Cup round three, - here's a link to a nice post by Tillerman. It's all about real sailing in real weather with real winds. Oh, and about a wonderful win. Tillerman sails the laser out there - in the real world. Lovely little toy.
elMegro trying to catch up :-)
I never really found a laser in SL that looks like the real thing. This post here is the closest I got, and it's not really that close. Anyway, what Tillerman writes about, is what we can recreate in SL with the Flying Fizz and the WWC, and that's precisely what makes it so interesting.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Dry training is fun

Dry training isn't sailing without capsizing. It isn't sailing in sunshine either. Nono, - usually dry training sucks. Big time. It is about lifting weights, interval training, running, training balance, and maybe go over a few cases to sharpen up on the rules, when your arms are no longer able to lift anything but a piece of paper anyway.
Grab a favourite boat
That's all changing. Today, virtual sailing is good enough to provide live tactics training. Starting tactics and infight tactics can be trained intensely under specific conditions; Winds, shifts, currents, waves. The excact same conditions can be recreated, which is very usefull for training a specific maneuvre. Everchanging conditions can be created too, to create realistic conditions reading a course.
Laylines drawn  on the water
That's not all. Hawk has been doing some fantastic work with "painted" starting lines. It's just like the ones they use in the AC races. Only we had them first, and ours are better. Our lines can be seen not only by the spectators but also by the sailors.  That way we can choose to have lines on the "court". Just as they do in tennis. Have a look at the image above, where I am rushing towards the starboard pin - on the layline.
Just tacked...
And I know for sure, that I am on that layline. Not a shred of doubt in my mind, I can lay that mark. In fleet race, those lines are usefull for planning a good start; In match race, they are critical. Countless evening classes are held every day explaining new match racers about those lines. Be here at a certain time, don't go there, get over here, chase him out there, do the dial up in this section et.c. et.c.
Full speed ahead!
That's actually very hard to explain in a live RL situation. When you are out there, and you must steer, trim, balance, track time and position for infight, all this while the wind howls, sails flap and waves are spraying every other second, the other skipper yells starboard and ur jibman just lost the genoa-sheet, it gets pretty intense. Who cares about those lines? Turns out - those who care, they usually come out on top.
The helicopter view
And there's more. The timer is floating over the line, so everybody knows the time. Some boats even have an onboard display, that feeds from the RD's timer. Check the shot above. Helicopter view is great. In SL the coach, the judge and the RD can fly over the course and watch and comment on the action. My dad couldn't do that, when I was in the Opti. Better yet, rounding marks and using rule 18 is easier, because the zone is painted on the water too.
Relaxing after a training session in a nearby marina
So how do you get in on the action? Easy! Create an account in SL. It's free. Go through the SL training courses. Takes an hour or so. Search for Tradewinds and get a free boat, maybe even buy one. The QSM40 I am sailing above is very nice. Check the calendar on for a race, and you are on your way. Those shots here - they were taken in Fruit Islands. Beautiful area for leisure sailing too, - when ur done training and racing. See you there...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fun Fizzin

The Flying Fizz Cup 2011 is coming up. I won't cover it in it's entirety, but I will show bits and pieces from it, because it is a massive event in a hitherto unparalleled boat, the Flying Fizz. Not only does the Fizz look good. It feels good, and it is hard work to make it fly. Fun, fun, fun...
Waiting for the evening breeze to kick in.
Yesterday we had a little training session south of Tradewinds. Loads of fun. Windshifts, puffs and lulls, currents and waves making it really hard to sail. For my part, the waves kept pushing me off course. Thats something I need to work on. Usually the Fizz is pretty steady on course, but these waves... jeezzz.
Prestart is hectic.
In one race we all kinda met in a huge traffic jam at the top mark. Most of us collided with someone, and some even hit the mark.That didn't spoil the fun; Everybody just said sorry and carried on. It was just a fun race, so no points at stake at this time. I was off to bed after a few races, but I took a couple of shots before I left.
Converging just before the gun.
Mihwa showed up, and joked about the huge waves getting her seasick. Well, I hope it was a joke, hehe. Otherwise, what mess. Don't wanna think that thought to end. Anyway, here's the "gun-shot". Well, - close. Noone was over early.
Bang, and they're off.
Business as usual. Winning the start is half the race, so look at the picture above, and guess who was first at the top mark. While you're guessing, I can just throw in an explanation of those weird blocks above the boats. They are sailnumbers. Don't ask. That's just how it works. By the way, todays course is an up down course. Gate and finish at the bottom.
The first top mark rounding.
You guessed it. Looking good there. So winning the start is good. Finding the path is also good, and trimming. This boat needs constant attention to the trim. That's another part of the Fizz fun; Crewed racing, shared trimming. Fizz Cup 2011 however, is singlehanded. Next shot will show the runner ups, while number one is off flying the kite.
More top mark roundings.
However, that didn't last. A bad gybe just before the bottom mark converted into a capsize. That enabled number two to overtake and stay ahead for the rest of the race. Make no mistake. These sailors know their stuff. One little error, and the others are roaring past you. Trust me, it's intense.
Thanx for all the fun guys...
It's a good thing I was off to bed. The racing could have carried on for hours, and it probably did. Many of these sailors have signed up for the Fizz Cup, and getting to know the local windshifts is key. Anyone who watched the AC race yesterday - Go Artemis - they will now how much it means to find the right path.

What a fun night. Back home to Tradewinds for me, and then off to bed.

The Fizz Cup will be covered on; Official notes, results and changes will be posted on the dedicated Fizz Cup site.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Flying Fizz racing

Had a great day racing. Started with two wins in the Shelly Fizz of the coast of Tradewinds Yacht Club.  The Shelly Fizz is still a great little boat with many realistic features. Then I went on to race the Flying Fizz, and phew... I gotta tell ya: I need more practice. First race I came 6th out of 7. Bad start. Didn't know the way round the course. Capsize and what not.
El Megro hunting me back home...
Nope. These aren't excuses, - just explanations. If you don't win, then at least analyze and realize why you didn't. This one is easy. You can't win a Fizz race, if you aren't sharp. The Fizz nuts know their stuff. That's why I don't have pictures from the race; There is no way I can take pictures while racing.
I waited a little as u can see on my telltales
So, these pictures here are from right after the races, when I raced ElMegro back home to Tradewinds. I hope you can see the action. Anyway, the second race was much better. Good start, good boatspeed and will you look at that... I came second, or was it third? What's important is, that it's possible to beat these Fizz-nuts.
Close race the rest of the way to Tradewinds
Didn't win the third race, but I didn't come last either, so I was happy. After not racing the Fizz for ages... more than half a year, this was encouraging... What's even more encouraging is that we sailed  under full ISAF rules, - and even better... people start to know and act by the rules. Some even withdrew after making a mistake. Protests were handled with a smile, and Silber Sands did a great job as RD. Thanx all for a great time.
Back at Tradewinds after a great sailing time
So, - here's me back at Tradewinds Yacht Club - all smiley and light-hearted, - and a bit tired after some great and fun sailing. Yum. Let's have some more.

More pictures of me and my Flying Fizz in No Comments.

Monday, May 23, 2011

11 boats at the line

I gotta show you this, while it is fresh. Previously I wrote about the Q 2m from Quest Marine. It is an absolute delight to sail that boat. Swift, pretty and easily handled but still challenging enough to be fun.
A pretty picture of a pretty boat
Realistic polars, very nice dynamics, great sounds, and you can bring a friend too. It really doesn't get much better :-) Luckily it seems I am not the only one who likes the Q 2m. It is really catching on as a racing boat.
A few days ago I came across this amazing video of some pretty realistic racing. It's filmed by Hawk, the dude you see in the clip. I think it is from somewhere in Blake, but I am not entirely sure. Anyway, check it out, - and check that port start. Skewed wind allright, and perhaps also currents? Dunno...
 Liv and I testing the Q 2m south of Blake.
Regretfully I wasn't there, but I sure will look for graded Q 2m events in the future. Graded? Yes, we have regular graded races, and the ranking can be seen on

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

One World Regatta, finals

We had four beautiful races at the One World Regatta finals. Pure sailing with few crashes, and few protests. Here's a few shots from the race. First one shows our team in pursuit; We have the black sails. These helicopter shots are really great for seeing windshifts on the course, btw.
Momomos in pursuit...

Bunnie (in the red boat) went off like that twice... winning the start is important, no matter if you race in SL or in RL, and Bunnie clearly demonstrated that. Below you see Bunnie - again in the lead. Quite comfortably.
Momomos still in pursuit.
Spin up and go get. Unfortunately, in the third race our boat had technical difficulties, and that meant four points; Not a total disaster with one throwaway, but I am speculating this pushed Momomos outta balance;
Last race.
I cheered the best I could in the last race, but we ended up on fourth place any way. That gave us a total of 2-2-4-4 = 8p (One discard). Not too bad really, but the other teams were better on this day. Congrats to Bunnie (5p), Armano (6p) and Alain (6p), and again... woots to everybody involved in making the whole One World regatta a reality.