Saturday, January 29, 2011

One World in bad weather

The One World 2011 round four was hit by bad weather. Really bad. Not only did we have numerous restarts caused by system failures, we also saw myriads of in race crashes moving the boats up and down the fleet in random. On top of that, some racers where ghosted, and we also saw boatscripts somehow being unable to run, leaving the boat barely afloat. That type of race should really be cancelled, and it is made possible by rule 32.1.
Waiting for the last boat; My team with Liv in green.

Objections! The conditions are always the same for every team. That may be true, but if the rule of good luck breaks down, the event is no longer a race. It is a lottery, and it is time to call it off. Wasting time like that is no fun, and it clearly hasn't got anything to do with racing. In RL we never crash like that. However, we do have gear breakdowns, and we may have conditions so bad, that fair racing is not possible. Then the race is cancelled.
Finally! After hours of extra time; All finished.

There is no point, no fun, no honour in winning a race sailed under unfair conditions. Not in RL, not in SL.  Anyway, I know Liv protested the race for being unfair. The RC dismissed the protest as being invalid. So Liv filed for an appeal. That's gonna be interesting. Especially since there was no hearing, establishing facts. Besides that, it is probably the first appeal in SL sailing, ever. The issue is quite a killer: Is the sailing in SL to be taken serious? For details on the race, see MetaverseSailing. I will post details of the appeal here.

Oh, about the rule of good luck: Most racers reach a point when they ask themselves "Why does that dude always go faster". The answer is ofcourse, that good racers simply have more luck. Realising that luck comes with training is an important step to take for any serious racer.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Moth spotted in the Blake Sea

I once saw a Moth. In RL that is. I was on a holiday. It was out there, and I was on shore, so no contact. I have had wet dreams ever since. What is it? First up... its real. Check the Moth website. It is the craziest little sailing device I have ever seen. Never mind the AC and their giant plastic bugs. This one is wayyy beyond those silly monsters. The Moth is the essence of being fast, furious and free. Unfortunately, I've never seen a Moth where I live, but then one day...
Noodle to tower: Clear the runway. Now!

I arrived at Tradewinds Yacht Club to get my usual kicks sailing, and what do I see? Yup. You guessed it. A Moth! Just waiting to sail away. Clickety-click and weeeeee.... off I went. It is by far the fastest boat I ever sailed inworld. In a matter of minutes I made it from Tradewinds to the southern parts of Blake. Phew. This boat is a blast, a stinger missile. A CO2 neutral rocketship. I sailed back up to the Atlantic starting line in about thirty seconds, where I met some oldtimers wasting time in prehistoric piles of wood.
Hey look! Are they dead or do they just sit still?
They weren't dead yet. One even asked me about my boat, while I roared past them. I decided to be nice and stopped to say hi. They told me they were training for a race. Yeah right! Like a snail race for grandmas? Told them the action and the fun is at TYC, and then I started the engines again. Gotta tell you... the Blake Sea really is too small for a Moth. In many ways :-D Whatever course you set, you will hit the edge before you can spell "Tradewinds Rocks".
Back home after a crazy flight around the Blake Sea.
Atlantic in the rear mirror. After a few seconds I was south of Schiffsratten, home of the Shelly Fizz. Barely saw their clubhouse before I was gone with the wind. Changed to a northerly course, et voila... In less than a minute I was back home. Does this thing come with a helmet and airbags? I wonder if I can outsail my Apache helicopter, hehe. I am definately gonna get me one of these. SL and RL. Whoa, what a ride.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hard Work with a virtual IOD

In a weak moment, I joined the TYC team for the One Regatta. Not that I regret it. Not at all. Its just that - uhm - I have very little experience racing the One, and my boat isn't really optimized for racing. Usually I take my T-One for a relaxing spin. So I decided to do something about it. First up was scraping off all the blue paint. Then came the sanding and the repainting in seven layers. Finally, fine grained (800) sanding, - and she is ready for primetime racing.
Completely refurbished hull.

In a real world scenario, this would have taken several weeks; In a virtual world, it takes about five minutes. I chose the wooden look; It so nice. So realistic in a virtual world, - so unrealistic in a real world, hehe. Now, on with the training. Where's that course Hawk sent me? Ahh... nice one. Looks like 40 minutes of sailing or so. Also looks like some navigation is needed. Hmm. I won't be able to enjoy the view, when I have my eyes on the charts. Here's a view from above to give you an idea...
Workout in the One; Somewhere in Fruit Islands.

Huh! Looks like hard work, right? That sandy beach sure looks nice, except there is no coffee shop or coke machine. In a few days many more T-Ones will pass by, so maybe I should call the owner about a sandwich stand. Anyways, on with it. I had the spin flying for a while. Very nice. It collapses visibly and with sound, if you aren't paying attention. Uhm, at least that's what I read in the manual, hihi.
Nice curvy sails, - though rather flat...

Yesterday I went to Isla Jackinda to get a Leetle Cat II. The entire place was plastered with signs saying "No more flat sails". I like that. In fact, I like it a lot. Realism, ahhh :-D So here's a view up the main on the T-One. A rather nice view, if you ask me. Oh, and note the lovely windvane at the top. This boat can be sailed completely without a hud, but telltales would be nice for precision steering on the race course. And a compass.

Here's more on the Virtual IOD.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Virtual Elliot 6

The Real Elliot 6m looks like a lot of fun. It is a three seater very much suited for racing; In that respect it resembles the Yngling, but the Elliot 6m has a slightly more modern design. Check it out here.  You can probably imagine my excitement, when I spotted an Elliot 6m lookalike, - something called a Super6, - at TYC. I watched it for a while, but noone seemed to sail it, so I finally went for myself to check it out. This is it:
Me and my Super6 somewhere around Tradewinds.

As you can see, it has a pretty snappy hull; In fact the hull is what turned me on in the first place. The package includes hulls in other colours as well as spins in different colours. Very nice. Modern sails too. I like. So... what is it like? It comes with the BWind sailing engine, so it sails really well. The sound is delicious, sim crossings are handled well, and the boat feels very responsive. Upwind sailing is good, but the overall trim needs adjusting, since it comes with a slight leeward helm. Spin up...
Going back to Tradewinds; Full speed ahead.

Again, a really nice appearance. What you cannot see is how the feedback works. The trimming is done via the usual keyboard input and the feedback is - I am sorry to say - done by numbers. No telltales. No windvane. There is a booring hud full of numbers. Neither the sails nor the sounds indicate speed or trim status. Very unsailorish. On top of that, the hud feels obliged to tell me my tack. As if I didn't know.
Again cruising the beautiful waters of Tradewinds.

So the hull is nice, but have a look at the mast and the sails. They need more work. First up, the sails are flat like pancakes. There is no option to trim the depth of the sails; I checked. Then there are the battens. They don't look right at all, especially the three top battens look weird. Finally there is the mast itself. Two sets of spreaders?? Not at all reslistic on a boat like this, and even if... then the cap shroud should not form a straight line from hull to mast. All in all... this is a very nice hull with a good sailing engine, but it doesn't quite make the cut for real sailors. All that aside, the BWind sailing engine - in this version - has no wind shadowing. If you race, you will be racing against the machine, not your competitors. I sure hope to see an update of this otherwise nice little sports boat.