Monday, February 28, 2011

Working boat show

Tradewinds at it again. Last time there was a show on, it was about seaplanes. This time is is about working boats. How they do it is a mystery to me, but somehow Tasha manages to find the most amazing boats all over SL.
Old timers at the working boat show.
They are all there... Cutters, trawlers, ferrys, tankers, rescue boats, sand-pumpers, tugboats and what-nuts in old timer style with sails, and in modern design with diesel engines. Speaking of diesel, it seems sails are on the verge of becoming modern style again in this poluted world. Maersk is focusing on the diesel consumption; Mostly talk atm. Others are not just talking. Have a look at Skysails. One day they will go by sail again.
Tankers, fisherboats, cranes, rescue boats...
I know other companies are experimenting with sails or commercial ships. Kinda strange thought; But nice. One boat type that was not represented was cruise ships. Neither engine powered or sail driven. Yes, cruising around the world by sail is possible. Check this link. So why can't I get a ticket to cross the channel like that?
Tugboats, fisherboats and more...
One day I will be able to do that. I am sure. It might take an hour more, maybe two, but really... if it does not burn any fuel, wouldn't that make the bill smaller? No polution and smaller bills? Sounds almost too good to be true, but I so wanna believe in it.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

2m Class goes virtual, take two

In take one I had pictures of the prototype. Now I have pictures of the real thing. Say hello to the final virtual 2m sailboat, the Q-2m. It  is is small, it is beautiful, and it sails like a dream. Have a look at the real deal: class2m. As always, Qyv has done a really great job replicating a real boat, so the virtual Q 2m is very pretty. Here I am, flapping sails, while I wait for Liv to arrive. Have a look:
Not only do they look flappy, - they sound flappy too.
Beautifully sculpted hull, beautifully shaped sails, lovely sounds and a modified BWind sail system. It sure looks like a real sailboat. Waves, wind, current, drift - yes drift, flapping sails... it sure feels like a real sailboat too. Oh, and you can wing the jib, if you need more speed downwind.
Take off
In fact this baby gives me the same kind of sailing rush as the 2.4mR boat. The 2.4mR is even smaller, though. Check it out via this link: 24metre Yes, it is real. The sensation of speed is intense in small boats, because the water is so close.
Virtual sailing at it's best
Coming back from the 2.4mR link, the Q 2m looks huge, and it is. In fact it's a two seater. Made for daysayling. Here we are roaring past a beautiful coconut island. Desserted it seems, but some are inhabited. I guess here's a Norwegian escaping from the Norse cold and rainy winter.
Shallow Norwegian waters
We went on sailing for half an hour in this area with no problems what so ever. The sim crossings we hardly ever noticed. It seems small boats sail better in SL. They appear to cross sim borders easier. So this boat is ideal for racing. If I close my eyes, I can easily imagine a fleet of 10 2m-ers starting right off the coast of Dex.
Yeah! More weeeee...
This boat will make you go Weeee again and again. It is pretty, and if you look at the picture above, you can almost feel it in your stomach; The sensation when a boat has the power to plane. Weeee! I wonder if I can pimp the 2m... I wouldn't wanna sail a black boat.
Picture this in PINK
Pink is more my style. Royal blue with three white stripes would be nice too. Is there a cupholder? Can I add a compass. I'd better get inworld and write a note to Qyv. I think I will start by writing: Weeee, - I like!!! This is definately one of those boats you just gotta have. It's a blast...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Appeal vacated !!?

Unruly, but back on track. The One World Cup is running again. We had great races in round five, and even greater races in round six. Round six was held by Tradewinds Yacht Club. Naturally we wanted our team to do well here, - in our own back yard. We finished in 44 minutes almost 7 minutes ahead of number two. Now, that felt good. I was not able to take pictures whilst sailing, so these pictures are from round 6, the 12 noon SLT heat, where I cojudged. It almost looks like real sailing, huh.
One World at Tradewinds.
Well, the boats are actually closing in on realism. Sitting in a boat you can't feel the heel of course, but you can steer, trim, hike and look around the course from your sitting position to make laylines and stuff like that. It's pretty good. Some boatbuilders claim to use real polars, and a few boats actually behave like it. So it is fun to sail downwind too. The TYC commodore, Liv Leigh, made sure we had fun by requesting lotsa shifts and gusts on the course.
All five of them going downwind.
We protested our heat in round four, because we thought it was not really a boat race but more a race of reboot, relogin and re-anything unsailorish. The process was very strange. There was no protest hearing. Six socalled experienced sailors gathered in some sort of council. Half of these were not in the jury. They were the Cup Organiser, the RD and one more. (EDIT: The RD tells me she was not voting on the dismissal. The cup organizer clearly states the opposite in the appeal.) Anyway, they dismissed the protest - no grounds given, and they immediately offered us the option of appeal. Now, not having a hearing seems a little odd. Not giving grounds for dismissal is strange. Having a council of six sailors including the RD vote, when there are really only three judges assigned to the race... thats weird. Naturally we appealed.
Beating back up.

First the appealing authority choose to focus on fair racing, granting us redress, thus canceling the heat. After a few days I was blackmailed to withdraw the appeal. I said no way; Can't negociate that. Talk to the skipper. Then the appealing authority vacated parts of the ruling. Another team then threatened to pull out, unless the entire appeal was vacated. After a day more, the entire ruling was vacated. The only explanation given was, that the protest should have been dismissed, because we did not protest under the right rule. Strange idea. Rule 61.2 clearly states, what must be in a valid protest, and that does not include a rule. We are allowed to protest, and then not provide a rule until the hearing; Only there was no hearing. Such a  laugh.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Appeal won

We won the appeal. The appealing authority chose to focus on good and fair racing, and so the race is cancelled, and we are all awarded average points. It might not be a perfect solution, but it sure is better than accepting anything as a race. Besides that, this ruling sets the scene for an important discussion on how to regard racing in SL in the future. Should crashes and computer skills determine the outcome, or should racing skills determine who wins. I sure know what I want.

Me relaxing after a crazy week with the protest.
So what is all the fuzz about? First up, we made history. This was the first appeal ever to take place in the history of SL sailing. Secondly, the appeal went directly against the old salts in the protest jury. They were not amused. I have heard things, I will not repeat here. Suffice it to say, I was chocked by the reaction to the result of the appeal. After a few days of hyperventilating the RD and the RCs of the OW started to think rationally again, and they carried on.
Going for a cup of tea.
More importantly the debate is on. How do we define racing. How much computer trouble can cause a cancellation. A few simple tricks from RL can make it all easier. Add a per race sailtime limit; Add a max restarts limit. Add a no starting later than - limit. Counting boatcrashes during race may also work. If all boats have the same amount of crashes, it might be a valid race, but winning the race as the only boat not having a crash... then ur not winning by sailing skills.
Ooops, there's my ride back home to Tradewinds.

There are several schools of sailing in SL. Some people seem to enjoy arcade style sailing, and they even find the fight with computers to be fun. Others seem to prefer a type of racing, where the sailing skill defines the winner. I am not saying either is right or wrong, but we need to establish a common understanding of "foul weather". If we put a sort of definition of good racing in the NOR, plus the time limits mentioned above, then I believe the future will see less protests on bad weather. Those who like reboot-races can do so. Those who like sailboat racing can do so. Let the NOR indicate the type of race.