Author Archives: Scoop Gumshoe

Sailors Protest Warships In Blake Sea

Things are moving quickly. While writing my previous story, I had the opportunity to talk to someone involved with the carrier in question. Before I have even had a chance to start writing on that discussion, the SL Sailing Association in-world group erupted.

Sailors are staging a protest in the Blake Sea, in the vicinity of the carrier. The following photos just in:

Sailors mount a protest against the warships in the Blake Sea.

Sailors in passive protest at military operations in the Blake Sea.

Counter-protest by pro-military.

More as it comes in.

War In The Blake Sea

You may have seen them already if you have sailed in the Blake Sea recently. The aircraft carriers, the warships, the low-flying attack aircraft. Let me clarify that a little: the permanently stationed aircraft carriers and warships.

Aircraft carrier in ‘Blake Sea – Kraken’ sim.

There were misgivings some time ago when four Blake Sea sims were set to public rez to allow the pirate community to stage its sea battles. In the end, it turned out that the pirates were a responsible community who scheduled their events sympathetically with the sailing community (facilitated by a shared calendar). If anything, the impact on recreational and racing sailors has been minimal. As a regular sailor in the Blake Sea, this reporter has rarely encountered a pirate battle in progress.

This has all changed. Now, we have WWII or other recent-era warships on what seems like permanent station in the Contested Waters sims. Not only that, but a fifth Blake Sea sim (Hawser) has been made public rez specifically for these warships to use.

Aircraft carrier in Blake Sea – Kraken sim, with 10m x 10m prim to indicate size.

At first, some thought this was a misconfiguration by LL. However, following his recent announcement, it appears that this was arranged by MarkTwain White. The story goes that the pirates were starting to complain about the modern battle craft taking over the Contested Waters, so Hawser was made public rez temporarily as a way to move the modern craft away. It also seems that White gave permission for at least one warship to be permanently set up in Hawser, even when there is no actual combat in progress.

Also in White’s announcement was the proposal to LL, by “some of the USS leadership” that four sims in the south west corner of the Blake Sea be dedicated to WWII and modern era battles. Already, they have moved into this area – before a decision has been provided by LL. Currently, as I write, there is a carrier stationed in Kraken. It has been there for several hours.

The vessel is pretty big (and, I have to say, not very well made – it is very poorly proportioned, being far too wide for its length). I took a closer look and found that it is nearly 100m long and about 40m wide.

It so happened that the forward end of the vessel was over the rez zone in the north east corner of the sim, so I took the opportunity to rez a prim and resize it to 10m by 10m. The next photo shows an overhead view of the vessel with this prim in place, and gives a better idea of its size. The small dark object left of centre of the 10m prim is my avatar.

What we want to know is, where have the Blake Sea Steering Committee (a community group specifically set up to represent sailing interests in the Blake Sea) and the local sailing clubs been while this was developing? Were they consulted?

NY30 Solstice Challenge Regatta – Interview

A new sailing event has just been announced, called the New York 30 Solstice Challenge. This charity event, in support of Sail For Life, is scheduled to be held on the weekend of June 23/24, 2012. You can read the announcement on Metaverse Sailing here. SL Sailing News managed to catch up with busy event organizer Jane Fossett for a quick interview. Here’s how it went:

SLSN: Hi Jane. Thank you for taking time out of your schedule for this interview with SL Sailing News. I’ll get straight to business: Is this a special, one-off event, or is it expected to be recurring?

JF: It won’t recur. Next year we’ll do something else!

SLSN: The announcement says it’s a team event. Does this mean that the boats will be crewed, and that the crew will be actively involved with the sailing? (I’m not familiar with the NY30.)

JF: Yes the boats are crewed. One person can race it solo, but the boat really flies with extra crew, so I expect most will bring along their friends to race. Trudeau boats let the crew hike across six positions, adjust sails, and switch with the skipper. Regarding this regatta, there are still nuances to work out depending on sign-up and hosts. For example, instead of 1-5 crew, it could be 1-4 to add a 5th boat to fleet races.

SLSN: Are the crew jobs optional with regard to the regatta?

JF: Yes, its up to the team.

SLSN: How many venues will host the event, and have they been finalized?

JF: Hosts are nearly finalized, one for the final, at least four for the qualifiers on Saturday, but we may need to adjust to accommodate the entrants.

SLSN: Yes, to do with timeslots, or time zones.

JF: Yes. In One World we added a Friday timeslot, for example. We need to be somewhat flexible to accommodate racers. For timelots, I’m asking 6-9-12-3-6 to get consensus of entrants. Then we decide.

SLSN: What scoring system will be used to determine heat and overall placings?

JF: Scoring will be standard low point system, we’re discussing details. There will be four races in each qualifying timeslot, with one throw-out, and the same is true for the finals.

SLSN: Will it be full ISAF rules or a more relaxed ruleset?

JF: Full rules, with some ‘clarification’ about crew issues, griefing, SL crashes, appeals process, etc.

SLSN: The announcement mentions several people, presumably in the context of event organizers. Can you clarify the roles that each person is undertaking?

JF: Those are the great people who are involved in the planning for the event, and there are many more. I hope we can work with the clubs to get RD and judging assistance too. The “New York 30 Solstice Challenge” regatta we’re planning is a great example of the common commitment of many people here. For some time Dale Irata’s planned a SAILstice event that weekend, coordinating it with similar activities in real life yacht clubs. Kentrock Messmer also wanted to stage a High Roller’s race regatta that day, repeating a very popular event from last year. While we all tried to come up with the best fit for the limited time available, divine providence interceded.

Well, actually it was Jacqueline Trudeau. 🙂 Just as we were putting the event together, Trudeau Yachts launched a great new boat, the New York 30. Trudeau offered to give each of the S4L race teams a boat in return for their donation as a way to encourage participation and increase the number of contributions for the event. Her offer was remarkably generous, but it was quickly paralleled by commitments from several others to match the entry donations of the contestants. There’s been great deal of enthusiasm in just a short number of days, and my head’s still spinning. 🙂

Understandably, a number of details about the competition are still being worked out, as we see how large the competition fleet will be, and try to accommodate people”s interests and needs. As of today we still have several open racing slots for the regatta, so people should stop reading this, go grab their boat shoes, and sign up!

SLSN: So, more of a meeting of minds and pooling of resources than defined roles per person. Would it be correct to say that you’re the organizer (something that I assumed in my opening comments)?

JF: I’m the typist, yes. 🙂

SLSN: Jane, thank you very much for your time, and good luck with the regatta. 🙂

And there you have it, folks. A weekend team event on crewed boats in supoprt of S4L, four or more qualifiers and a final, multiple venues, conventional yacht race scoring, with flexibility on timeslots to suit the needs of the participants. It sounds like a busy weekend for the organizers, but with the experienced Fossett at the helm, we reckon it will go well.

SYC – Social Yacht Club?

After a lengthy period in the doldrums, there have been recent signs of activity at Starboards Yacht Club (SYC).

However, things are not quite what we would expect.

SYC – a yacht club – seems to have become a social club. There have been regular event announcements in the club’s in-world group (and repeated in the SLSA group), but these have concentrated on various events like musical concerts. Last week, this culminated in the opening of a jazz club in the Hollywood sim where SYC resides.

A few weeks before these social events started, it looked like racing was returning to SYC, but this seems to have fallen by the wayside. Now, it looks like the club should be called SJC, for Starboards Jazz Club.

There is certainly nothing wrong with music and socializing, but what we want to know is, will messing about in boats ever return to the oldest sailing club in Second Life?

FIYC Pulls Out Of World Cup

In yet another blow to the troubled SL Sailing World Cup run by Bea Woodget, the team fielded by Fishers Island Yacht Club has withdrawn from the contest. No further details are available at present, other than the fact that it seems the team’s entry has disappeared from the spreadsheet that is used to list the teams and team members.

We will update you when (or if) more information is available.

World Cup Events Cancelled

It has come to our attention that, during the month of May, several scheduled World Cup events did not materialize.

Tradewinds Yacht Club was expected to host an ACA event in mid-May, Nantucket Yacht Club was down for a Leetle Cat II event a week ago, and there was supposed to be an IACC event this weekend at Marina Sports Racer Sailing Club.

It appears that there have been no annoucements or Notices Of Race, and there has been no sign of the usual activity surrounding such events.

We have to wonder – are the clubs losing interest in the World Cup?