The opportunities for sailing in Sansara and Heterocera are pretty widespread and wonderous, and the new sim-changes seem designed to enhance sailing excitement. The Lindens and the DPW Moles have done a pretty great job and deserve a big thanks from the sailing community. With that preface and mindset, now let me complain a bit, since any good sailing area needs options and opportunities for both cruising and racing. Unfortunately, Sansara’s three racelines in Hepurn, Adriatic, and ANWR are old, buggy and inadequate, and the recent Linden changes have actually made things worse there. Let me explain, and begin with Mowry Bay.
Mowry Bay Yacht Club, headed by it’s Resident Janitor Saxxon Domela, was founded nearly five years ago. It’s the oldest, continuous mainland sailing group in all Second Life, and frankly, if you don’t know Mowry you don’t know SL-Sailing. Check back in the history of many sailors and nautical estate owners in SL and you’ll find quite a few Old Salts who cut their teeth at Mowry, and still express their rather primordial Mow-mow genes. Mowry has always been a focus for sailing innovation and simple good fun, from the days of the 2006 SLSF Cup to last year’s pretty incredible Mowry Sprints Regatta that came down to an epic duel between Gemma Vuckovic and Epicurus Emmons.
However, in the opinion of many, after nearly five years of continuous dedication to the SL sailing community Mowry’s sailing program is now dying. Here’s why:
MBYC races off the Linden Hepurn raceline. That raceline is only 40m long, and the line scripts date to Kanker Greenacre and Myrrh Massiel from the the summer of 2006 and the SLSF Cup. The raceline is buggy, difficult to use, and exploitable; but wait!!! it gets worse!
As part of the Sansara upgrade, DPW recently pulled out MBYC’s race buoys and replaced them with daymarkers.
HELP!! The daymarkers may look authentic, but they are truly useless as SL race marks. The daymarkers are phantom, the colors cannot be seen from a distance, and they do NOT show up on mini-maps or the World Map. Last week this supposed ‘upgrade‘ brought Mowry racing and solo laps to a screeching halt.
The ANWR raceline is even worse!
The ANWR Oil Rig is a Second Life Start Landmark, and it exemplifies the subtle (and mildly perverse) humor that makes SL a fun place to be. ANWR also has a venerable, and historically important Linden raceline that was the old Kazenojin Seiringu test track and proving ground for the Tako. If you sail a boat in SL, it most likely owes it’s legacy to countless sailors who did windward/ leeward laps in ANWR in years gone by.
Well, that ANWR raceline is still there, and its accessible from Sansara, but the raceline is not usable.
As you can see below, the ANWR raceline has an old SLSF windsetter that’s set to Linden Maintenance Group, so only Lindens can race there! Given the grand enhancements in Sansara I mentioned in my prior post, the loss of the ANWR raceline could bring one close to tears… but don’t start crying yet.
Sadly, the third Sansara raceline in Adriatic raceline fairs little better.
It’s another 2006 leftover from the SLSF Cup, and until a few days ago there was a four-year-old banner overhead with a fixed windsetter locked to Linden maintenance. Elisha Paklena filed a JIRA complaining about the Adriatic raceline on January 8, 2007 (yes, kids, three and a half years ago). The JIRA is now closed, but the ‘problem’ was never really fixed. At the moment there is no wind setter, but the 2006 raceline is still nearly unusable given its 40m length.
Sometimes “Size Matters,” at least with race lines. The top image above shows a Trudeau J-Class crossing the Adriatic line. The second image shows a J-Class lying parallel to the line. A 40m race line may have been great for Takos in 2006, and it may even be sufficient for a Fizz race today. However, it doesn’t work for the large majority of current racing boats in SL that want to use the line. At the time I’m writing this article, don Berthios is planning to use Adriatic for the SL-Vuitton Cup, with external cooperation from the WYTC and Golden Gate Yacht Club. The ACA-33 boats for that contest are 23m long, over half the length of the present line. By comparison, the Blake Sea-Atlantic raceline is more than three times longer than Adriatic!
Size isn’t everything, however. Sansara is a large sailing area, with rather vast interconnected waterways that span much of the continent and extend into Heterocera. It would be a great place to hold ’distance’ races that travel from one raceline to the next, and there are multiple sailing groups in Sansara that would jump at that opportunity. To make it possible, the three Linden racelines need an upgrade. Let’s hope it happens.