Waypoint Hits the Water (reprise)

Waypoint Hits the Water

(This article was originally posted on  December 6th, 2007;
I’m reposting it in honor of Waypoints Second Birthday. WOOTS! ).

Let me give another shout-out for the new Waypoint Yacht Club.

As most sailors already know, Taku Raymaker has worked pretty tirelessly over the past many months to expand SL Racing for Japanese sailors. Sailors in the United Sailing Sims were therefore delighted when Taku’s fleet decided to drop anchor in Santa Cruz and make Waypoint Yacht Club their home port. Waypoint will join with Starboards and Nantucket Yacht Clubs to coordinate a full schedule of races and sailing events for all the interconnected waterways of USS.

And with that introduction, let me tell you: based on what I saw today, the WYC Race Fleet certainly didn’t waste any time getting up and running!

This morning I grabbed some coffee and went over to catch WYC’s first official race from the Starboards line in Hollywood.  It was pretty impressive. A large fleet of truly wonderful sailors converged by the dock, raised sail, and then took off full-throttle past the SYC clubhouse on close haul. They didn’t miss a step, lapping the Olympic Course with style and confidence. Gee, they made it look… easy.

Then it struck me: Of course they’re comfortable racing the Olympic course! Waypoint’s now part of the USS home team, and this morning’s WYC skippers were already showing the flair and swagger of athletes playing their home court advantage.

It was great fun to watch, and…  Hey Waypoint? Welcome Home!

While I was hovering over the start line and still drinking my first cup of coffee, Bea Woodget showed up!  If you haven’t been paying attention recently, let me bring you up to speed on something everybody else knows; Bea Woodget’s  been doing a wonderful job as a Race Director at both NYC and SYC. She deserves a huge round of applause for the work she has done planning and organizing races that are convenient for sailors in European time zones. Bea started the NYC Friday 9:00am Beach Cat Races, and this week she just inaugurated  a Euro-friendly Tako Race series at SYC.

The new races are scheduled for Sundays at 1:30am SLT/PST, and they are already a big hit!

While I was trying to fly, take pictures, and not spill my coffee, I was also thinking about how unique our SL Sailing community is… (Don’t worry, I’m not going to get soft and weepy here).

I mean, this morning I logged in from North America and drank my Starbucks while cheering on my Japanese friends as they crossed the SYC start line 30 meters below me, but also more than 10,000 miles West. At the same time, Bea was watching the races next to me but also 5,000 miles East. There we were, all together, nothing special; just another day in SL. Maybe we need to be careful. Somebody might get the idea that building an online community of funny, intelligent people that is unencumbered by traditional barriers of nationality, class, or distance is somehow important.

That sounds pretty tedious. Personally, I just like to play with toy boats.

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