Amy and Ziz win Mango Match-Up

    

Mango Yacht Club and Fruit Island Estates hosted Round Two of the SL-VT Qualifying Series this past weekend. Many skippers will remember Fruit Islands from the J-Classic Regatta, and it was great fun to return there for another major race event.    

I must admit the sailing conditions were pretty great throughout the two days of racing and the week of practice that preceded it.  Even though the spectators totally filled the adjacent sim for most of the event,  the scheduled races were interrupted only twice by technical sim issues. Co-owners Equinox Pinion and Dennis Lagan, and Estate Manager Lizzo Dreamscape were omni-present anchors of reassurance, however; when problems arose they immediately got racers back on the water. THANK YOU, FRUIT ISLANDS!!!    

Did I mention Mango Yacht Club? Mango’s Commodore is Isis Rexi, a racing protégé of Liv Leigh. As I’ve mentioned before, Isis fell in love with Fruit Islands during Round Two of J-Classic, when she absolutely trounced everyone, beating her nearest competition by a full three minutes.  

 Isis helped launch Mango Yacht Club, and with  the wonderful assistance of Elbag Gable, LDeWell Hawker and several others she set up a fantastic Sail Training Program in Strawberry sim.    

 

You’ll recall that Hawk was the overall winner in last week’s SL-VT Round One at Tradewinds Yacht Club; although Isis has been on sabbatical, Hawk and Elbag were enthusiastic to help plan Round Two on Fruit Island’s waters, and the result was pretty great.    

 Hawk designed the Round Two racecourse, using new Fruit Island sims with a race line in Sapodilla. The course was reminicent of Round One, with two upwind-downwind short loops that taxed the skill of the skippers and the features of the boat. In a week of practice sessions, good skippers could run the route in seven minutes plus small change.   

The SL-VT Round Two format was also similar to Liv Leigh’s TYC First Round trials. Saturday consisted of  match races that narrowed the field of competitors to four. That small group then met on Sunday morning for a final shootout that picked two winners to represent Mango and Fruit Islands in the SL-VT grid-wide regatta scheduled for early August.     

When the fog lifted and salt-spray cleared on Sunday morning, this was the final line-up:    

____________________    

ROUND TWO FINALISTS
Ziz Kidd
Amythest Wingtips
US Vemo
Takabou Destiny
    

FINAL MATCH SCHEDULE
Match 1 Us Vemo — ziz Kidd
Match 2 Amythest Wingtips — takabou Destiny
Match 3 Amythest Wingtips — ziz Kidd
Match 4 Us Vemo — takabou Destiny
Match 5 Us Vemo — Amythest Wingtips
Match 6 takabou Destiny — ziz Kidd

______________    

Match 1 Us Vemo — ziz Kidd

The first race Sunday morning matched ziz Kidd with US Vemo.    

In Saturday’s preliminary round, US Vemo won a hard-fought race against Ziz, crossing the line in a blistering 06:50. This first Sunday Final event gave Ziz a second shot at US Vemo; it was payback time.    

US Vemo over early!! Yikes!!

Well. the payback came pretty quickly, as shown above; in fact, it came  too quickly :-).  Although US Vemo was leading in the prestart, perhaps fueled by excitement and wind variations he  jumped the line a split- second early and was forced to 360°-around the red buoy to get a valid restart.    

That’s all Ziz ever needed. Ziz roared past, and had a three boat length lead at the first tack, and kept it through the turn at the top mark.    

    

Of course these are both outstanding skippers, and US Vemo wasn’t ready to give up. Less than 24 hours before, he had beaten Ziz on this very same track.    

As shown above, once they flipped to the long downwind leg going South, US Vemo began gaining ground by shadowing his opponent.  Unfortunately, he never quite had time to catch up, and when Ziz won the bottom turn, few options remained.    

    

Ziz widened his lead in the course’s second lap, and won this first match with an unimpressive time of 07:52.  That’s actually a minute longer than the best times US and Ziz racked up the prior day, but in this race it was all that was needed.    

Match 2 Amythest Wingtips — takabou Destiny

The Sunday dance card was pretty full, and so the next race began with minimal delay. Amythest Windtips took on takabou Destiny in Match Two.    

    

As shown above, Amy won the Start, crossing the line a scant four seconds ahead of takabou, and in lee position. Takabou lost additional momentum changing course as he passed the green buoy, giving Amy a clear advantage. (note to sailing sportsfans: Do Not Give AMY Advantage.) Powered by clean air, Amy took off in overdrive and expanded her lead to several boat lengths  by the time the duo passed  the top mark.    

    

The image above shows Amy leading as the boats moved downwind, but takabou was still game-to-go. He clawed his way back using skill, tricks and tools.  As shown below, after the very last turn with only pixels between the boats and the Finish, takabou and Amy were neck-and-neck. if you look closer however, you see that Amy is windward and forward as the boats converge on the line; takabou can’t win from that position– he fought a great fight, but he ran out of time and water.    

Amy grabbed Race Two with 07:56, just nine seconds ahead of her competitor.    

    

Match 3 Amythest Wingtips — ziz Kidd

Amy stayed in place for Match Three, and Ziz Kidd sailed out to replace takabou for this race.    

    

Amy did not win a top spot in Tradewinds’ Round One last week, but all the staff  comments buzzed with “Watch for protests, don’t blink… Amy is very fast.” Well, in Match Three she started to live up to that reputation.   

    

In this match she was up against Ziz Kidd… a tried and proven race technician that was every inch as good a racer. Amy had no room to fool around, and she knew that. As the countdown finished and the horn went off, Amy literally exploded over the line at top speed with a start time of 00:00!!!  Maybe based on his experience from Match One, Ziz chose a more conservative start, crossing the line windward to Amy a bare three seconds later. The delay and distance of the starting boats was a classic setup however, and many eyes riveted on the two boats as they proceeded to the first tack point.  

     

As shown above, Amy tacked first, falling to port and cutting over Ziz’s bow. In the second image above (maybe 2-3 seconds later), Ziz also turned and fell parallel and leeward to Amy. At some point in this sequence or soon after, Ziz shouted STARBOARD!! and Protested.  The protest was denied on the water by the judges.  

Amy had clean air and open water after that first turn; she stepped on the gas and pushed her boat for everything it could give. Of course she needed to; Ziz stayed in the fight with her and never gave her an inch.    

    

The image above shows Ziz desperately taking back the few seconds of time and distance he lost in the start sequence. He did a truly noble job, pulling parallel and overlapped with Amy as they came to the bottom turn for the first lap. Unfortunately, as you can see above Ziz was overlapped outside Amy as they approached the turn, placing him wide and lee at the mark.    

Amy’s set-up, flawless skill and positioning kept Ziz at bay, and she went on to win with a breathtaking 06:56. A truly incredible match.    

I want to take an extra moment here to comment about the protest, because judging major regattas is a serious and thankless task. It takes a lot of work, and nobody even thinks about it unless something goes wrong. If you are a Judge, you can’t expect any thanks… but you need to bring an umbrella because the critics will rain down on you.    

Match Three had the only significant protest in two days of sailing. Silber Sands did a pretty great job;  she was the #1 Judge, assisted by judges Chaos Mandelbrot, Massy Johin, and Elbag Gable. 

The match rules for this round stated all protests would be decided on the water during the race, and that the judges’ ruling would stand. However, after Silber Sands denied Ziz’s Starboard protest, she convened a post-race Protest Hearing, so both skippers have a chance to tell their versions of the event, and all the judges could discuss again.    

The protest denial was upheld, and “NEXT RACE!” was called.   

Match 4 Us Vemo — takabou Destiny

    

Ready for the back-half of the race card, Takabou and US Vemo bellied up to the raceline.    

 This promised to be a spectacular match; both boats crossed the line in parallel, and US Vemo scored an audacious  00:00 start, followed three seconds later by TD. At the end of the first upwind tack however, both boats froze in place on the water at a sim ‘4-corner,’ and many sailors attending the race also crashed offline. It was yet one more sad reminder that on occasion the weather in SL can be painfully unpredictable.    

US Vemo falls overboard, Boat runs aground

After a quick reboot of the involved sims however, the race was back on, and US and TD tried again.  

This time US let all the stops out, again hitting the line at exactly 00:00.  TD was still somewhat disoriented though from his recent out-of-world experience, and he crossed the line a fraction of a second too early. TD did an obligatory recross, but his official start time placed him a full 30 seconds astern of US!    

    

In such a brief duel, 30 seconds can be a lifetime. Nonetheless, TD used skill and tenacity to  haul up alongside US during the downwind leg of the first lap, as shown above. Unfortunately that placed him outside and leeward as the two boats came around the bottom mark. Although after the 30 second start penalty it was remarkable TD was there at all, it’s notable that his disadvantaged position at the bottom turn cost him wind, distance, and time.    

As shown below, during the final lap TD dropped astern again, fended off by the lead boat. US Vemo finished a brief thirteen seconds ahead of TD, earning a respectable finish time of 07:00.    


Match 5 Us Vemo — Amythest Wingtips

There was no rest for the weary, however. US Vemo stayed on the line, and Amy came out as his next challenge.    

Amy was ready to roll, and again crossed the start line at exactly 00:00, five seconds in front of US Vemo.    

US Vemo trails Amythest Wingtips

More important , Amy had the momentum crossing the line and quickly used it to build a substantial lead on her way to the top mark.   

Amy’s a very fast sailor, and it was probably a tactical error for US Vemo to let Amy set up in the prestart and sprint over the line unencumbered. With clean air and an open course in front of her, on a good day Amy can be unbeatable, and she dramatically demonstrated it in race five. Amy’s first lap net time was 17 seconds faster than US Vemo, and she relentlessly increased that lead through the second lap, finishing with 06:51, a full 27 seconds ahead of her competition. 
 
   

Match 6 takabou Destiny — ziz Kidd

In the last match of the day, takabou Destiny met ziz Kidd. TD tried the same start maneuver he had used in Match Two against Amy, approaching the line on a Starboard reach to build up momentum, then sharply turning to cross the line as soon as the race began. This is called ‘barging‘ and it’s a risky tactic, since leeward starting boats have right of way and can easily block the barging boat. 
Ziz Kidd demonstrated how to do this in Match Six. If you look at the picture below,   ZK made a classic fleet start, setting close haul and shooting for the line at the extreme windward end, next to the green start buoy. TD roared in from the East, cutting up to close haul to cross the line windward of Ziz, but look what happens!! They both arrive together and there’s no room; Ziz could loudly PROTEST under Rule 11 (Leeward Rights) .  
 
   
 
Ziz chose not to do that, though; he simply held to his course, and takabou obliged him by changing direction, even though that meant TD’s boat would slam into the green buoy and lose momentum. As you can see below,  ZK then grabbed the advantage and forged a strong lead. 
 
   
Takabou stayed in the fight, but ZK’s lead allowed him to avoid TD’s windshadow for much of the race that followed. 
Ziz Kidd won this last race with a Finish time of 06:58
 
   
 The two top places for Round Two therefore were awarded to Amythest Wingtips (3 wins) and ziz Kidd (2 wins). They will now go on to sail for Mango and Fruit Islands in the SL-VT Finals Matchups in August!! 
Woot! Great Sailing!! 
  

Amy Flies First in Fruit Fleet

Match One
1: ziz Kidd — 00:07:52
2: Us Vemo — 00:08:04
Lap Times:
ziz Kidd — Start: 00:00:16 — Lap 1: 00:04:31 — Lap 2: 00:03:05
Us Vemo — Start: 00:00:28 — Lap 1: 00:04:30 — Lap 2: 00:03:06    

Match Two
1: Amythest Wingtips — 00:07:56
2: takabou Destiny — 00:08:07
Lap Times:
Amythest Wingtips — Start: 00:00:08 — Lap 1: 00:04:05 — Lap 2: 00:03:43
takabou Destiny — Start: 00:00:11 — Lap 1: 00:04:14 — Lap 2: 00:03:42    

Match Three
1: Amythest Wingtips — 00:06:56
2: ziz Kidd — 00:07:20
Lap Times:
Amythest Wingtips — Start: 00:00:00 — Lap 1: 00:04:04 — Lap 2: 00:02:52
ziz Kidd — Start: 00:00:03 — Lap 1: 00:04:08 — Lap 2: 00:03:09    

Match Four
1: Us Vemo — 00:07:00
2: takabou Destiny — 00:07:13
Lap Times:
Us Vemo — Start: 00:00:00 — Lap 1: 00:04:01 — Lap 2: 00:02:59
takabou Destiny — Start: 00:00:30 — Lap 1: 00:03:54 — Lap 2: 00:02:49    

Match Five
1: Amythest Wingtips — 00:06:51
2: Us Vemo — 00:07:18
[7:50:26] SLSA Raceline :
Amythest Wingtips — Start: 00:00:00 — Lap 1: 00:03:54 — Lap 2: 00:02:57
Us Vemo — Start: 00:00:05 — Lap 1: 00:04:11 — Lap 2: 00:03:02    

Match Six
1: ziz Kidd — 00:06:58
2: takabou Destiny — 00:07:14
ziz Kidd — Start: 00:00:07 — Lap 1: 00:04:02 — Lap 2: 00:02:49
takabou Destiny — Start: 00:00:07 — Lap 1: 00:04:11 — Lap 2: 00:02:56    

  

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4 responses to “Amy and Ziz win Mango Match-Up

  1. What a great article! Thank you for all you effort and thanks also to Fruit for arranging this incredible event. I enjoyed every second of it!
    Us

    • I didn’t have time or space to talk about it, but the preliminary Saturday 6am Round-Robin on June 12 ended in a flat-out, dead-even tie among US Vemo, Amythest Wingtips, and Ziz Kidd. They are all great sailors, and cut from the same cloth.
      In fact, let me add takabou Destiny to that group too. Liv and I actually had a side bet in the ACA Cup a few months ago; we thought takabou could win the whole thing!

      There will be several more SL-VT qualifying events over the next five weeks, and I hope US and Takabou have the time to join in those races, and show everyone how it’s done!

      SL-VT Round Three Practice

  2. The last months I’ve been that feeling of sportman & sailman spirit going side by side.

    A precious pic, thank you Jane!

    A got a gift for your eyes from the Amy vs Us flight in Fruit, last SL V T Round2, around quarter to 8a.m.
    (http://racingteamakhassha.posterous.com/a-gift-for-your-eyes)

    Enjoy!

    Good Winds!

  3. Pingback: Golden Gate hosts SL-VT Rnd3 on June 26 « Metaverse Sailing

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