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Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Hotlapper of The Week - Burt Artis

We all know Burt as creator of some very beautiful boats and some gadgets as well as the Hotlaps but what do we really know about him when it comes to sailing?
I have had the pleasure to get him for an Interview on this :)

We love you are hotlapping with us!

Ginger Henderson: How did your interest with sailing in Second Life begin?
Burt Artis: Really do not remember, but I do know I felt I discovered it too late! 
It is one of the things that kept me returning to SL and most of the sailors I know are nice people.

Ginger: You created this version of Hotlaps. What do you like about it so far?
Burt: It was like most of my projects just to see if I could make it work. It is a lovely puzzle!
After running it a week or 2 I was ready to stop "hosting" it cause it worked fine and it felt like a hassle to organize it over and over. But then some people stepped in and started helping out and encouraging to go on, I'm glad we did.
It is cool that it seems to have a growing group of sailors that like to sail laps with us.
And with this little crew  the work became part of the fun and it's nice to see people enjoying themselves.
What is cool is that we can race whenever we feel like it or if we have some time on our hands and that it is a great training tool. It looks like all sailors that regularly sail laps with us are better at it now than when we started out.
It is also a lot of fun to discover the new places we go to.

Ginger: Do you have any changes you would like to do with Hotlaps?
Burt: If I was a real coder I would make the program more robust, it seems to have some nasty little bugs.
I try not to be a perfectionist but when it does not work 100% it really bothers me. 
F that I think the next moment, it works 99.8% and it is good enough for a hobby project.

Ginger: What time-zone in Real Life are you from?
Burt: Holland here, 9 hours earlier than second life time.

Ginger: Do you sail also in your Real Life? (But we understand if you say 'none of your business' ;))
Burt: When I was young I used to sail a lot and later even had a few boats, its been a few years since I was last out (damn)
I can recommend anybody that likes sailing here to try it in RL if you can,  it is awesome and you have a pretty good base knowledge if you learned to do it in here!

Ginger: What are your top 3 favorite sailboats in Second Life?
Burt: I like bigger boats best, they are less nervous and they like looong trips (totally opposite of RL by the way where I like small open boats :) ) I like boats that are a challenge to sail. 
My prettiest boat is Rene Underby's Schokker, it is also fun to sail.
A must have on this list is the Shields cause I spend so much time with her. It is a pity I do not allow myself to race her.
(Do not want any suspicion of me cheating cause I am so fast :) )
And I like the Trudeau 12M cause this boat looks beautiful and I seem to be really fast in it somehow.
(whispers: but it is really hard to choose only 3)

Ginger: You seem to be dominant with your Trudeau 12M recently.  Been sailing this boat for long?
Burt: Bought it cause they were sailed a lot in the FIYC races at 11 AM (nice Euro friendly times) 
We sailed it there for months almost every weekday!

Ginger: Besides Hotlaps, do you practice with sailing a lot?
Burt: No, when i get a new boat I usually sail it more then usual for a week or so to figure it out after that it is only in a cruise or a race and recently the Hotlaps!
But I did practice a whole LOT when I started sailing in SL that was the Tako days and later the Fizz.

Ginger: When sailing, do you use any tools or settings to help you you may want to share with others? Things such as your preferred AWA on different headings and tactical choices on this week's course like where to start from, where to tack etc?
Burt: No special tools, I do try most of em though! (loves gadgets!)
Made a movie sailing the 12M around this weeks course with my tips and tricks in text balloons:

Ginger: What question would you want added to this interview? So we can ask the next sailor for you.
Burt: Think it is fun to get to know the people we sail with a little better so maybe a really open question like tell us a bit about yourself :) see what they wish to share (you can make up things if it is a good read!)

Ginger: Any other things you would like to share with others?
Burt: I would like to thank the Hotlaps crew for making this possible!
If you would like to get involved too let us know (read the help wanted note in the info card)

Ginger: Thank you very much for your time for this interview and looking forward to seeing you on the Second Life waters soon.  :)

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Hotlapper of The Week - Luna Azulejo

Luna you are the first sailor to reach the magic mark of 250 laps sailed.
May we present you with this burgee you can put on your boat. Congrats!! :)

We love you are hotlapping with us!

Ginger Henderson: How did you get interested with sailing in Second Life?
Luna Azulejo: I was only three weeks old in SL when a sailor who was to become my very most excellent SL friend invited me to go sailing. I was barely past having a rubber-doll avi and ignorant about so many things in SL, not to mention sailing, so to be out on the sea with an expert in a beautiful vessel (I think it was a Francois Jacques), to hear the ocean sounds I grew up with, and to observe all the work people had put into making this world a wonder just blew me away. I decided I wanted to be a part of it all, to create my own small contribution, so I looked for beach property and wound up in Eden, where I still live. I got a Nemo, but couldn't  quite figure her out, so took lessons from an expert former racer who had a little sign on her Eden parcel offering to teach new sailors.  Sailing right out of my cove was fabulous, even that time I tried to sail from Eden to the Blake Sea, heh. From there it's been incremental learning. Burt taught me how to make gestures, Hanne taught us wind and sail angles on T12s at the old Hake Academy, Peter has taken me aboard and patiently reviewed the basics with me countless times, and I won a Shields lesson from Armano at the S4L auction last year. Racing with the new Shields sailors last summer under Ginger's direction on the Sea of Fables was a turning point in my understanding of sailing physics. But I still  get disoriented due to my lousy sense of direction in both lives, so have a ways to go yet.

Ginger Henderson: We seen you sail in a lot of Hotlaps. What do you enjoy about them?
Luna Azulejo: They are logic puzzles and a great learning tool – my sailing has improved. They appeal to my obsessive-compulsive side. I also like that I can do a port start if I want without getting run down or yelled at. You know, sailing, especially racing, takes a fairly long time to learn, so it's nice to have competition without the stress of sailing with a pack. It's been said before: SL racers sail much more closely to one another than they would in RL!

Ginger Henderson: Do you have any suggestions on any changes you would like to see with Hotlaps?
Luna Azulejo: If you really must design courses that run into EOW, please provide animations that make our boats sail off the edge like the illustrations on old maps before Columbus and Magellan and all the rest proved the real world isn't flat.

Ginger Henderson: What time-zone in Real Life are you from?
Luna Azulejo: I'm from coastal Southern California, but now live in SLT+1.

Ginger Henderson: Do you sail also in your Real Life? (But we understand if you say 'none of your business' ;))
Luna Azulejo: I just started RL sailing a few months ago. SL and the sailors I've met here inspired me!  Learning  the basics in SL gave me a good head start – my first time out, I looked up at the chicken atop the mast and saw the Nemo instrument. :) I only have close access to lakes where I live now,  but this past November took a lesson on a Catalina 34 sailing the Pacific out of my hometown harbor. Sheer bliss! I'm going back next month and will again sail the Pacific. My dream is to find a way to spend winter months on the coast so I can sail. 

I look back and wonder why I never thought of learning to sail when I was still living on the West Coast.  I grew up umbilically attached to the Pacific, hearing waves breaking as I went to sleep. I've gone swimming in four  of five oceans! I think it's because I identified more with surf culture – I surfed and bodysurfed, which compared to sailing are minimalist, in the water instead of on it.  I guess I always thought sailing was only for wealthy people, but I was misinformed.

Ginger Henderson: What are your top 3 favorite sailboats in Second Life?
Luna Azulejo: My Shields is my favorite. I'd gone from the Nemo to a Laser but was racing rather badly, having mistakenly equated  its small size with ease of handling. That's a gnarly little wet boat! Burt's Shields was my breakthrough vessel. Not only is she free, she's relatively easy to learn.  I have a Trudeau One that still gives me fits and a Nacra I love on the open sea but can't race until I fix my hike gestures and practice a LOT. I do race my lovely, stately RM30, and just got an IF that's fun if for no other reason than having to scramble all over her deck like a chimp! Okay, that's seven, not three, sorry.

Ginger Henderson: You have sailed the most Hotlaps thus far not including crew. Want to talk about your Hotlaps addictions? :)
Luna Azulejo: I admit I am a Hotlaps addict. I go weeks without eating decent food, subsisting on water and moldy biscuits. Anyone who's known me a while can see my avi has shed many pounds/kilos. My face is thin, my cheeks sunken, my eyes glazed and at times so watery I can't see what I'm doing. I'm sunburned. I go for days without changing clothes, even sleep in the neoprene wetsuit Makhno made free at Tradewinds. My fingertips are callused, my keyboard is dusted with crumbs  that I have to sweep out with a paintbrush. I swear a lot, lurk on docks and floats trying to wheedle tips from old salts. I seldom get miserable enough anymore to write poetry, gave up buying lattes and Oregon pinot noir so I could support my sailing habit. I almost never go  dancing anymore, and keep Autorespond activated 87 percent of the time. Yes, I have a problem! I know! All I need is to beat Christine in my Shields! Then I'll quit, I promise! Sheesh.

Ginger Henderson: Do you practice a lot with sailing outside Hotlaps?
Luna Azulejo: I sail around Eden and the North Sea late at night, explore quite a bit,  occasionally take non-sailors on leisurely cruises, and often go to the Atlantic startline to practice the Nantucket courses with different boats. I've raced at NYC, but the sailors there, especially that pink one, are fierce and strong and carry knives in their teeth.  I'm too meek and incompetent for that level of competition, though I do like to hang out on their committee boat and drink their beer.

Ginger Henderson: When sailing, do you use any tools or settings to help you you may want to share with others? Things such as your preferred AWA on different headings and tactical choices on this weeks course like where to start from, where to tack etc?
Luna Azulejo: Ha. I know this is a boilerplate question, but I'm not the sort of sailor who can give others tips, though I have shared my gestures and helped people find free boats. I finally learned and converted to USB, which I recommend. But I still can't just look at a chart or even use a protractor and straightedge to plot my course. I'm an empiricist; that theory stuff only makes sense to me after I experience it. I'm hoping that after several thousand more Hotlaps I'll finally be able to do simple geometry, which apparently has disappeared from my inventory.

Ginger Henderson: What question would you want added to this interview? So we can ask the next sailor for you.
Luna Azulejo: “When are you going to tell Luna all your secrets so she can beat you?”

Ginger Henderson: Any other things you would like to share with others?
Luna Azulejo: When I was new to SL, I always asked older residents for advice on how best to enjoy life here. One response came from the editor of r_e_z magazine who's published a couple of my pieces. She said, “Surround yourself with good people.”  Being a sailor has allowed me to do just that, and I'm grateful to be part of this wonderful international community! You guys are the best!

Ginger Henderson: Thank you very much for your time for this interview and looking forward to seeing you on the Second Life waters soon.  :)

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Hotlapper of The Week - Destiny Wescott

We are starting a new weekly post for Hotlaps. It is the 'Hotlapper of The Week'. Will try to have these posted for Wednesday of each race week.
Our first Hotlapper of The Week is none other that Destiny Wescott.  We love that you are Hotlapping with us :)

Ginger Henderson: So what brought you to sailing in Second life?
Destiny Wescott: I started sailing in Second Life because it looked like a fun way to explore lots of area's that I hadn't seen before.

Ginger Henderson: What about Hotlaps? What do you like about it?
Destiny Wescott: There are a few things that make Hotlaps rock!  Hotlaps are a great way to compete against other sailors to see who's the fastest, without many of the problems racing in sl brings with it... such as barging, wind shadowing, right of ways, sim corners, lag monsters.  If you run into any of these problems during a race, chances are there are not going to be any restarts.  With hotlaps everyone can sail the course as many times as they like in more favorable conditions.
With sailing the same course over and over, trying to sail it faster and faster... I find I'm still discovering new tactics to make my boats sail faster.  Especially in regards to sailing with different wind speeds.
Sailing hotlaps is a great opportunity to chat with other sailors about strategy and tactics.  I have picked up a number of tidbits from others in the sailing community over the years that have helped me become a faster and more experienced sailor.
Sail any boat any time you want!  I enjoy sailing competitively, but not all races are at a respectable time for me and not all boat classes I enjoy sailing get raced.  Hotlaps has helped refuel my desire to sail some of my boats that have been hidden away in my inventory for too long:)

Ginger Henderson: Anything you would like to see as possible changes or some suggestion you may have for the Hotlaps?
Destiny Wescott: So far I have really been enjoying sailing the Hotlaps and would like to give a big thanks to all those that has done their part in making them possible... you all rock!
 I have one idea I think some others might also enjoy.  If it don't cause to much lag, I think it would be useful to have a hud that displays a sailor's current lap time for a hotlap he/she is sailing at the moment.
 Lately I have been using an online stopwatch when sailing coldlaps (sailing the course without signing in to sail a hotlap.. hehe, I call them coldlaps;).  After I started doing this I would take note of the time on my stopwatch at certain points of the course to help determine if some of the different approaches I have been taking are faster or slower.  Some times I will even use the online stopwatch when I'm sailing hotlaps so I will know how well I'm doing as I sail the course.
 If other hotlappers would also find such a hud displaying their current lap time useful without it causing to much lag, then such a gadget might be a nice addition to the hotlaps.

Ginger Henderson: What time-zone in Real Life are you from?
Destiny Wescott: I'm in the United States, Pacific Time.  Which means my rl time is always the same as sl time.

Ginger Henderson: Do you sail also in your Real Life? (But we understand if you say 'none of your business' ;))
Destiny Wescott: I never have had the opportunity to sail in real life.  Since I started sailing and racing in sl, I have had started watching real life regatta's.  Sailing in real life looks like a lot of fun and I hope to have the chance to try it some day.

Ginger Henderson: What are your  top 3 favorite sailboats in Second Life?
Destiny Wescott: If I didn't have more then 3 boats, this would be easy to answer:)  I generally favor the smaller and slower boats since they don't have the extra lag that comes with sailing at faster speeds.  The Leetle Cat II will always be one of my favorites, its so adorable and fun to sail!  I first discovered sl's sailing community and started racing with my nacra, when it was the only boat I sailed for the longest time... so the nacra will always have sentimental value to me.  I also enjoy sailing the T1 (Trudeau One) very much.  I enjoy competing against other sailors with the T1 and there are some very fast T1 sailors around, I like the challenge:)  The T1 also has a deep keel for me, the deepest sailing boat I own which always has me keeping an eye on shallow waters.  I find the T1's deep keel makes things more challenging, which I also find exciting.

Ginger Henderson: We saw you rock in your Nacra 17 recently.  How long have you been sailing this boat?
Destiny Wescott: I have been sailing the Nacra since July of 2013.  I spent a lot of time sailing and getting to know how this boat likes to be sailed fast!  I really enjoy how it handles and with respectable sailing conditions I feel its a great boat for sailing fast without sailing too fast (in relation to speed vs lag).

Ginger Henderson: Do you practice a lot with sailing?
Destiny Wescott: I use to practice a lot.  I have spent a good amount of time sailing over the years here in sl.  Some weeks I will sail more then others, it all depends on whats going on and if I'm in the mood for it.

Ginger Henderson: Would you like to share your secrets and help others sail faster too? Things such as your preferred AWA on different headings and tactical choices on this weeks course like where to start from, where to tack?
Destiny Wescott: This weeks course allows from some fast starts.  If anyone's ever had to shake their finger at you for barging at the start of a race, then you know what I'm talking about ;)   Crank up your speed by approaching the line with a higher awa/twa then turn to a close hauled approach near the race line.  If done smoothly you can make it a good ways to the first mark with speeds noticeably faster then if you were to cross the start already on a close hauled approach.  If you want to shave 5-10 second more off your lap time, give this a try.
 In regards to the awkward approach many will find with the second yellow buoy of the course (ne buoy in Petrel, 7th buoy of the course), if you are making quick tacks close to the buoy in order to round it and find yourself losing to much speed from having to make two tacks right away... remember to hike, shifting your weight where needed will speed things up.  If your still losing to much speed you may want to think about making that first tack sooner.  Depending on the boat, how far away you are from this buoy when finish rounding it can also have a noticeable difference on what awa/twa you will use to reach the next mark.. which will likely effect your speed.  So make sure your not to be far east of the buoy when you finish rounding it.  If your competing for the fastest time, you will want to have rounding this buoy down well.  I have been practicing my approach with this buoy for each of my boats several times before moving on from sailing my coldlaps, until it feels like I got it down.

Ginger Henderson: What question would you want added to this interview? so we can ask the next sailor for you.
Destiny Wescott: How do you tweak your Bwind?  I have been setting my Bwind with no variations and no gusts.  I'm under the impression everyone has been setting their Bwind this way.  If I'm mistaken then my bad!  I talked to a couple others who were unsure of how the Bwind should be set, so I'm curious how many are setting their Bwind differently and never mention it.

Ginger Henderson: Any other things you would like to share with others?
Destiny Wescott: Although the wind we have been using from the WWC has very light wind shifts and gusts, when competing for the fastest time... they become rather noticeable.  If you want to shave some more time off you laps, start paying attention to the wind speed.  You may find you will sail the course faster starting out when the wind is above 9.26 m/s instead of below it, or timing it so you have stronger winds when sailing close hauled.

Ginger Henderson: Thank you very much for your time for this interview and hope to see you on the Second Life waters soon.  :)