We love that you are hotlapping with us!
Ginger Henderson: How did your interest with sailing in Second Life begin?
Katana (Bacchylides Edenflower): One evening, I met some new people at a dance club, and they happened to be very motivated racers. They have since become my good friends. They helped my find my first boat (a Nemo) and I was at first scared to start racing. I could see that racers were a serious bunch. But I collected my courage and entered my first race knowing I was going to have to learn a lot. Folks who are leaders in the sailing community are very kind and have helped me every step of the way.
Ginger: We seen you sail in many Hotlaps. What do you enjoy about them?
Katana: Hotlaps are great because they are asynchronous. It doesn't matter what time zone you are in, you can still participate. And you get to race against some of the best skippers. It gives me an appreciation for the sheer complexity of sailing. Even if I don't "win" by having the best time, I see what others are able to accomplish, and it helps me up my game.
Ginger: Do you have any changes you would like to see with Hotlaps?
Katana: Hotlaps are awesome as they are. Maybe we can script the line to give you congratulations for making your best time among only your own races, without comparing you to other folks. This would provide more regular positive feedback for skippers who will never reach the top, which is most of them. Everyone is a winner who finishes, and we want to communicate that and let people feel good about their own performance.
Ginger: What time-zone in Real Life are you from?
Katana: Eastern Time, United States.
Ginger: Do you sail in Real Life as well? (But we understand if you say 'none of your business' ;))
Katana: My first memories of sailing are from 1975 on a Sunfish, which is indeed a very small boat. Easy to sail, and even easier to fall off. I was a child, and my job was to raise and lower the centerboard, a job which took all my young concentration. Later on I learned to sail a Catalina 22, which is a small sloop perfectly suited for sibling rivalry over whose job is it to pull the halyards.
Ginger: What are your top 3 favorite sailboats in Second Life?
Katana: My favorite boat is the Trudeau Catboat Epicurus. It's basically a tank on the water, a tough workhorse that still has a few tricks up her sleeve. I also enjoy the Trudeau One sloop and the Nacra 17 catamaran.
Ginger: We seen you sailing mostly the Trudeau One. Been sailing this boat for long?
Katana: I am a big fan of Jacqui Tudeau's boats. When I first got the One a year ago, I found it difficult and I would capsize a lot. Sailing upside down I would call it. I put it away, and then tried again when I had more skill. It's a fun boat that is quite flexible, and it can be quite easy to sail on a cruise with it.
Ginger: Besides Hotlaps, do you practice with sailing a lot?
Katana: I happen to live on the North Sea, where there are many race courses. There are also many scenic places to cruise. I have racing boats and cruising boats. I never put friends on racing boats, because they prefer to chat and snooze rather than having to hike or work like crew.
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 weeks course like where to start from, where to tack?
Katana: A common mistake is to make your apparent wind angle too narrow.. There are folks out there with a 30 degree angle, and I am beating them at a 50 degree angle because I am that much faster. Always get a running start so you are at full speed when you cross the start line. Taking a little more time in the beginning can shave several seconds off your score at the end.
Ginger: What question would you like to ask other sailors out there?
Katana: Why aren't you sailing the same boats I am? Live a litte. Splurge. Buy a snazzy catboat and see if you can beat my time. I dare you. Try to master different boats, not the same one over and over again. Unless of course that's your game. Peace, bro.
Ginger: Any other things you would like to share with others?
Katana: In real sailing, the skipper spends most of their time looking at everything but the boat. The wind, the water, the sky. But in SL, we spend most of our time staring at the boat and the instruments. I would say try to look around a little more, appreciate the splendid neighbourhoods we are sailing through, and the work that went into creating those sims. Sailing is about people, not boats. How well we appreciate and communicate with others is just as important as the lap times we are so proud of. And Hotlaps is a great community and I am proud of us.
Ginger: Thank you very much for your time for this interview and looking forward to seeing you on the Second Life waters soon. :)