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Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Hotlapper of The Week - Katana (Bacchylides Edenflower)

Our interview this week features Katana. She also hosted a Hotlaps event in the recent past as well :)

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.  :)

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Hotlapper of The Week - PeterSailor

I have the chance to Interview another 250 plus hotlapper Peter. I have known Peter since my sailing d├ębut so quite happy to have this interview with him :)

We love that you are hotlapping with us!


Ginger Henderson: How did your interest with sailing in Second Life begin?
PeterSailor: I have sailed in RL since the age of 4 but only during summers. I came to SL when I heard that it offered a possibility to ‘sail’ at other times of the year.

Ginger: We seen you sail in many Hotlaps. What do you enjoy about them?
Peter: I mostly enjoy the possibility of improving my online sailing, particularly to learn the subtle technical issues that differ from RL sailing. I also enjoy learning about different places to sail in SL.

Ginger: Do you have any changes you would like to see with Hotlaps?
Peter: The change that I wanted has just been implemented with the timestamp listing on the spreadsheet. I think that will help many of us to decide when not to try hotlaps, especially those of us who have sometimes become addicted.

Ginger: What time-zone in Real Life are you from?
Peter: USA, Boston time.

Ginger: Do you sail in Real Life as well? (But we understand if you say 'none of your business' ;))
Peter: Yes, I have sailed in RL for most of my life. I learned to sail in the longest continuously raced class in America, a wooden gaff rigged dinghy. I have raced in light planing dinghies, in a keel boat that looks similar to the Trudeau One but which sails more smoothly, and on ocean cruising/racing boats. Unlike the constantly pleasant weather of SL I have often raced in winds so light that they made no ripples in the water and on the other hand in an Atlantic storm on the way to Bermuda where the seas were 30 feet (10 meters) high.

Ginger: What are your top 3 favorite sailboats in Second Life?
Peter: I have a sentimental attachment to the Laser, because it was the first boat that I raced in SL (at TWYC) even though it is a very uncomfortable boat in RL. I like the Wildwind OP 60 for long distance races, but I enjoy the Trudeau 12 M the most, because she is the closest to sailing a RL keel boat. She requires a very subtle touch and trim.

Ginger: We seen you sailing mostly the Trudeau 12M.  Been sailing this boat for long?
Peter: I sailed the Trudeau 12 M as a tester and in performance trials before she was released. I also created the gestures for her and sailed her with Luna to make a promotional video

Ginger: Besides Hotlaps, do you practice with sailing a lot?
Peter: I race and I sail my Trudeau 12 M throughout continental SL.

Ginger: When sailing, do you use any tools or settings to help you that 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?
Peter: I always sail a hotlap course several times in whichever boat I’m in before trying a timed lap, because you need to develop a strategy for anticipating the implications of how an early manoeuvre will effect later positioning. I suggest watching how the best hotlappers sail the course and watching any videos that are available for each class of boat such as Armano’s for the Shields, Jake’s for the Bandit IF, and Burt’s for the Trudeau 12 M, from which I learned a lot and for which I thank him very much.

Ginger: What question would you like to ask other sailors out there?
Peter: Most importantly, are you having fun? How can the fastest hotlappers help you become a better sailor?

Ginger: Any other things you would like to share with others?
Peter: I would encourage the fastest sailors of any class to make a video of how they sail their laps just as Burt did. Unlike racing, hotlaps are not so much for beating someone else but instead for everyone to learn and improve. Then go beat the racers at the race lines!

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

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Hotlapper of The Week - Christine (christinedutch)

Another one of the Hotlaps crew has agreed to do an interview for our Hotlapper of The Week. This time got hold of Christine. :)

We love that you are hotlapping with us!

Ginger Henderson: Your interest with sailing in Second Life, how did it begin?
Christine (christinedutch): It started as a reason to escape from prison. One Trustee told me he loved to sail in SL. I seduced him to to take me out of prison to go sail. Since than I am hooked. It was a victorious escape for a few hours. (We escaped many times after that just to go for a spin)

Ginger: We  have seen you sail in numerous Hotlaps. What do you enjoy about them?
Christine: I love to sail competitive when I have time. I love to go sail in my RL morning after morning rush hour. Just me, a hot coffee and a few rounds of sailing. The races are mostly late in my evening, not always fitting in my schedule.

Ginger: Any changes you would like to see with Hotlaps?
Christine: Grins, good question. Since I am involved in the design of courses lately, please give us feedback. It's hard sometimes to make a course to everyone's desire. And I have a tendency to make it difficult since, well, I hate to sail straight courses. (professional dislike its boring)

Ginger: What time-zone in Real Life are you from?
Christine: Dutchie GMT +2 in summer

Ginger: Do you sail in Real Life as well? (But we understand if you say 'none of your business' ;))
Christine: Professional Sailor, i work maritime industry now for 20 years.With sailboats I do that only for fun, I help a friend sometimes on his passenger sailboat. Sailed a lot at school, and I have a friend with whom I sail summer evenings. Only with a fair breeze and mild weather haha, My glass has to stay upright. Banged around in bad weather enough in my life.

Ginger: What are your top 3 favorite sailboats in Second Life?
Christine: 1 Shields, that boat was good to me on the 1st moment I sailed it.Other than the shields actually not, I just take a boat depending on what I do. I always cruise in Trudeau because I love them, but for some reason I am terrible in racing them.
Sailed the Q24 for months when I just started to sail, because she's fast and easy to handle. In my mind a perfect start boat. Somehow I always come back to small boats, they just suit me better

Ginger: We seen you sailing many times with the Shields.  Have you been sailing this boat for long?
Christine: 5 months now, 1st time was a race at TRYC. Before that I didn't even know the Shields

Ginger: Besides sailing in Hotlaps, do you practice with sailing a lot?
Christine: Not really, I sail a lot but not as a practice. I just love to sail around. I always try to sail the rainbow cruises, because they are nice. However never at there time, since that doesn't go with my home life

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?
Christine: Other than my USB, minimap and the windrose of Burt I don't use anything in the shields. In this week course I didn't really race the shields, but my general rule is don't let her drop below 36 AWA or you loose speed. down wind stay between 130 to 140 degrees, 140 is ok above means loosing speed. Try not to loose speed by touching the rudder. I try to make my course changes in one time. Since the shields turns slow I plan ahead. Maintaining momentum with the boat is very important

Ginger: What question would you like to ask other sailors out there?
Christine: if you have any idea, location or a course you would like just tell us. If you would help us with either of those that would be great.

Ginger: Any other things you would like to share with others?
Christine: Have fun, I have boats like the Trudeau's I cant really compete with, but its fun to take them out and see if I can improve myself. Its not how high you are on the list, but how much fun you had trying.

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

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Hotlapper of The Week - Mike - Isilme Dae (justMike247)

This week I had the pleasure to interview Mike who has sailed in over 250 Hotlaps just recently. Congratulations :)

We love that you are hotlapping with us!

Ginger Henderson: How did your interest with sailing in Second Life begin?
Isilme Dae aka Mike (justMike247): Now there's a question. Ummmm I think I'd been in SL for two or maybe three weeks when a friend asked if I fancied sailing; I'd no idea you could do that. One visit to Trudeau Boatyard and that was it, lust at first sight, I just had to have the NY30. I've been on the slippery slope ever since.

Ginger: We seen you sail in many Hotlaps. What do you enjoy about them?
Mike: Hotlaps has a unique combination of things that are appealing; you're sailing against different classes of boats at times that suit You, rather than having a fixed start time. If you mess up, no worries; just re-cue the start line and try again, and again, and again. Try to push yourself as hard as you can, at first, then see how you're doing against others in the same boat, then others in similar boats. It's as competitive as you want it to be, and you compete whenever you feel like it.

Ginger: Do you have any changes you would like to see with Hotlaps?
Mike: I think the format as it stands is really good as is; the extra spicy option was one that I enjoyed exploring. I understand that there's a data capture issue with logging a time stamp on each completed lap, but if that could be resolved, it would help when analysing your results.

Ginger: What time-zone in Real Life are you from?
Mike: I'm in North East Scotland; Greenwich Mean Time

Ginger: Do you sail in Real Life as well? (But we understand if you say 'none of your business' ;))
Mike: Unfortunately, I haven't had the chance to sail since I was in the Scouts, more moons ago than I care to count. Beautiful day, flat calm, not a breath of wind... typical. Rowing a twenty ft boat over fourteen miles was anything but fun.

Ginger: What are your top 3 favorite sailboats in Second Life?
Mike: That would have to be my grand old ladies;- Trudeau 12m, Trudeau NY30, Trudeau FJ

Ginger: We seen you sailing mostly the Trudeau 12M.  Been sailing this boat for long?
Mike: Ever have one of those moments in life where time just slows wayyyyyyyyy down, where your eye catches every minute detail in an object? That's what happened to me the first time I saw the 12m on the hard. "Coming Soon", the sign said. Sixty hours never passed so slowly. I've been sailing her pretty much exclusively ever since.

Ginger: Besides Hotlaps, do you practice with sailing a lot?
Mike: I'm lucky; I've access to an awesome course at my home sim in Gulls Wing. I enjoy cranking the wind up as I as I dare when sailing solo, then pushing the boat around two laps. The course has enough diversity to test the boat on just about every point of sail, but it was laid out with smaller boats in mind, which makes it quite a challenge for the 12m. It punishes errors in handling, as it should, rewards you when you make a turn around a mark just right; it's a real good feeling when you can put two real good laps together.

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?
Mike: Up until I started with Hotlaps, all I'd ever really used for navigation was either Trapnav or the DS Cruiser HUD. I've since changed to using the USB HUD which, from a solo sailor perspective, is far more user friendly. Other than that, all I use is the HUD for the boat, and a wee sonar display that Peregreena gave me. With my addiction to deep, full keeled boats, knowing I have plenty water beneath the boat is essential.
From what I've seen to date, the 12m doesn't really have any preferred AWA; provided you're in a band between say 27deg off the bow, round to about 170ish, she'll pull pretty steadily if the wind is stiff enough. As for tactics on this weeks course, that's a tough question; Christine's set out quite the challenge this week. The 12m has a moderate amount of weather helm to her, which basically means that when sailing a leg between marks, the track she'll take is more of a gentle, sweeping curve than a straight line between the marks. The trick, if there is one, is laying her onto a course where all you'll need to do is sheet in occasionally to keep the boat accelerating, rather than having to bear away to avoid being in irons; not always easy with this week's course.

Ginger: What question would you like to ask other sailors out there?
Mike: Oh, obvious question;- how on earth do you guys make it look so easy????

Ginger: Any other things you would like to share with others?
Mike: I guess all that's important is that you enjoy your sailing, enjoy your boat; it's not about getting the best lap times, but about having a good time while you're sailing.

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