Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Breault Goes Bananas in Isolation Series II

J/70 virtual regatta San Francisco
(San Francisco, CA)- St. Francis Yacht Club has been running their so-called "Isolation Series" sailing virtual J/70s around a virtual San Francisco Bay race track. They are now into Round 2 of the series and there have been some amusing developments along the way. Without a doubt, the learning curve has been steep for "virgin virtual skippers."  Starting techniques and mark roundings are particularly challenging; especially when hoisting or dowsing the J/70's asymmetric spinnaker. When to go into "planing mode" is also a key differentiator for the many virtual skippers, just as it is in the real world!  Here is the latest report from StFYC:

Did you know that bananas float? In the flotsam of some shipwrecks were found floating stalks of bananas.

Did you know that bananas emit ethylene gas, causing other fruit to ripen quickly?

Did you know that bananas are favored hideouts for tarantulas and other spiders, which then travel around the ship infesting other food stores (and bedding)?

Is it any wonder that sailors are so wary of the yellow fruit coming aboard their vessels, for fear of bad luck? Legend has it that this superstition was even recorded long, long ago in an ancient Sanskrit text.

Nicole Breault brazenly puts that superstition to the test every time she races in the Virtual Regatta Inshore game by brandishing a giant banana on the mainsail of her yellow boat (nbsailor).

Last Wednesday evening, going into the final session of the StFYC Spring Invitational Series Round 2, Breault sat two points behind VR master Philipp Berner (philippdk), the champion of Round 1. Nerves were on edge as the competitive cauldron of our Club racers cranked up the heat on the series leaders.

Race 1 of the night was won by David James (LedaSailor), and Berner added another point to his lead over Breault by finishing 3rd to her 4th place. Race 2 saw both Berner and Breault completely falter off the starting line, and thus became a contest of who might better fight their way back through the fleet.

Breault bailed right and found a clear lane, pressure and a favorable shift, and by Mark 1 was at the front of the pack! Much to his dismay, Berner couldn’t shake the tenacious fleet around him. Breault nabbed the bullet in the end, while Berner finished 10th.

Race 3 brought sporty play at the front of the fleet for both racers, and Berner rallied to win. It was not enough to retake the overall series lead, however, as Breault crossed the line in 4th and secured the Round 2 title.

So back to the humble banana lore… more recent research has shown that authors of ancient Sanskrit texts sometimes use double negatives, as in the case of the banana citation: “Do not fail to bring bananas as they are healthy for your crew!” 

Our virtual racers are back to their daily race at noon. Interested in joining? Newcomers to the Virtual Regatta Inshore game can access play and spectating on VR’s website. Join our StFYC WhatsApp group to get synced up.

Editor's note: the two protagonists in this fierce battle for virtual J/70 regatta supremacy both sail on the same boat in the St. Francis YC J/105 class- Bruce Stone's ARBITRAGE.  Add to Flipboard Magazine.