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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Sail4Life: Looking to the Sea for a Cure for Cancer – Moonshade Pastorelli Reporting




Author Isak Dinesen said that “The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea.” And so it has been for Second Life’s sailing community. Since 2005, the Sail4Life team has participated in Relay for Life in SL with exuberance. Although Sail4Life springs from the waters of a community that began in the United Sailing Sims and along the shores of the Blake Sea, all SL residents are welcome and encouraged to participate in its events.

“The sailing community is extremely inclusive,” said Delight Blade, co-captain of the 2015 Sail4Life team. “Everyone involved in Sail4Life loves the water—just because they found it, they fly planes, they enjoy powerboats, they sail.”

“The sailing community is a large, diverse group of people,” said Winnie Sweetwater, captain of the 2015 and 2014 Sail4Life teams.  She describes the residents as “water-oriented,” some of whom sail in real life, some sail in SL, and some don’t sail at all.

Triple Crown of Sailing
Sail4Life 2015 has an ambitious calendar of events that can be seen at http://teamup.com/ks164d24b3cfc2d414/. Many races are followed by parties. Although some are still in the planning stages, a labor of love for Sweetwater and Blade is the inaugural Triple Crown of Sailing.
When describing the Triple Crown of Sailing, Blade refers to the Kentucky Derby, Belmont Stakes, and Preakness Stakes: “They’re separate horse races. But if you win all three, you win the Triple Crown.”
During the Triple Crown of Sailing, three clubs—Nantucket Yacht Club (NYC), Seychelles Yacht Club (SIYC), and Fishers Island Yacht Club (FIYC)--will host. Race #1 is April 25, 2-6 p.m., at NYC (http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Nantucket%20Yacht%20Club/60/29/23). Race #2 is May 16, 1-5 p.m., at SIYC (http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Port%20Victoria%20Isle/46/188/22). The final race is June 27, 2-6 p.m., at Plum Gut in Sailors Cove East (http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Plum%20Gut/53/162/29), and sponsored by FIYC.

The Triple Crown of Sailing is a series composed of three races,” said Blade. “Each race features one type of boat. At NYC, it will be the Quest Q-2m; SIYC, the Nacra 17; and at FIYC, the Trudeau One. The series is based on a low point total. If someone can win the races in three different boats, it’s like the iron man triathlon of sailing.” The winner of the Triple Crown will be announced at the Blake Sea Ball on July 11.
Registration to race closes April 23. To register, go to the SL Sailing Forum post at http://forum.slsailing.co/index.php?board=206.0 and return the completed registration form to Gemma Vuckovic.

Other Featured Sail4Life Events
photo by Delight Blade
On April 18th 1-4pm SLT the SIYC hosts an ORS-sponsored race. Although ORS is usually a sailing event, this race will be fast and relatively short, using motor boats*: F1 race boats. The F1s used in the race are temporary rezzes. Whoever wins is given the boat.  (http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Port%20Victoria%20Isle/46/188/22
* correction made

An example of the sailing community’s inclusiveness can particularly be seen in the May 3 Leeward Cruise Club’s (LCC) cruise to Shark Shack. “Anyone can go and not have to be a sailor,” said Blade. “You can hop on anyone’s boat to join the cruise.” In fact, LCC’s motto is: No one is left at the dock. The cruise runs 1-3 p.m. Start location to be determined.

A three-day auction of original, mostly nautical art, begins May 15, at Holly Kai Park (http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Holly%20Kai%20Estates/231/85/22). “We’ll have a DJ while the auction closes on May 17, 4-6 p.m.,” said Sweetwater.

Chippensails is a Sail4Life staple. The event features dancing sailors who are up for auction. “I make it clear to the guy and, if applicable, his girl that the Chippensail can be won to take someone on a sailing cruise or for a sailing lesson,” said Sweetwater. The Chippensails auction will be at Three Pines Sailing Center (http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Owasco/80/232/23), June 6, 1-4 p.m.

One event being planned is a jazz fest slated to be held at the SIYC, June 13, 3-8 p.m. “The concept is to replicate the Newport Jazz Festival,” said Sweetwater. “We held this event last year and alternated DJs with live musicians. This year, we have mostly DJs lined up thus far.”

June 20, all day, features a Poker Run and Raft Party powerboat event. The boats follow a charted course with stops along the way to pick up a playing card. At the Raft party, the person with the best hand wins.  Location to be determined.

The Blake Sea Ball, a formal event, caps off the RFL season. “We did it last year with the SL Coast Guard RFL team and would like to do it again this year with them,” said Sweetwater. The ball may again be held at the Hollywood Bowl. (http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Hollywood/171/103/33) “Last year, it was like a Hollywood movie opening with a red carpet. We’ll do something like that again.” The ball will be July 11, 2-6 p.m., and sponsored by Starboards Yacht Club.

photo by Delight Blade


Sail4Life culminates with a boat auction and marathon sailing event at the RFL campsite on July 19. Sailors can sail anything that floats during a 30-minute slot throughout the day and night. The event mirrors the RFL walk.
 
photo by Moonshade Pastorelli
Garden of Life

A location created specifically for Sail4Life was the Garden of Life in Sailors Cove (http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Sailors%20Cove/138/194/25). “My grandfather was in hospice that had a garden and brick path with areas where people could just be,” Blade said. Cancer survivors, caregivers, friends, and family often need a place of serenity. To honor that need and with her grandfather’s hospice in mind, Blade created a garden that features a heart-shaped path filled with a flower field and lined by pink- and purple-blossomed trees. Visitors will find a dance system, comfortable seating, and vendors and gachas of Sail4Life items. From a dock next to the garden, anyone may launch a boat, seaplane, or other floatable.

Sailing and Fundraising

Sweetwater doesn't hesitate to express how generous the sailing community is: “The 2014 Sail4Life team was considered by RFL in SL a Sapphire team, raising L$1,428,774, or $5,715 US.”  

“The Sail4Life team’s focus is on raising awareness, raising funds, and having fun along the way,” she said. “Awareness is as important to me as the fundraising: If you have a family member with cancer, go to the American Cancer Society sim, and there’s a support resource to help you. That’s as important as the lindens.”


To learn more about Sail4Life and its upcoming events, contact Winnie Sweetwater or Delight Blade (Dian4ma Shen). 
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