Saturday, May 10, 2008

SLSA Elections (Part I) - What's going on?

The Second Life Surfing Association (SLSA) announced 'emergency elections' late yesterday/early today, to take place on Saturday 17 May 2008. In a statement via in-world group notice and posted in the SLSA Forum the SLSA stated that "Due to the vacancies of Ritch Goalpost, Sierra Sugar and Carenahh Kuu we will be having a special election to fill those three positions". For those members that are scratching their heads and wondering if they've missed something since the last SLSA elections on March 1st, SurfWatch attempts to fill in some of the gaps.

Missing directors

Some SLSA members may well ask what happened to Ritch Goalpost, Sierra Sugar and Carenahh Kuu, why they are no longer directors and perhaps why the elected directors departures weren't announced by the SLSA directors to the membership. For the record, SurfWatch understands that Ritch disappeared from Second Life shortly after being elected for reasons unknown and so his position has remained empty since early March. Sierra resigned a few weeks ago and Carenahh resigned her position on Wednesday.

This may leave Milo Voss and Radical Twang as the only two current SLSA directors, although SurfWatch hears that Colleen Brennan (currently ranked third in the 2008 SLSA season standings) and Ashleigh Dickins (ranked 10th) may have been appointed interim directors by Milo and Radical until elections can be held for new directors.

New director candidates standing for election

Although the 'special election' has been announced for 17 May, according to the SLSA Rulebook individuals standing for election must "apply in writing to all members of the standing board of directors (via notecard, IM’s are not admissible) not more than 21 days and not less than 14 days prior to an election." Mathematicians will note that members have only been given 7 days notice for the upcoming elections. The directors have yet to clarify on what basis they are overriding this rule.

Individuals interested in standing for election are asked to "submit a note card stating that fact to Radical Twang, Milo Voss, Poid Mahovlich, Rani Decosta and Sally LaSalle". Some may ask why nominations should be sent to non-elected representatives and what role do Poid, Rani and Sally play in the elections? SurfWatch has the greatest respect for all three, but, really, what's the deal here? Does the SLSA have to be so mysterious?

Elections and voter eligibility

Assuming that there are candidates to volunteer for the three SLSA director positions, even if they were all to apply today (which seems unlikely if all things are fair and equal), then they have six days to make their views known on the association and advise members on the reasons why they should be voted in.

Voting for directors is restricted to competition surfers from the last three months competitions. Although many have found fault with this, the rule exists for good reasons (see Craig Stallion's recent explanation in the SLSA Forum) and so this, by our calculations, means that a maximum of 46 out of the 306 SLSA group membership will be elegible to vote next Saturday (or roughly 15%). How many of those 46 will log in prior to the election for enough time to find out about the election itself, find out who's standing, decide on who to vote for and place a vote? This also remains to be seen.

In case of lack of eligible candidates
SurfWatch certainly hopes that there are enough SLSA members who wish to be nominated for election, since according to the SLSA Rulebook "In the event that there are no candidates eligible or willing to run for election for a Director’s seat(s), SLSA will dissolve as an association".

A critical election for the SLSA
just two elected SLSA directors out of an SLSA board of directors that should consist of five director positions remaining on board, a great deal now rests on the shoulders of Milo Voss and Radical Twang. Whilst many surfers may not think a great deal about the role that the SLSA plays, they would all surely miss it if the association wasn't there. The proper organisation and running of the upcoming election is going to be critical to the SLSA's continued viability as an association and so is also important to all those that wish to see surfing continue to grow and develop in Second Life.

Meanwhile, the next SLSA surfing competition of the season is due to take part at Neart on 24 May 2008 (in just two weeks time).

Coming next: SLSA Elections (Part II) - Why should you care?

SurfWatch: New SLSA directors announced (2 Mar 08)
URL: Further questions on this election in the S
LSA Forum (10 May 08)
URL: SLSA Rulebook
URL: SLSA Season Standings

Friday, May 9, 2008

Two new surf spots at Bishara

Pipeline waves break over rock formations on the new Wimbi Island

Two new surfing sims appeared on Wednesday next to Majini and Mandhari Islands in the Bishara Resorts group of sims. The two new sims, called Wimbi Island (wimbi meaning wave in Swahili) and Pepo Island (meaning windy island) have been created to support Bishara Resort's strategy to become a major centre for surfing, sailing and diving in Second Life.

Majini Island, home to the Vibrations Surf Alliance (VSA), is already very popular with the surfing crowd and has a big Epic wave with a long 250 yard run into the beach. The new Wimbi Island features a small tropical island and sets of pipeline and ocean foam waves (or fluffies). Pepo Island is mostly water, with a nearly 260 yard pipleline break running on to a a couple of small sand islands at the north end of the sim bordering Mandhari Island. Pepo also holds a few suprises for those surfing at night, with phosphorescent waves and some unidentified glowing objects floating above the waves!

Phosphorescent waves breaking on Pepo Island
behind: Majini Island on the left and Mandhari Island on the right)

Pepo is the first surf sim to provide the full night time surfing experience, created by Poid Mahovlich (See SurfWatch 14 March 2008). Meanwhile, the arrival of the new surfing sims at Bishara Resort seems to be the tip of the iceberg insofar as the development of the region goes. Bishara's grand plan currently includes a total of 10 new sims throughout the island group.

SurfWatch: Interview - VW Sands
SurfWatch: Interview - Robin Coche
SurfWatch Surf Report: Majini Island
SLURL: Majini Island
SLURL: Wimbi Island
SLURL: Pepo Island

Monday, May 5, 2008

Heather Goodliffe announces board update program

In response to popular demand, Heather Goodliffe has announced a surfboard script update program to update surfboards purchased pre-Havok4. Abel Halderman of Team Tsunami has taken on the update project and has been set-up by Heather to service 'no copy' transferable surfboards and update their scripts in return for a small fee.

"We decided to start this program due to the number of people and partners asking about Havok4 issues (and seeing how slow Linden Lab has been with the fix)," said Heather Goodliffe. "I imagine that this will probably involve at least a few hundred boards. Abel's probably already updated quite a few and, independently, I've handled a number of copy and copy/mod boards already."

Surfboards and surfable waves all started behaving differently following the
roll-out of new Havok4 server code across Second Life by Linden Lab in early April. Surfboard behaviours changed overnight in the number of ways including floating a few inches under the water instead of on top of it and and changes to maneuverability and wave interaction. The easiest way to tell if you have a pre-Havok4 surfboard is by looking at how is sits on the water. If your board floats under the water, then it has a pre-Havok4 script.

Meanwhile, those who have bought post-Havok4 boards that are missing the tube cam option, own a 'copy' 'no transfer' board or who own a custom
'no transfer' board should contact Heather directly, in which case a slightly higher fee is involved. This offer applies only to surfboards with Heather Goodliffe scripts.

"I'm keen to help minimalise the number of unhappy surfers," said Abel who is now ranked fourth in the SLSA standings. "It's a lot of work, but its what surfers need right now and the new update incudes script 5.1 with a camera option in menu. Otherwise, surfers will get back exactly the same make and model board as they currently own, just with an updated script."


If your board floats under the water, then it has a pre-Havok4 script and will behave slightly differently than in the past. However, bear in mind that the way your board performs is related to a number of factors: the board script, the type of wave and the wave script, the way the wave has been installed by the sim owner, the sim environment that you are surfing in, plus fixes and updates installed by Linden Lab from time to time. There is no doubt that pre-Havok4 boards are performing much better now than directly after the first round of Havok4 updates in April (and many waves have also been adjusted since the updates to perform better). However, all pre-Havok4 boards still float under the water and if you want that fixed then this is how to go about it.

Please note that this update program is a one-way upgrade of your board, so only participate in the update program if you are sure that you want your board script changed permanently. Surfboards cannot be down-graded from the new Havok4 board scripts to the older scripts once upgraded.

If you own a 'no copy' transferable board that was created with a Heather Goodliffe script, give your board to Abel Halderman together with a notecard stating your name, the name and brand of your board, plus L$100 towards modifying your board. Abel will check your board out and confirm whether it is possible to update the script.

If you own a 'copy' board or a 'modify/copy' board that was created with a Heather Goodliffe script, you should contact Heather directly with a notecard stating your name, the name and brand of your board, plus L$250 towards modifying your board. She'll contact you regarding the upgrade.

If you own a custom board that was created with a Heather Goodliffe script, you should also contact Heather directly. If you are not sure if your surfboard is custom made board or not, ask the surfboard designer or vendor to verify this for you. Then give Heather a notecard stating your name, the name and brand of your board, plus L$500. She'll contact you regarding the upgrade.

If you own a post-Havok4 board, but it is missing the 'tube cam' option in the dialogue, you should contact Heather directly.

SurfWatch: INTERVIEW - Sidewinder Linden (21 Apr 08)
SurfWatch: No fix date for Havok4 surfing (18 Apr 08)
SurfWatch: Post-Havok4 Surf Report (10 Apr 08)
SurfWatch: Code change may affect surfing for weeks (2 Apr 08)
SurfWatch: Linden Labs Code Change Threatens Second Life Surfing (2 Apr 08)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Cipriano wins Secondreef cup

Wave-riding during the Secondreef contest at Majini Island yesterday

Cipriano Grut walked away with the winner's cup at Saturday's Secondreef waveriding competition at Majini Island, an event twinned with the 'Canarian Waveriders '08' windsurfing competition that took place at Pozo Izquierdo in Gran Canaria on the same day.

"We had great fun," said winner Cipriano Grut. "And I did not expect to win, so it was all the more great! Windsurfing rocks!"

Cipriano Grut on the winner's podium

The competition for places on the podium was closely fought with Cipriano Grut winning the contest by a fraction. Cipriano beat Paeida Allen into second place by just 0.1 point. Socks Clawtooth took third place making the winner's podium at Majini beach for the second time in three weeks (Socks took second place at April's VSA Surf Jam surfing competition). Meanwhile, Malcolm Sydney trailed Socks Clawtooth's score by just 0.03 points.


Cipriano Grut (15.983 points)

Paeida Allen (15.8833 points)

Socks Clawtooth (15.56 points)

Malcolm Sydney (15.53 points)

Abel Halderman (13.483 points)

2ndReffTres (12.73 points)

Photo credits: Poid Mahovlich

SurfWatch: SURF REPORT -- Majini Island
URL: Virtual Windsurf Contest
SLURL: Majini Island