2009 was a difficult virtual year to live thru. It was a year of manipulation, deception, death, resurrection, controversy and more. But who would have thought looking back at the drama from today's perspective, I would find myself laughing at the absurdities.
It was a banner year for comments. With a total of 301 postings – quite a feat considering there were no postings for January or February, until Barchan Paderborn handed SurfWatch into my care with my first posting in March -- the comments rolled in faster than we could keep track of. A simple posting on the sale of Mori on June 24, 2009, generated 42 comments. A posting on the controversial Metaverse United Surfers Tour generated 24 comments plus an additional posting of comments with its own comment. An August 9, 2009, posting on the “arrest” of Rhett McMahn, SurfWatch reporter, generated 15 comments. The October 30, 2009, posting In Memory of Cipriano Grut generated 10 comments.
photo of Tuli, part of the Mori for sale posting in 2009
The wide range of contributors to SurfWatch's pages included Chaos99 Braveheart, Colleen Brennan, Leogarto Burt, Socks Clawtooth, Ashleigh Dickins, Abel Halderman, Mick Lunasea, Rhett McMahn, Marianna Monentes, Brittany Scorpio, Clark Torok, and Syx Toshi, among others.
January and February, 2009, had no postings. In March, 2009, my first posting as editor covering Second Life Surfing Association (SLSA) elections. The SLSA rolled out a new competition format to include the qualifying round. We covered first impressions of the new format and posted Round 1 and 2 competition heat draws and results. We posted PCX tandem comp results, Surf Jam results, the St. Pat's Pro Am with Socks Clawtooth taking the win. We visited the past with a feature called, "Down Memory Lane", posting heat draws from the very first SLSA competition. We covered the new SLSA Director Board: VW Sands, Abel Halderman (with Carennah Ku and Mick Lunasea stepping down mid term) and Colleen Brennan, Robbin Ember, and Sally LaSalle. We covered the SLSA seeking sponsorships. We continued with the calendar of events. We posted on the loss of Boneyard buried in an unstable economy. SurfWatch did interviews with Bobbi Laval and Colleen Brennan, two competitors that had never missed an SL surfing competition to this point. We debuted Mick Lunasea's High on a Wave surf training classes and posted Abel Halderman's Reflections on a Founder piece on Barchan Paderborn.
In April 2009, we posted SLSA Round 1 and 2 comp results, as well as the Brazilian Surf Association (ABSSL) competition heats. Socks posted his New Surf Spots on the Grid and a Starters Guide for New SL Surfers. April 1st posted a hilarious April Fools Day post by Colleen Brennan and Socks Clawtooth. We covered the Easter egg hunt at Monkey Cove and had interviews with SexyBoy Oh and Analog Jun. Our interview with Guiles Tidewater introduced the sport of SL whitewater kayaking.
In May 2009, SurfWatch covered SLSA Round 1 and 2 competition results and ABSSL competition results. We covered SLSA director election candidates. Abel Halderman demonstrated an interesting SL surf glitch. We interviewed Driftwood Miles of Tribe Islands and Robin Mapp. We covered the Relay for Life (RFL) Surf for Life Charity Benefit.
June 2009, we posted SLSA season 1 final comp heats and scores, as well as the SLSA 2 year anniversary celebrations, the director elections and the Hall of Fame (HoF) nominees. We covered the SLSA disciplinary hearings on code violations and posted a piece on SexyBoy Oh's SLSA forum comments. We covered breaking news on the SLSA/ABSSL world cup agreement and follow up information. We posted a letter from the editor regarding censorship as reaction started pouring in anticipating our piece on the Metaverse United Surfers Tour, which also posted this month. We debuted Dr. Love on SL relationships. We posted for Help Wanted. We covered the Relay For Life (RFL) Giant Snail race. We joined with Surf Love in the 2009 Beach Babes calendar contest and posted the winners. We announced Mori for sale. We did another letter from editor regarding civility and guidelines for postings and comments. Rhett McMahn took us to his start of RL surfing in Going Wet. Ashleigh Dickins lay rumors to rest with her piece on, Aries Ashton and Sebastian Saramago – are they the same person?
In July 2009, SurfWatch posted ABSSL results. We posted Sharkbite Madness and competition results. The World Cup was renamed to the International Surfing Challenge, followed by a postponement of the event. An SLSA director reflected on the recent disciplinary action. We posted on Sierra Sugar announcing, No More Thor, regarding SLSA ties and the Thor Bishop award. We posted SLSA announcing 2009 Season 2 locations. We posted on Xtreme Surf Alliance hitting Braata Beach and Mankind Tracer's appearance at a concert there. We posted our SurfWatch comments policy to clearly outline the parameters for civil discussion via comments on SurfWatch. We came out with the first SurfWatch In-World Edition, Volume I, a project dear to my heart. We asked, Who is Dr. Love, and posted his answers to submitted questions and also his piece on the many faces of SL. We posted on Riders for a Cure Surf Open and surf spots for new SL surfers. We covered Mori celebrating Independence Day. We covered Thetis surf sim updates. We posted on the Ride for a cure Open, Heroes Beach and Hope Beach. We covered surfers as talented off the waves as on, featuring the art exhibits of Bobbi Laval and Bonheur Cheneux. We did in-depth pieces on, "Brophy's choose Aloha over other options in texture dispute", involing real life surfboard designer Drew Brophy and his textures used on SL board designs. We covered SurfWatch's new headquarters location.
In August 2009, we posted Sharkbite 3rd and 4th Competition results, SLSA Mori Pwani Pro Challenge heats and results, an ABSSL event and SurfJam results. We covered SLSA elections posting director interviews, the SLSA team ladder change, and SLSA surf-off rules for competition ties. SurfWatch posted the MUST kick off with competition qualifying information, an Xtreme Surf Alliance (XSA) update and reposted Sally LaSalle's presentation at the Montego Lecture Circuit. We posted on Reaction's release of the quad wing board, Monkey Cove's Amateur Surfboard Design Contest, Boracay's Burger Bash, Kohana Kahaka and Bundoran Beach featuring Neart and Crab Island. We covered the resurrection of a real life (RL) staged death in Resurrection, She Lives. We posted on the "arrest" and temporary suspension of a SurfWatch staffer in Arrested. We posted on a loss in SL surfing of Blood Klotzel. We covered the surf community's Benefit for Mojo Manamiko. Syx Toshi did a piece on Monkey Cove. SurfWatch debuted Ask SurfWatch, posted on its search feature, and held a contest with linden as the prize.
In September, 2009, we covered the ABSSL surf championship Level 4 results, the SLSA Round 2 Sol Mananero registration, heats and results, and the WTQS Inaugeral Pro Results. SurfWatch covered the SLSA announcing a home sim and SLSA election results. We covered the Brazilian surf circuit and did a write up on ABSSL champion, MarkFoo Waverider. SurfWatch posted VW Sands' presentation for the Montego Lecture Circuit. We covered Kantbe Thursday's 2nd Rez Day celebration and birthday celebrations at Montego while they partied til the "Sunrize". SurfWatch posted an intereview with Yendor Destiny, did a team profile on Reaction, and notified readers of the Thriller event at Tribe islands. We covered the Monkey Cove surfboard design contest winners, asked readers to, "Give us your feedback", rolled out the SurfWatch In-World Edition Volume 2, and held another linden winning contest.
In October, SurfWatch posted SLSA mini comp results and Round 2 Tsunami Beach Challenge heats and results. We posted on SLSA Board changes, the SLSA Sim dedication event, and MUST Surf Fest 09. SurfWatch posted on the Australian Surfing Association (ASA) announcing a director. Syx Toshi gave us detailed wave reports and we posted information on Leogarto Burt's waves. We posted on the Pacific Coast Hwy Surfboard Art contest. We did team profiles on TaiChi, VSA, and Boracay. We reposted Montego Lecture Circuit's presentation with Bobbi Laval. We did pieces on surf parties, Brophy Boards, and the infamous Pumpkin head hitting Tsunami. Marianna Monentes and her mailbag covered the topics of Loyalty and 1st introduction. We also covered Emilyn Knoller's and Sassy1 Fizzle's b-day bashes, surfing communmity Births and Adoptions and coverage of the Kayak Derby II.
In November 2009, SurfWatch posted on PCX Tandem comp heats and results, Surf Jam heats and results, and ASA results as well as the SLSA Round 2 Analog HoF Surf competition heats and results and upcoming surf comps. We posted on the SLSA Disciplinary Action, posted SLSA Director nominee interviews and election, and the loss of a director. SurfWatch posted on the HoF building design competition. We posted the Montego Lecture Circuit presentation by Sebastian Saramago and covered Surf Fest 2009. SurfWatch posted on the new Peahi and Paia surf sims and also began a separate section on Real Estate to help owners find renters and renters find quality homes. We covered Soul Wave, the movie announcement. We posted Surfing 101 topics by Mick Lunasea on Giving Thanks and Style. Marianna Monentes' mailbag covered the gamut of RL Schedules, Teaching Trix, Etiquette, and Vulgarity. We covered Quench Spotter's bday and rez day celebrations. SurfWatch did in-depth interviews with Leogardo Burt and Dee Waverider. We also covered the passing of Cipriano Grut and his touching memorial. With love always in the air, SurfWatch posted a separate section of Partnering announcements and regular announcements, and covered a bachelorette party. We did a post on the Teahupoo wave. We also gave away linden in the "Guess this Crazy cat" linden giveaway contest.
As the year wound to a close in December, 2009, our competition coverage included the SLSA/SW Joint Mele Kalikimaka competition results, the Montego Longboard Epic heat draws and results, the ABSSL announcement, heat draws and results, the SLSA Montego Pro Final heats and results and even the Mori surfing snowmen contest. We posted about the VSA Christmas party, covered the SLSA 2009 Awards, the SLSA Rocky Horror Picture Show party, the SLSA Season 2 2009 rankings, the SLSA Director election results and the SLSA competition waiver change. Ashleigh Dickins delivered another SurfWatch In-World Edition. We did a Waven Cajun write up. Our regular series, Mari's Mailbag by Marianna Monentes, covered Team Dating, ARC, Running for Director, and SL surfing competitions, and our regular series, Surfing 101by Mick Lunasea, covered Sim and Surfboard Graphics, and the Life of a Surfing Nomad. We also ran an interview with Mick Lunasea. We posted holiday greeting cards from various members of the surf community, posted on New Years Resolutions, and covered the SL Mori Holiday Shopping Guide. Ashleigh Dickens, Marianna Monentes and I collaborated on A Visit from Surfer Nick. We covered breaking news and editorials on the despicable practice of in-world private IM chat being altered and distributed. We held a 500L contest to guess the kahuna, posted the Surf Calendar, posted a Special Announcements section, hosted and posted Operations Griefer testing information, and covered advertising in SW. We also posted on the Eddie, covered the glitch glide and the Hang 10 surf HUD details. We ended our year in review with, "Happy New Year in Review Pecos", sharing RL photos of Kantbe Thursday's dog, Pecos.
What were you doing in SL in 2009? Did you discover surfing? Did you ride the roller coaster of drama in the SL surfing community that year? If you have an SL surfing experience from back in 2009, please share it with us.
(For a more detailed look at specific postings, pictures and videos, scroll down the sidebar to the year and date of interest.)