Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Many years ago (actually only two, but that is an eternity in SL years), a gathering of representatives of the fleets of what is now known as the Steamlands at Thorn Island Summit. The idea behind this meeting was an attempt to coordinate a larger gathering of the nautical participants of the diverse Steampunk and Neo-Victorian sims into a larger celebration. Alas, in spite of the nascent plans, it remained only a speculative exercise until New Babbage’s Fleet Week.
Originally, the idea was intended to be the basis for the Piermont’s November event, the Uniform Ball. However, with a bit of brain-storming, it was realized that the event had more potential beyond the Piermont’s outstanding events. One thing led to another, and plans for a more extensive series of event developed.
(Adm Jennings of the RAN, photo courtesy of Mr. A. Cleanslate)
(Preparations for the Windjammer Race – Photo by Mr. J. Branagh)
Three major challenges faced the Fleet Week organizers. First, deciding upon the events to take place for Fleet Week. Next was coordinating between the various Steamlands to “pass the word” about it, ranging from the participator packs (the first ones were “ironclads in a bottle” – with posters and information cards), followed by directly contacting the diverse Steamlands. I had the pleasure to make contact with the Grand Duchess of Antiquity, Ms. Angel Magellan, and Miss Mailbu DuPont, the head of Antiquity’s Yacht Club, to invite them to Fleet Week.
Lastly, the actual execution of the events. Running the multitude of events was a monumental exercise in coordination, but to the best of my knowledge, there were no major glitches or issues with the competitions. The sailing competition has been done numerous times in other sims (so there was a precedence), but this was the first I had heard of doing underwater races. I am certain underwater races have been done before in SL, but perhaps not to this scale.
Alas, my RL precluded my attendance at some events, but the very least I can do is provide what synopsis I was able to gather from conversations/interviews and associated Nings and blogs.
The Shipbuilder’s Expo (Throughout the week)
An extensive showing of new ships and ironclads made their way to Port Babbage and Clockhaven, demonstrating the dazzing array of new ships which exist in SL’s Steamlands. Making a choice as to which was the “best ship” proved to be a challenge to the judges, but the results in the shipbuilding contest were as follows
First Place – TSS The Brigg
Second Place – Collingwood, by Kandace Commons
Third Place – The Plank with a Nail, by Sidney Arctor
And the “People’s Choice” award went to the Untervoshboot, by Vash Crimson
Nonetheless, the amazing works displayed by the builders was amazing. Kudos to all who participated!
The Iron Melee (Thursday)
Congratulations Armada’s Scoundrel Fleet for their victory in the Fleet Week’s Iron Melee. I understand the competition was quite intense, but Armada’s ironclads won the day at the end of the battles.
On a related note, those who wish to sharpen their ironclad skills in preparation for future battles, Antiquity holds a ironclad battles on Fridays, at 11am SLT, and a new regular event will be starting next week (Saturdays, at 7pm, SLT) at the Obsidian Sea (Steeltopia) (Steaming Ironclad, photo by Miss B. Carver)
for ironclad battles.
The Fleet Review (Friday)
The Fleet Review was a showcase of the impressive ships from the established and new shipbuilders in Second Life’s Steamlands. A wide range of nautical gems passed in review, from classic sailing ships to unique sailing vessels, and from weather-beaten steamships to glistening works on the water (many can be seen in Mr. Eliot’s production). An outstanding affair!
The Windjammer Race (Saturday)
A speed race between ships, this particular nautical stakes were a measure of speed, calculations, and the ability not to crash between sims! Seriously, this keenly attended competition was won by Antiquity’s Bridget Jennings, one of Royal Antiquity Navy’s sharpest captains. A BZ to her!
(RAN Admiral Jennings, photo c. of Mr. A. Cleanslate)
Antiquity’s Embassies’ Ball (Saturday)
A formal ball to celebrate Antiquity’s outreach to the various sims was held earlier in the day, and citizens of Antiquity and those from beyond the shores attended the soirée. The hospitable atmosphere and excellent music only enhanced the camaraderie of the Embassies’ Ball.
(Antiquity Grand Ballroom, photo courtesy of the Antiquity Gazette)
Submarine Races (Saturday)
A multi-heat race, with pairs of submersible devices competing to see which could navigate through the New Babbage waters quickest, it was eventually won by Miss Kimika Ying. In addition to seeing some of the unique submersibles, the underwater viewing stand provided an impressive sight of this underwater event. A Bravo Zulu to Miss Ying, and kudos to all who participated!
(Dr. O versus Duke Pearse, photo by Miss B. Galacia)
The Uniform Ball (Saturday)
The Piermont had another incomparable event, providing a memorable ending New Babbage’s Fleet Week. Perhaps the best attended event at the Piermont to date, there was a dazzling display of Steampunk militaria dress present. In fact, there was a competition for Best Dress Uniform, which was won by Mr. Moses Mureaux and Duke Edward Pearse.
(photo c. Miss B. Heinrichs)
Kudos to all who attended and participated in the Fleet Week events, and personally, I’ll be looking forward to next year’s Fleet Week wherever it may be!
For more details on the events of New Babbage’s Fleet Week, please visit the following locations….