This is somehow unconventional, isn’t it. Why do I revitalise my old interview series, and why do I interview someone decidedly not from the small circle of TrYC luminaries?
Simple answer: Why not?
Maiti Yenni, a name that makes sparks fly, and sends many people over the rail, one of the handful real controversial figures in SL sailing, like only MarkTwain White and Don Berithos have managed so far. Maiti Yenni, one of the very few real frenemies I’ve ever had, only the second person I’ve ever muted and voted in favour of kicking her out of the WTWB forum.
How come I’m inviting her to answer my questionaire? Why are we so civil lately? As you might know Maiti hit hard times in RL recently, really hard times. It surely was a rude awakening for her … and an eye-opener for me as well. Will Maiti and Orca be besties from now on? I doubt that, there are worlds of difference in between us, we mostly don’t even speak the same language or can agree on the simplest things. But we both realized all the warfare and bickering in a stupid internet game isn’t worth it, it’s stupid and childish so let’s at least be nice and civil and respectful with each other. Maiti, Ana and others represent the recent era of SL sailing as Béa, Anu, Silber, me and others have represented a past era. Let’s just leave it at that.
And, truth be told, Maiti and me have always – even in the times of total warfare – stayed in each other’s friendslist … and read the other’s blogs. 😉
So here’s the long overdue Rockstar interview with Maiti Yenni:
1) Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you come into SL?
I came to Second Life when it was still very early. I think late 2005. A College roommate showed it to me and I was instantly hooked. Quickly I learned how to make money on land, land speculation. They were still finishing the first continent, and starting the second, and weekly LL was putting up many sims for auction. I started off bidding on one, then breaking it up for people, later I was buying as many as 10 or 12 per week and breaking them up. It was a very exciting time in SL, wild growth. Things and people were very different then. real cash was easy to make, I paid off student loans with proceeds from SL. Later I had such things as a large casino, a strip club, even owned a brothel. (No, I didn’t work there!) Much Later, after the land boom was well over, and many changes in rules and such came about, as well as me introducing several methods of land use and sales that proved within the rules, but highly unpopular with the public, I became the Maiti you know now.
2) Do you have a relationship in SL?
I do! It’s funny, in the many years I have been in SL I have always wanted a true partner. I have been involved with several people both male and female, but never found one of the perfect fit. Many had turned out to be great friends and a few I lost during all the fighting with in the sailing forum wars; – if you want to call them that, it’s actually a title I heard used once.
But early last December, I met the most wonderful woman I could possibly wish for. I actually describe her as the diamond in the SL coal mine. The one thing that truly makes her special to me is her strong belief in the thing I also demand in a partner: Monogamy! Yeah there are a few people that do believe in it, but not many. and combined with all her other traits she is just so wonderful. We ended up partnering quickly, the first time for either of us, and in a way quite different than I’m actually known for. When I got hurt and then the awful diagnosis came, she has stuck by me every step of the way. We have discussed taking things far further, however I wish that to be after I’m whole again, so that may be a bit. But it also gives me one hell of a reason to fight and live. I love you Em!
2) How did you find out that sailing was possible in SL?
Originally most of my interest was more in building. I built a lot of different buildings and other such things. Although, of course, I liked land near or on water like everyone else, I rarely heard of people sailing, never heard later about the USS or the Blake Sea for that matter. It wasn’t until maybe a year or so before I changed to Maiti that a close friend (One of the few who knew me in both lives.), introduced me to sailing. She owned a Trudeau Leetle Cat. After being in that boat with her just one time, I was hooked. I knew what I really wanted to do in my free time in SL. Sailing. When I made the switch to Maiti, I went out, bought a large Boat to Moor in Honah Lee, and a Leetle Cat, which for the better part of the first week I was learning how to right it after capsizing. I got better and better and after a while bought my second boat a larger one. It grew from there.
3) What is your favorite Boat?
I have always been a fan of Trudeau Boats. Older design, wood, around the early 1900’s have always been a huge love of mine. That said, quite a few of the new boats by the Mesh Shop are quite challenging, the IF and Flying Shadow among them. The addition of weather helm makes for an experience even closer to the real thing, regrettably there will never be anything like sitting in your real life wood boat on a hazy morning, on the Nantucket Sound in Second Life! The feel of that real life experience I wish on all of you reading. It’s life changing.
4) Are you also sailing in RL?
Well I have been for several years, I even had an opportunity a few summers ago to crew on an original NY30. Last year bought an honest and quite beautiful Beetle Cat, the RL version of the renounced [renowned. ed] SL Leetle Cat. Again, I’m not sure due to my illness how much sailing time I will get in this summer, but I’m hoping to be while enough to sail it a bit late summer and into fall. Honestly when I think of things to fight for, it’s very high up on the list.
3) How did you become such a controversial person in the sailing community?
Well this is actually a sort of non-question to a lot of people, and also controversial in how its asked. I also think it requires answers to several sub portions assumed in the question.
First, I guess I’m known by the people who are taking the time to read this blog. Most of them I assume, have been part of the boat racing crowd and have likely read at one time the older forums, and such. I consider those people, (Which includes myself), a very tiny, remote section of the True Sailing Community. What most do not realize is that the people who read forums and or participate actively in racing represent only a tiny fraction of all the SL residents who own and sail boats all over the grid. I consider all of those people, people who own boats, people who sail boats, even the people whom I personally think are absolutely selfish and crazy, but have military battleships and aircraft carriers and the true Sailing Community. Folks like me, and say you Orca and most reading this interview are in a subset of that community, call it if you wish the sail racing community. So its likely ideas such as this as well as many others that have contributed to being controversial within the sail racing community.
Now as for this community the sail racing community, well sadly I apparently stepped into a beehive of controversy before I was aware of the politics. I was honestly attacked by people I never even heard of before, and before I even started on the job as commodore of SYC. I was told I was fair game. The attacks on me grew worse and being a person who does not back down easy I fought back. To be honest I am not happy with all that transpired and some of the things I said, however if people took a truly objective look at what was hurled at me, I looked like that cartoon coyote getting the acme anvil hitting me at almost every turn. I’m honestly glad of most of what I uncovered about these people and I do feel in the end changes were made due to my efforts.
4) Any future plans in SL?
Well honestly with the nature and severity of my illness, I really have not been concentrating with new endeavors as much as backing up existing items I’d like to see continue after my passing. VWS is important to me and many others. I’m currently changing some of the staff around, and setting up a new ownership structure to carry the forum into the future.
I know there was a lot of disappointment concerning the closing and sale of the Three Pines Sailing Center. It was done so after great consideration and with some sadness. Interesting enough, the biggest complainers seem to be those same people who prior to my taking it over, would moor multiple boats there for nothing leaving little to no space for noobs and hold races on occasion, both things that had nothing to do with bringing in new people to sailing or educating them. However, some of these people did their best to also stop the function of the sailing center as well. In particular Silber Sands and Manuel should be ashamed. However, I have been and an am constructing 3 new modern sailing centers, with completely updated self-teaching courses, and updated information sources, which BTW includes SLSailing.co. I know this may come to a surprise to many, however in the spirit of three Pines, neutrality is a must.
There are a few other projects in various stages of completion, I hope to have them completed and staffed in my lifetime.
My most Important focus is honestly, to try to end this belief in this so called split of the community. it’s time we all get together and start building. It’s happening in spots, and with some real support from everyone sailing (all sorts) can grow by leaps and bounds. That’s my true hope, one I honestly hope to live long enough to see.
ED: While I’m not agreeing with Maiti in many points I didn’t complain about the answers or sent the whole questionaire back to her. No, I left it all exactly as I received it, incl. typoes. But except that renounced/renowned confusion. 😉 For the most part I really liked what I read from the interview, a sense of earnesty and reconciliation and honesty I never expected from Maiti. She asked me in accompanying email if I want to change something or if she must explain more, but I prefer to leave it like it is, raw and unedited. The pure and true Maiti. A far more honest, humble and reasonable Maiti than anybody of us had ever hoped for.
Here’s to better times and a great future of our
fukn sailing community … hopefully with Maiti!