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Pyewacket Z86 up close

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'It just doesn't look like an 86ft Maxi.'



That was my first impression when I saw Pyewacket Z86 in the flesh and the reason is that the technology used to design her has made her less beamy and with lighter rigging. She just bobs in the water like a sportsboat.

The action of canting the keel allows for a reduction in keel ballast of 50% and the result is a far lighter boat with less loads and hence lighter rigging. The action of moving the ballast to weather also gives a smoother ride.

Okay there is also a lot of negative banter about canting keel as well, mostly concerned with the use of stored energy to move the keel and other safety issues concerning stability or manoevering but the fact is that the Z86 is here and here to stay and will be smashing race records this season.
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Sailing  

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Great Lakes could drop by 1 metre within 50 years

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Water levels in the Great Lakes, Canada's most significant freshwater region, could drop more than a metre over the next 50 years to a new record low attributed to impending droughts linked with global warming, says a study by Environment Canada.

The unpublished findings by the department's Meteorological Service of Canada predicts that hotter, drier conditions in the region will reduce water flowing into the Great Lakes by up to 25 per cent by 2050.

In the direst of four computer-generated scenarios, Lakes Huron and Michigan, the worst affected, are projected to decrease by an average of 112 centimetres.   more...

 



Environment  

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A changing of the command at Coast Guard

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 gun salute rang out Friday at the Coast Guard's Cleveland Moorings during a ceremony to honor Rear Adm. Ronald Silva, commander of the Coast Guard's Ninth District for the last two years

The Change of Command ceremony also welcomed his replacement, Rear Adm. Robert Papp, Jr.

Silva, with 33 years service, said he plans to relocate to Arlington, Va., and work for Washington Group International, a construction, engineering, and management group. A trained engineer, he served as chief engineer for Coast Guard headquarters before taking command of the Ninth District, which includes eight states, all of the Great Lakes, over 6,700 miles of shoreline, and 1,500 international border miles.   more...

 



Other  

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Whoops: Cranes fly off-course

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crane.jpg

Part of an endangered flock lands in Michigan

Pity these poor lost birds.

A little lousy weather, a few inconsiderate humans and next thing they know, they're stuck in southwestern Michigan, wondering how the heck they can get across that big pond back to their summer home in Wisconsin.

We're talking about six whooping cranes, a bird that has come to symbolize international efforts to save endangered species.

Hatched in incubators, raised by humans wearing crane costumes and taught their migration route by following ultralight planes, these birds are among the progeny of a four-year effort to establish a whooping crane population east of the Mississippi River.   more...

 



Animals  

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Federal money to help protect Mich. wetlands

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TRAVERSE CITY -- Up to $500,000 in federal money is expected to beef up protection of Michigan wetlands next year.

Part of the cash will pay for up to four new Department of Environmental Quality inspectors devoted solely to scrutiny and enforcement of development projects where wetlands are filled, drained or otherwise altered, DEQ Director Steve Chester said Friday.

They would be the only DEQ personnel devoted solely to those jobs, and put teeth on promises by Chester and his boss, Gov. Jennifer Granholm, to make protection of the state's water resources a top priority.

"There is a real need to strengthen our enforcement program," Chester said Friday, after announcing the incoming federal money at a three-day conference in Traverse City commemorating the 25th anniversary of Michigan's key wetlands protection law.   more...

 



Environment  

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Get moving on the Great Lakes

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Summer is almost here and that means millions of Chicagoans will make the pilgrimage to Lake Michigan beaches. In too many places, at too many times, they'll find the beaches closed because of high levels of bacteria. There's no way to underestimate the value of the lake to this city. It's a truism that bears repeating: as Lake Michigan goes, so goes Chicago.

Last week came two more pieces of evidence that efforts to clean up Lake Michigan and the other Great Lakes are going too slowly:
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Environment  

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State group joins call for money for Great Lakes

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A top environmental leader in Wisconsin is joining a coalition of state and regional organizations from the upper Midwest to urge congressional leaders to approve up to $6 billion in spending to restore the Great Lakes.

George Meyer, executive director of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, said the Great Lakes must be the country's next waterway restoration project.   more...

 



Environment  

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Beach Safety and Rip Currents

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May 24-31, 2004 is Beach Safety Week! Find out what you need to know about swimming safely in the Great Lakes.   more...


 



Other  Safety  

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Boat sales, water levels up as sailing season begins

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ImageThe boating season is getting under way, and marinas and boat dealers throughout Metro Detroit are hoping for two things: higher water levels and lower gas prices.

On Lake St. Clair, marina operators are happy to see water levels about 5 inches higher than last year after several bad boating seasons. But some proprietors worry that high gas prices — which average about 50 cents higher at marinas than on land — may curtail some excursions.

“Boaters like the fuel prices to be down,” said Eric Foster, a general partner at the 836-slip Belle Maer Harbor in Harrison Township. But he doesn’t expect fuel prices to slow business. “We look at the marina as a bunch of floating cottages. Even if they don’t take the boat out, they will still come out.”

One marina operator on the Detroit River said that compared to the cost of a boat, slip and insurance, gas “is a minor expense.”   more...

 



Other  Sailing  

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The Transat

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This past weekend saw roughly £40 million worth of ocean racing yachts arriving in Plymouth ready for the start of The Transat, single-handed race to Boston. The entries stand at: 12 ORMA 60ft multihulls, 17 IMOCA Open 60s, six 50ft multihulls and four 50ft monohulls a total of 39 boats in all. The public can view the boats on the pontoons at Plymouth Yacht Haven until the May 31 start. The Transat Race Village is also open to the public.   more...

 



Sailing  

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Nations Confirmed for 2004 Paralympic Sailing Competition

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Sixteen nations will participate at the 2004 Paralympic Sailing Competition in Athens, Greece, with racing from 18-23 September 2004.Based on the Paralympic Qualification System, 15 nations have qualified in the Three-Person Keelboat - Sonar and 16 in the Single-Person Keelboat - 2.4mR.
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Sailing  

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Team NZ's challenge gains some German horsepower

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His round-the-world yacht was lime green, but German businessman Michael Illbruck won't mind if his America's Cup yacht GER68 is painted in good old black.

Illbruck has loaned to Team New Zealand, free, his yacht, which was built for the last cup but was never completed after his syndicate failed to raise enough money.

Designed by Michael Richelsen, who has recently joined Alinghi, and Friedrich Judel and Torsten Conradi from the firm Judel/Vrolijk, the hull has been lying in a boat yard in Germany for the past two years.   more...

 



Sailing  

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Strengthened Team NZ yacht to be put through its paces

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Team New Zealand's NZL82 will be back on the Hauraki Gulf next month to prepare for the first of the America's Cup regattas in September.

The yacht, which broke down twice in five races during the last America's Cup, has been undergoing strengthening work for the past three months after an independent study into why it and its sister yacht, NZL81, failed.

The findings of the study have not been made public but Team New Zealand managing director Grant Dalton said they had identified precisely what the structural issues were.

Once NZL82 has been thoroughly tested, it will be shipped to Europe for the first of the America's Cup class regattas.   more...

 



Sailing  

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Britons may join Italy at 2007 Cup

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Britain's two most talented sailors could be working for an overseas team at the 2007 America's Cup in Valencia.

Iain Percy has joined the Italian Clan Des Team America's Cup challenge - according to Britain's GB Challenge, to whom he had been linked last summer - and fellow Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie is also a target for the Italians.   MORE...

 



Sailing  

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Knife in the heart

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For a guy in neoprene waders, Jeff Somrock moves quickly. He clomps along a well-worn trail that parallels the Knife River. He peels off at a spur trail that ends at a small clearing along the river. A fire pit there contains the charred remains of a campfire. A level spot nearby would be just right for a tent.

"I used to camp right here," says Somrock, 43, of Duluth.

We are more than two miles, as the steelhead swims, up the Knife River from Lake Superior. Somrock camped here as a teenager, in his formative years as a steelhead angler in the mid-1970s. In those years, the Knife still took a spawning run of a few thousand steelhead, Lake Superior's migratory rainbow trout.

"I caught my first steelhead on the Knife," Somrock says. "I was 15. I skipped school that day to go fishing. I couldn't even tell my parents about it when I went home."   more...

 



Fishing  Other  

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