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Crews search Lake St. Clair for missing swimmer

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HARRISON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) -- Macomb County sheriff's department crews searched Lake St. Clair on Monday for a 28-year-old swimmer who was reported missing earlier in the day from Beacon Cove Marina.

The Detroit woman, whose name wasn't released, was reporting missing at 1:25 a.m. EDT, Sheriff Mark Hackel said.

Deputies were told by two boaters that their friend had gone swimming, went underwater and didn't surface, Hackel said. A search of the area was conducted, but the woman couldn't be immediately found.   more...



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Team Alinghi retains the lead in the overall rankings

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The second race of Act 1 provided two laps of high suspense between the Swiss and American contenders, but it was the second beating leg that proved decisive. In another day of strengthening winds, Team Alinghi crossed the line 26 seconds behind BMW Oracle Racing to retain her lead in the overall rankings. USA-76 is second, followed by Emirates Team New Zealand, K-Challenge, Team Shosholoza and Le Défi.

6 September 2004 - Marseille: After an excellent start, Team Alinghi locked horns with Emirates Team New Zealand, her opponent of yesterday and the last America's Cup. But today's real danger came from the Americans. BMW Oracle Racing and Le Défi both jumped the gun to make false starts. Forced to return and restart 20 seconds behind, USA-76 staged a spectacular comeback on the first beating leg, moving up from fifth to third.

Alinghi, then second behind K-Challenge, was caught at the windward mark by BMW Oracle Racing, determined not to be left behind in this race. On the first reaching leg, the Cup defender and the Louis Vuitton Cup finalist overtook the French crew to engage in a spectacular duel in an ever-strengthening wind that freshened from 17 to 22 knots.

Alinghi, with Peter Holmberg at the helm, managed to keep ahead but, slowed by a broken winch, SUI-64 let the Americans escape to the left (more favourable) side of the course. On this final beating leg, they found even more wind, this time from a better direction. Hugging the left of the course and forcing SUI-64 to the right, USA-76 increased her lead. At the windward mark, the die was cast. Team Alinghi crossed the line second, 26 seconds behind the race winner. Nevertheless, the Swiss team retains its lead in the overall rankings, 1 point ahead of BMW Oracle Racing.

Behind the first two finishers, there were two other gripping duels going on; the first between K-Challenge and Emirates Team New Zealand and the second, a little further back, between Team Shosholoza and Le Défi.

The second race of the day was postponed when the wind, then averaging 28 knots, became simply too violent for a race start. Two more fleet races are scheduled for tomorrow, with the first starting at 12:40. Keep up with all the results at www.alinghi.com

Overall rankings.

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1 Alinghi, 11 points.

2 BMW Oracle Racing, 10 points

3 Emirates Team New Zealand, 9 points

4 K-Challenge, 6 points

5 Team Shosholoza, 4 points

6 Le Défi, 2 points

 



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Inside the Tactical Mind - Using Weather Forecasts

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There are three components that factor into a tactician’s strategic guesses: predicted weather, local knowledge, and observed conditions. Of the three, the first two have the least value. While of more impact in distance racing strategy, weather reports generally are thought to be relatively useless in short course racing. The only thing NOAA weather, the weather channel, and newspaper or TV reports make you sure of is that there will be weather. Each suffers from two problems. First, they cover too large an area to tell us what is going to happen in a two-mile rectangle. The second is timing. In general, most weather sources are correct about the overall trends and conditions. They falter when it comes to when. They just can’t tell you what will happen in the two hours that it takes to sail a race.  more...

 



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Beachfront owners draw lines in sand

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All retiree Joan Glass wants to do is to walk on the beach near her home along Lake Huron.

But thanks to a ruling by the Michigan Court of Appeals about what was initially a minor spat between Glass and her neighbors, she and millions of others who use Michigan's beaches during the summer no longer have the right to stray beyond the water line when walking in front of private homes.

The Michigan case and another in Ohio have grown into a fight over public access to hundreds of miles of picturesque Great Lakes shoreline. In Michigan alone, more than 10 million tourists visit its waterfronts and beaches each year. Visitors from Illinois spent a combined 17 million days in 2002 in Michigan, tourism officials estimated.

"People are all of a sudden moving here and saying, `This is mine! This is mine!' " Glass said. "The whole thing is ridiculous."

Jean Hauflaire, a 77-year-old Chicago native who owns a home along Lake Michigan in New Buffalo, supports the ruling. Too often, she said, spillover visitors from a neighboring public beach have spoiled the view.   more...


 



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Ohio boater drowns after diving into Spring Lake

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SPRING LAKE TOWNSHIP -- A boater on Spring Lake drowned after he dove into the water Sunday and never surfaced.

Witnesses said the Toledo, Ohio, man, believed to be in his early 20s, dove into the water Sunday just before 7 p.m.

"He dove in the water off the back of a boat," said Spring Lake Township Fire Chief Rick Nuvill. "People saw him floundering, and that's the last they saw of him."

Rescuers tried to resuscitate the victim at the scene.

The victim was with friends who had their boats tied together in an area of the lake called Hanky Panky Bayou, an inlet along the north shore.

"It's a party spot," Nuvill said.    more...

 



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Resort town draws thousands on long Labor Day weekend

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SOUTH HAVEN -- While Aaron Wissner was spending the month of August in Australia, his conversations with his wife back in Michigan sometimes turned to the weather.

Wissner, of Wayland, said his wife, Kimberly Sager, summed up the conditions with one word: rotten.

But Sunday things were different.

The humid day that saw temperatures in the mid-80s lured people out in large numbers Sunday to this Southwest Michigan beach town for the unofficial end of summer.    more...

 



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'Let's do the best we can to save a life,' officials decide

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HOLLAND -- For years, communities along the Lake Michigan shoreline took the cautious route with pier safety.

They did nothing.

Concerns about liability often overshadowed the benefits of installing life rings and emergency call boxes. In fact, many communities were worried about being sued if vandals stole life rings and none were available to save a drowning victim.

Those concerns have faded in the past few years, however, and Holland's two piers last week became the latest structures to get life rings.

"It's a double-edged sword," said Ottawa County sheriff's Sgt. Keith Koeman, head of the department's marine patrol. "But my feeling is, let's take the positive approach. If you're going to get hit either way, let's do the best we can to save a life."    more...

 



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Cold weather hampered summer tourism season

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Tourists who visited West Michigan on Aug. 11 were greeted by temperatures more typical of Oct. 11.

The high of 61 degrees in Muskegon that afternoon was 18 degrees below normal for mid-August. The unseasonable cold continued through the month until just this past week, casting a frozen pall over the West Michigan tourism industry.

Officials who run Michigan's 97 state parks and other warm-weather tourist destinations said the cool summer has been a main reason fewer people are hitting the parks' beaches, picnic areas and hiking trails than in recent years.

Almost 1.2 million people, including campers, visited Grand Haven State Park during the 12-month period that ended Sept. 30, 2003. Park Supervisor Pat Whalen said he expects overall attendance to dip by 100,000 or more this year.    more...

 



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An historical snapshot of the ubiquitous fleet race

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Fleet racing is undoubtedly a spectacular sailing format, particularly when it involves sleek and fast IACC racing yachts. In the early days of yacht racing, yacht clubs sponsored fleet racing in part to control the betting that occurred amongst the wealthy as they challenged each other to match races for large wagers.

fleet_racing_iaccsf_t

Given the quirky nature of Cup racing, the reason for the early demise of fleet racing in Cup events is relatively simple, as explained by John Rousmaniere, Cup historian and expert. “The 1851 “One Hundred Guinea Cup” race around the Isle of Wight which was won by the boat America, was one of many fleet races that summer on the Solent. That specific race was a consolation prize for the Americans because they were unable to get the true match that they wanted against one of the top Royal Squadron boats. So that experience would not be repeated, the Deed of Gift specifies that the Cup races be matches.”

The NYYC ignored this provision in its first defense in 1870 when they insisted on a fleet race, sending out a fleet to race against that one boat. It was blatantly unfair, and soon thereafter the surviving donor of the Deed, George Schuyler, ruled that "match" means a one-on-one contest.” Since then, all Cup races have been one-on-one match races.   more...

 



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Quotations of the day

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Jochen Schuemann, Sporting Manager of Team Alinghi: It's fantastic to have won the first race, and I hope it shows that we're getting it right. The fleet race was a lot closer than anyone thought. Our spinnaker blew out, but we were still able to maintain control of the race. We're really happy with this result, and I think that Emirates Team New Zealand will be pretty happy with their performance too. In fact, every challenger had to fight harder against their equipment and the tough wind conditions than against their opponents. This first race was a pretty good reflection of the last America's Cup result, but we'll have to see what happens next. For now though, there weren't any real surprises in the final result.

Brad Butterworth, Team Alinghi Tactician: We love sailing here, especially in wind conditions like those we had today. The wind was really strong and the decision to hold back the start of the race was definitely the right thing to do. If they hadn't, the race wouldn't really have amounted to much in such slack wind conditions. But when all's said and done, it's only the first race.

Grant Simmer, Team Alinghi General Manager: It's always nice to win the first race. It's always a great start. After we blew out the first spinnaker, we were a bit afraid that we might lose another in some of those gusts… especially since our second was lighter than our first. The team did an amazing job in making sure that the spinnaker didn't suffer too much during the last two reach tacks. They never stopped resetting that sail and did absolutely the right thing in being very careful with it.    more...

 



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Team Alinghi wins the first race of Act 1

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The America's Cup defender won the first fleet race of Act 1 in Marseille after a superb duel with Emirates Team New Zealand. Team Alinghi led the race from start to finish giving no quarter to her 5 competitors. With the start delayed by two and a half hours, the race was, as promised, a spectacular event with wind conditions that demanded a great deal of every crew. The second race was postponed until tomorrow.

5 September 2004 - Marseille: For hour after hour, the wind played games with the weather vane and prevented the race committee from releasing the first race of Act 1 and wearing down the nerves of all competitors. At 15:22, the America's Class contenders finally set off at full speed into Marseille's Rade Sud. Making 11 knots, Team Alinghi soon took the lead, pursued very closely by her adversary from the 31st America's Cup, Emirates Team New Zealand. The two finalists from the last Cup competition then joined in a gripping duel that created an air of déjà vu for the hordes on board the flotilla of spectator boats. Not only did the battle appear promising from the outset, but it soon proved to be a contest of high drama.

Having set an ideal course right from the start line, Alinghi managed to avoid being impeded by any other competitor and maintained impressive progress. The Cup holder set a scorching pace on a direct course to the first windward mark, near the Ile Maire. NZL 82 stuck close to Alinghi and tried hard to match her speed… but without success. The mast angles on both leading boats changed ceaselessly, reflecting the accuracy and concentration of both crews as they tried every trick in the book to claw their way a few metres further ahead. Alinghi rounded the windward mark ahead.

The first reach tack was to be decisive. The pressure on the challengers increased, along with the wind speed. Gusting up to 25 knots, it caused a series of problems for competitors. Le Défi was the first to blow out her spinnaker, followed by Alinghi, which abandoned hers in the water, soon to be emulated by Emirates Team New Zealand. Team Shosholoza dropped her spinnaker straight onto the deck and K-Challenge broke her spinnaker boom. The American team had no choice but to turn back in their tracks.

Alinghi managed to keep her lead as the sea roughened and left her opponents no opportunity. On the second reach tack, SUI 64 took no risks, but did take maximum care of her spinnaker, as did the New Zealanders and USA 76. Vigilant to the end, the Swiss crew, which has not done a great deal of sailing for the last year and a half, turned in an excellent performance, pocketing the first 6 points of Act 1 by finishing 35 seconds ahead of Emirates Team New Zealand, followed home by BMW Oracle Racing, K-Challenge, Team Shosholoza and Le Défi.   more...

 



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MARSEILLE LOUIS VUITTON ACT FLEET RACE ONE

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TEAM ALINGHI WINS, DELTA – 0:35

The Defender of the America’s Cup, Team Alinghi, and the team it beat in Auckland, Emirates Team New Zealand showed why they were the class of the last America’s Cup. The two teams, which trained together for several days on the Rade Sud last week, streaked to the front of the fleet early today, and managed to leave the other competitors behind, although BMW ORACLE gamely fought to stay in the game Further back in the fleet, the two French boats, LE DEFI and K-Challenge, were in a tight fight with the South African Challenge, Team Shosholoza, as the teams exchanged the final three places several time s throughout the race.

It was a powerful performance by Team Alinghi, helmed by Peter Holmberg, as the Swiss Defender showed that losing Russell Coutts doesn’t mean they won’t mount a ferocious defence. Emirates Team New Zealand, handicapped by a damaged spinnaker pole on the first run, managed to stay with Alinghi, in a scene reminiscent of the last America’s Cup. Team Shosholoza too fought through several torn spinnakers to make a proud debut for Africa in the America’s Cup; they achieved their goal of beating at least one other team. It was a difficult day for the two French teams, who showed the rust of not sailing America’s Cup class boats recently, but K-Challenge and LE DEFI will see today’s result as motivation for the rest of the week.

Fleet Race One – Result

1. Team Alinghi 6 points
2. Emirates Team New Zealand 5 points
3. BMW ORACLE Racing Team 4 points
4. K-Challenge 3 points
5. Team Shosholoza 2 points
6. LE DEFI 1 point

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Journey to the 32nd America's Cup begins in Marseille

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5th September, Marseille, France - In the end, it was a perfect day for the opening race of the 32nd America’s Cup, and the action on the race course of the Marseille Louis Vuitton Act matched the weather. After a delay to allow the expected Southeast wind to build and stabilise, the first America’s Cup racing in Europe in more than 150-years began with the spectacular sight of six boats charging across the starting line.

The Race Committee was initially forced to postpone racing for over two hours before the wind was stable enough to allow a start. The patience of the 500-boat spectator fleet was amply rewarded however, when racing started in a gusty, 15-19 knot Southeasterly, and the Marseille Louis Vuitton Act fleet battled to keep equipment and crews in control around the race course.

None of the teams managed to engineer their way around the 15-mile race course completely unscathed, as spinnak ers burst, spinnaker poles were broken, and at times the crew work showed the rust of an extended layoff from training on America’s Cup boats.

The new format of the fleet race added to the excitement as races within the race developed up and down the length of the race course.    more...


 



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Skippers like crew to be dependable, compatible

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Do you hanker to be part of a sailboat racing crew?

Here's a tip from the skippers of some of Lake Erie's hottest racing boats: Just show up - regularly.

This summer I asked winning skippers at various events what qualities they looked for when picking potential crew members.

Surprisingly, they all valued reliability and compatability over skill.

"We pick people who show up and are willing to learn," said Orange Crate's co-skippers, Jim and Chris Davis. "On Wednesday night races, we take anyone who wants to go sailing," Jim said. "I don't necessarily teach them, I just let them watch and learn what we're doing."    more...

 



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Trans Erie title goes to Burgoyne

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Duane Burgoyne's favorite sailing competition is the Trans Erie Race from Erie, Pa., to Grosse Ile, Mich.

"My crew has a joke about it," he said. "We only do one race a year - the Trans Erie; the rest are just practice."

All that practice paid off this past weekend when Burgoyne's FlakBait won the Performance Handicap Racing Fleet Division Class E trophy. The C and C 33 finished the 140-mile trek in 25 hours and 45 minutes, adjusted (for handicap) to 20:02.

"Before the start we were apprehensive," Burgoyne said. "The forecast was for squalls up to 40 knots, but it never really happened."

Instead, the race started in three knots of wind and flat water.    more...

 



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