Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Old Long Since


I remember my first trip to England in 1977. I had come over to compete in the moth World Championship regatta at Hayling Island. But as a vacation to myself I had arrived five weeks early to take in some sightseeing. With my bicycle, a couple of panniers of clothes, a tent and a sleeping bag, and two hundred dollars in my pocket I set off on a cycle tour of the UK. I worked up the western third of the island through the Lake District. The most northern point was just the other side of Hadrian's Wall on the Scottish border. Eventually I made it back down to the south coast near Lymington. One of my tasks was to arrange the offloading and transport of the three Magnum2s that we shipped to Portsmouth. I don't remember who in the Lymington Sail Club assisted, but the boats were eventually dropped of at the club allowing us Yanks to get in some practice before heading to Hayling Island.

But before Richard and Tommy had arrived I was the sole American in a group of mothies. I don't exactly remember the occasion, but there was a party with excessive beer involved, some late hours, and mothies and their accents from all over the British Isles. I found myself in the unusual position of translating for some Brits the English words and phrases that others couldn't quite decipher. It was apparent to me that the variety of accents was so broad that it took someone like me who had just struggled to figure out dialects and accents to act as a translator. (I was sure that folks had told me to visit the "like district" before I realized the correct word.)

So when you raise your glasses tonight, and sing those crazy Scottish lyrics, know that the fact that most folks really don't know what they're saying is completely normal.

Happy New Year. Enjoy Dan Fogelberg, one of the best singer/song writers of my generation. Too bad had died last year from cancer.



Same Old Lang Syne, by Dan Fogelberg (1980)

Met my old lover in the grocery store
The snow was falling Christmas eve
I stole behind her in the frozen foods
And I touched her on the sleeve

She didn’t recognize the face at first
But then her eyes flew open wide
She went to hug me and she spilled her purse
And we laughed until we cried.

We took her groceries to the checkout stand
The food was totalled up and bagged
We stood there lost in our embarrassment
As the conversation dragged.

We went to have ourselves a drink or two
But couldn’t find an open bar
We bought a six-pack at the liquor store
And we drank it in her car.

We drank a toast to innocence
We drank a toast to now
And tried to reach beyond the emptiness
But neither one knew how.

She said she’d married her an architect
Who kept her warm and safe and dry
She would have liked to say she loved the man
But she didn’t like to lie.

I said the years had been a friend to her
And that her eyes were still as blue
But in those eyes I wasnt sure if I saw
Doubt or gratitude.

She said she saw me in the record stores
And that I must be doing well
I said the audience was heavenly
But the traveling was hell.

We drank a toast to innocence
We drank a toast to now
And tried to reach beyond the emptiness
But neither one knew how.

We drank a toast to innocence
We drank a toast to time
Reliving in our eloquence
Another auld lang syne...

The beer was empty and our tongues were tired
And running out of things to say
She gave a kiss to me as I got out
And I watched her drive away.

Just for a moment I was back at school
And felt that old familiar pain
And as I turned to make my way back home
The snow turned into rain ---

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ragtime



After being given redress for coming to the assistance of the stricken yacht Georgia, Ragtime has finished first in class in the Sydney-Hobart. To the skipper and crew: thanks for reminding us all that the Fundamental Rules are listed first for a reason. "1.1: A boat or competitor shall give all possible help to any person or vessel in danger." Good on ya, Chris!

Why Georgia, by John Mayer (2003)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Five Golden Rings



The fifth day of Christmas got me thinking about the Olympics. With Charlie McKee (Bronze medallist in 2000 in the 49er) as the most prominent mothie with Olympic experience, it seems that the class will be tempting to other former Olympians. According to the Mach2 website, Ossie Stewart (Bronze medallist in ’92 in the Soling) will be sailing a moth out of Hayling Island next year. So here’s my question: how many folks sailing moths have national team experience, either as a competitor or as a coach (I think Adam May falls in the latter category)?

On a related note, I would suspect that there are a number of Olympians that have sailed moths (although probably not foilers) in the younger, junior sailing days. Does anyone know of former mothies now prepping for Weymouth in 2012?

Since I’m still on Christmas break, enjoy a little acapella with Straight No Chaser. The lyrics are all over the place, so just sit back and smile. Even you guys celebrating “Christmas down in Africa.”

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Old School Road Trip


Five boats and one car. The picture was taken in 1948 at the Portsmouth Boat Club regatta sailed on the western branch of the Elizabeth River in Portsmouth, Virginia. Below is a picture of the boats racing. In the lead is Dorr Wiley, the designer and builder of the premier boats of the era. Both photos are from a collection belonging to Chuck Higgins. Thanks to Greg Duncan for passing them along.



To accompany the road pic I had to include Jackson Browne. Enjoy.



Running on Empty, by Jackson Browne (1977)

Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels
Looking back at the years gone by like so many summer fields
In sixty-five I was seventeen and running up one-o-one
I don't know where I'm running now, I'm just running on

Running on - running on empty
Running on - running blind
Running on - running into the sun
But I'm running behind

Gotta do what you can just to keep your love alive
Trying not to confuse it with what you do to survive
In sixty-nine I was twenty-one and I called the road my own
I don't know when that road turned onto the road I'm on

Running on - running on empty
Running on - running blind
Running on - running into the sun
But I'm running behind

Everyone I know, everywhere I go
People need some reason to believe
I don't know about anyone but me
If it takes all night, that'll be all right
If I can get you to smile before I leave

Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels
I don't know how to tell you all just how crazy this life feels
I look around for the friends that I used to turn to to pull me through
Looking into their eyes I see them running too

Running on - running on empty
Running on - running blind
Running on - running into the sun
But I'm running behind

Honey you really tempt me
You know the way you look so kind
I'd love to stick around but I'm running behind
You know I don't even know what I'm hoping to find
Running into the sun but I'm running behind

Friday, December 26, 2008

2nd Boxing Feast


Boxing Day, the Feast of St. Stephens, the second day of Christmas – all references to December 26th. Today (actually yesterday in that other hemisphere) is also the traditional start of the Sydney-Hobart race.

With a two week break for the holidays, I don’t have to go back to work until the 5th. Teaching school does has its benefits! Susan and I have been listening to music from The Chieftains and from Jethro Tull. Enjoy.



A Christmas Song by Ian Anderson (2003)

Once in Royal David’s City stood a lowly cattle shed,
where a mother laid her baby.
You’d do well to remember the things He later said.
When you’re stuffing yourselves at the Christmas parties,
you’ll laugh when I tell you to take a running jump.
You’re missing the point I’m sure does not need making;
that Christmas spirit is not what you drink.

So how can you laugh when your own mother’s hungry
and how can you smile when the reasons for smiling are wrong?
And if I messed up your thoughtless pleasures,
remember, if you wish, this is just a Christmas song.

Hey, Santa: pass us that bottle, will you?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Sydney-Hobart Underway



I can't help but be rooting for the lone American entry in this year's S-H race: Ragtime, a 44 year old, 65 foot plywood flyer, with a hard chined, slab sided underbody reminiscent of a stretched foiler. Maybe another American will finish much higher than expected in another premier Aussie regatta??? Not necessarily Moth-related, but visions of Charlie, Hans and Bora!



Alexander's Ragtime Band, by Irving Berlin (1911)

Oh, ma honey
Oh, ma honey
Better hurry and let's meander
Ain't you goin'
Ain't you goin'
To the leaderman, ragged meter man?
Oh, ma honey
Oh, ma honey
Let me take you to Alexander's grandstand, brass band
Ain't you comin' along?

[Refrain:]
Come on and hear
Come on and hear
Alexander's ragtime band
Come on and hear
Come on and hear
It's the best band in the land

They can play a bugle call like you never heard before
So natural that you want to go to war
That's just the bestest band what am, honey lamb

Come on along
Come on along
Let me take you by the hand
Up to the man
Up to the man
Who's the leader of the band

And if you care to hear the Swanee River played in ragtime
Come on and hear
Come on and hear
Alexander's ragtime band

[2nd verse:]
Oh, ma honey
Oh, ma honey
There's a fiddle with notes that screeches
Like a chicken
Like a chicken
And the clarinet is a colored pet
Come and listen
Come and listen
To a classical band what's peaches
Come now, somehow
Better hurry along

[Alternate line:]
So natural that you want to hear some more

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful



Lest anyone think that the US has benign weather this time of year (okay, shirtless in Hawaii may give that impression) it might be good to know that North America has some of the most extreme weather on the planet. For example, the highest wind gust ever recorded was on Mount Washington in New Hampshire.

Here are some links for today's weather for four North American locations. Family came down to Norfolk from the first two, the third is the venue for next year's worlds, and the last is the reason Bora escapes to Hawaii and those southern hemisphere regattas this time of year.

Albany, NY (where my sister drove from)

Boston, MA (my son flew in yesterday.)

Cascade Locks (site of the ’09 worlds)

Detroit and environs (Bora’s hometown)

Besides, I wanted to hear more Led Zeppelin




Immigrant Song, by Robert Plant (1970)

Ah, ah,
We come from the land of the ice and snow,
From the midnight sun where the hot springs blow.
The hammer of the gods will drive our ships to new lands,
To fight the horde, singing and crying: Valhalla, I am coming!

On we sweep with threshing oar, Our only goal will be the western shore.

Ah, ah,
We come from the land of the ice and snow,
From the midnight sun where the hot springs blow.
How soft your fields so green, can whisper tales of gore,
Of how we calmed the tides of war. We are your overlords.

On we sweep with threshing oar, Our only goal will be the western shore.

So now you'd better stop and rebuild all your ruins,
For peace and trust can win the day despite of all your losing.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas - with a nod to B & OB



This post is just to say “Merry Christmas to all,” with a nod to Bora and Obama. Meanwhile, the rest of us in the land of the ice and snow (do I sense another song coming soon??) huddle close to keep warm. Best wishes and may all mothies (and presidents-elect) everywhere hoist a cup of Christmas Cheer.

Joe



Mele Kalikimaka , by R. Alex Anderson (1949)
Covered by lots of folks including Bing Crosby and the Andrew Sisters (1950).

Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say
On a bright Hawaiian Christmas Day
That's the island greeting that we send to you
From the land where palm trees sway
Here we know that Christmas will be green and bright
The sun to shine by day and all the stars at night
Mele Kalikimaka is Hawaii's way
To say "Merry Christmas to you."

Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say
On a bright Hawaiian Christmas Day
That's the island greeting that we send to you
From the land where palm trees sway
Here we know that Christmas will be green and bright
The sun to shine by day and all the stars at night
Mele Kalikimaka is Hawaii's way
To say "Merry Christmas to you."

Monday, December 22, 2008

In the Zone – a third of a second sooner


I got the new rule book and after a cursory examination I read that the “zone” around marks and obstructions has been increased to three lengths. Great. So since a boat going twenty knots travels a tad over 33 feet in a second, we now have a third of a second longer to claim or deny that overlap. It seems to me that in foiling conditions Rule 18 is close to completely useless. How about 18.4: “When an inside overlapped right-of-way boat must gybe at a mark to sail her proper course, until she gybes she shall sail no farther from the mark than needed to sail that course.” How may folks postpone their gybe for a second or two (or five?) Well, at 20 knots five seconds is 15 boatlengths. I’m glad that we are all cognizant of seamanlike boat handling and understand the limitations of our fellow competitors. Personally when approaching the wing mark at speed, I’m “about to round” halfway down the leg. Mentally it takes me that much time to prepare for a smooth turn. On Try-Foil, crash tacks and gybes inevitably end in a capsize. So, please, give me just a little more time.



Give Me Just a Little More Time, by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, and Eddie Holland. (1970), covered by Kylie Minogue (1992)

Chorus:
Give me just a little more time
And our love will surely grow
Give me just a little more time
And our love will surely grow

Life's too short to make a mistake
Let's think of each other and hesitate
Young and impatient we may be
There's no need to act foolishly
If we part our hearts won't forget it
Years from now we'll surely regret it

[Chorus]

You're young and you're in a hurry
You're eager for love but don't you worry
We both want the sweetness in life
But these things don't come overnight
Don't give up cos love's been slow
Boy, we're gonna succeed with another blow

Give me just a little more time
And our love will surely grow
Baby please baby
Baby please baby

Love is that mountain we must climb
Let's climb it together your hand in mine
We haven't known each other too long
But the feeling I have is oh so strong
I know we can make it there's no doubt
We owe it to ourselves to find it out

Just,
[Chorus]

Give me just a little more time
And our love will surely grow
Baby, please baby
Baby, please baby

[Chorus]

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Carbon Cachet


So I'm watching a college basketball game on TV yesterday and there's an advertisement for a new Visa credit card made of carbon fiber. That's pretty cool, I thought, if I had one I could even use it to scrape ice off the windshield. So I visited the website blackcard.com and found that the card carries a $495 annual fee. Who would want that sort of prestige? Visa must think there are enough people that would be willing to bite. I had been thinking of using some left over carbon cloth to make a license plate frame for my car. A Google search for such an item revealed one made with "100% real carbon fiber" for $50.00. Still too rich for my blood.



So I'm starting to spec the materials for my new gantry. The gantry I have now is made of glass tubes with a carbon sleeve. I suppose the weight is a bit more than a gantry made of all carbon, but the cost is certainly much less. Since the tubes in the gantry are subject to some rapid force changes, especially when crashing, I'm not sure that glass isn't the best choice. Supposedly a glass tube has a little more give before breaking when compared to an all carbon tube which, while stronger, is more brittle. I'm no structural engineer with material expertise, but I sometimnes play one when building... (visions of D. Lord?)




ODU uses the first 40 seconds or so of AC/DC's Back in Black to start the Men's BB games. An article in this morning's paper states that the group has almost become mainstream.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Another trip around the sun


So today I updated my profile on the Yahoo! Groups site by racheting the age up one notch. I wonder how many "older" mothies are out there. Colin is obviously the old man of the class until he bails out for the security of his canoe. I know Amac is a few months behind me in age (but would be way, way ahead of me on a course.) Naomi Tachibana is up there (does anyone know his age?) I would suspect if all the active mothies that have made the leap to foilers were ranked by age I would make the top five. I'm pretty sure I own the longest span between world championships - 32 years (1976-2008.)

So to celebrate my 70th post and my 54th year I'll crank up Jimmy B. and have a cold one.

Enjoy another visit with Buffett's Album License to Chill (2004).




Trip around the Sun, lyrics by Sharon Vaughn, Al Anderson, and Stephen Bruton
Sung by Jimmy Buffett (with Martina McBride)

Hear 'em singing Happy Birthday
Better think about the wish I made
This year gone by ain't been a piece of cake
Every day's a revolution
Pull it together and it comes undone
Just one more candle and a trip around the sun

Chorus:
I'm just hanging on while this old world keeps spinning
And it's good to know it's out of my control
If there's one thing that I've learned from all this living
Is that it wouldn't change a thing if I let go

No, you never see it coming
Always wind up wondering where it went
Only time will tell if it was time well spent
It's another revelation
Celebrating what I should have done
With these souvenirs of my trip around the sun

(Chorus)

Yes, I'll make a resolution
That I'll never make another one
Just enjoy this ride on my trip around the sun
Just enjoy this ride ...
Until it's done

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

More pix from '76 Worlds


A shirtless John Claridge, the reigning European Champion, with the mainsheet in the teeth technique sailing his Magnum2. Hot on his heels is Harriett Mosowitz who took the Women's title at the regatta.



America is known the Land of the Beautiful. This beautiful helmsperson sports a itsy bitsy teeny weeny (yellow?) polka dot bikini.



Peter Moor, the reigning Australian Champion, hits the leeward end of the starting line. Maybe because he's a scow sailor and isn't used to steering (or obviously balancing) a skiff? Kenny Elliott is the guy on Peter's weather hip. I believe Kenny is sailing a Stockholm Sprite.



This photo shows Richard Wallio rounding in his poacher. I'm not sure who sports the KA sail behind him. Richard, Tommy Lutton and I made the '77 Hayling Island worlds in glass Magnum2s out of a mold off Claridge's boat.



And lastly yours truly. Not the close-up but the boat all the way to weather (#4171.) The boat is my Mistral "Try Too." Critiquing from 32 years later I see a bit too much heel, but generally a nice shot. Sail is vanged down and obviously I've moved out from the kid in the foreground.

These pictures are from the March 1977 issue of Sailing magazine, the oldest continuously published sailing periodical in the US. The photographer credited is Carl F. Johnson. Thanks to Walt Collins for providing the pictures.




Itsy Bitsy Yellow Polka Dot Bikini (Paul Vance and Lee Pockriss)

She was afraid to come out of the locker
She was as nervous as she could be
She was afraid to come out of the locker
She was afraid that somebody would see
One, two, three, four, tell the people what she wore

It was an itsy, bitsy, teenie, weenie, yellow polka-dot bikini
That she wore for the first time today
An itsy, bitsy, teentie, weenie, yellow polka-dot bikini
So in the locker she wanted to stay
Two, three, four, stick around we'll tell you more

She was afraid to come out in the open
And so a blanket around she wore
She was afraid to come out in the open
And so she sat bundled up on the shore
Two, three, four, tell the people what she wore

It was an itsy, bitsy, teenie, weenie, yellow polka-dot bikini
That she wore for the first time today
An itsy, bitsy, teentie, weenie, yellow polka-dot bikini
So in the blanket she wanted to stay
Two, three, four, stick around we'll tell you more

Now she is afraid to come out of the water
And I wonder what she's gonna do
Now she is afraid to come out of the water
And the poor little girl's turning blue
Two, three, four, tell the people what she wore

It was an itsy, bitsy, teenie, weenie, yellow polka-dot bikini
That she wore for the first time today
An itsy, bitsy, teentie, weenie, yellow polka-dot bikini
So in the water she wanted to stay
(From the locker to the blanket)
(From the blanket to the shore)
(From the shore to the water)
Yes, there isn't any more

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Traveling Twice the Speed of Sound


Do you ever get a tune in your head and have it repeat all day long? After seeing the latest pics of the Mach2 off the mold the old Crosby, Stills and Nash song came to the forefront of my brain from some inner recesses. I'm wondering about the imprinting process. All of the carbon I lay up might be structurally sound (or maybe not!) but I couldn't for the life of me get a presentable look that I could show off with a clearcoat finish. That's why my hull and foils are painted. What McDougall/McConaghy are doing with their hull and what Bruce has done with his latest foil is way beyond my capabilities. There are some nice cosmetics out there. And how about that big oven in the background?!

So hum along with me and CSN:



Just a Song before I Go, lyrics by Graham Nash (1977)

Just a song before I go,
To whom it may concern.
Travelling twice the speed of sound
It's easy to get burned.

When the shows were over
We had to get back home,
And when we opened up the door
I had to be alone.

She helped me with my suitcase,
She stands before my eyes
Driving me to the airport,
And to the friendly skies.

Going through security
I held her for so long.
She finally looked at me in love,
And she was gone.

Just a song before I go,
A lesson to be learned.
Travelling twice the speed of sound
It's easy to get burned.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Mothies from AUS and the UK racing in the US Worlds



The picture above was found by George Albaugh sorting through a bundle of photos from the 1976 Ware River worlds. The photographer is unknown but probably was a local reporter. Show is Aussie Peter Moor sailing a borrowed boat. In the background is Brit John Claridge in his Magnum 2. Here's another shot from the collection showing what appears to be a start with some obvious carnage on the line. In the background is Ted Causey, the eventual winner, sailing a Poacher design (#4155).



So y'all start gettin' your travel plans together for next August. "On the boats and on the planes, they're coming to America..." Today's selection is from 1980: Neil Diamond's America.



AMERICA Written and sung by Neil Diamond

Far
We've been traveling far
Without a home
But not without a star

Free
Only want to be free
We huddle close
Hang on to a dream

On the boats and on the planes
They're coming to America
Never looking back again
They're coming to America

Home, don't it seem so far away
Oh, we're traveling light today
In the eye of the storm
In the eye of the storm

Home, to a new and a shiny place
Make our bed, and we'll say our grace
Freedom's light burning warm
Freedom's light burning warm

Everywhere around the world
They're coming to America
Every time that flag's unfurled
They're coming to America

Got a dream to take them there
They're coming to America
Got a dream they've come to share
They're coming to America

They're coming to America
They're coming to America
They're coming to America
They're coming to America
Today, today, today, today, today

My country 'tis of thee
Today
Sweet land of liberty
Today
Of thee I sing
Today
Of thee I sing
Today

Mothies from the US racing in AUS



The pic above is from Christophe Launay (see www.sealaunay.com) and shows Bora racing in the Sydney Regatta. One look at the leader board after day 4 shows Charlie, Bora, and Hans in the top 4 overall. No surprises here: Charlie holds an Olympic Bronze medal, Bora posted a record-setting 9 bullets at this year's US Moth Nationals, and Hans is the presumptive favorite to take the moth junior title at next year's Gorge worlds. Yep, lots of talent in Sydney harbor. The Aussies competing can sail, too.

For commentary check out the blogs from Scott or Phil.

The musical inclusion today is from Bruce Springsteen. Yesterday was Pearl Harbor Day. Yes, we in the USA have lots of conflicting emotions and policies. Such is freedom.






Born in the USA by The Boss

Born down in a dead mans town
The first kick I took was when I hit the ground
You end up like a dog thats been beat too much
Till you spend half your life just covering up

Born in the u.s.a., I was born in the u.s.a.
I was born in the u.s.a., born in the u.s.a.

Got in a little hometown jam
So they put a rifle in my hand
Sent me off to a foreign land
To go and kill the yellow man

Born in the u.s..a....

Come back home to the refinery
Hiring man said son if it was up to me
Went down to see my v.a. man
He said son, dont you understand

I had a brother at khe sahn
Fighting off the viet cong
Theyre still there, hes all gone

He had a woman he loved in saigon
I got a picture of him in her arms now

Down in the shadow of the penitentiary
Out by the gas fires of the refinery
Im ten years burning down the road
Nowhere to run aint got nowhere to go

Born in the u.s.a., I was born in the u.s.a.
Born in the u.s.a., Im a long gone daddy in the u.s.a.
Born in the u.s.a., born in the u.s.a.
Born in the u.s.a., Im a cool rocking daddy in the u.s.a.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Bora's vid

Bora posted his latest video on You-Tube. I'll leave the commentary to him, but it's obvious to me that the Yanks are now at the top of the Blog Competition (especially when compared with some recently contributed "vlogging.")!



The other item of interest is the need to include actual listenable music, even if it's a cover of stuff I heard back in the day. The following cartoon from xkcd.com is relevant.


I was at a Led Zeppelin concert at Hampton Coliseum in September of '71 before Stairway had gained much airtime. The concert-goers were sorta taken aback with the slow intro...





"Stairway To Heaven" lyrics and music by Robert Plant

There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold
And she's buying the stairway to heaven.
When she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed
With a word she can get what she came for.
Ooh, ooh, and she's buying the stairway to heaven.

There's a sign on the wall but she wants to be sure
'Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings.
In a tree by the brook, there's a songbird who sings,
Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven.
Ooh, it makes me wonder,
Ooh, it makes me wonder.

There's a feeling I get when I look to the west,
And my spirit is crying for leaving.
In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees,
And the voices of those who stand looking.
Ooh, it makes me wonder,
Ooh, it really makes me wonder.

And it's whispered that soon if we all call the tune
Then the piper will lead us to reason.
And a new day will dawn for those who stand long
And the forests will echo with laughter.

If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now,
It's just a spring clean for the May queen.
Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run
There's still time to change the road you're on.
And it makes me wonder.

Your head is humming and it won't go, in case you don't know,
The piper's calling you to join him,
Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow, and did you know
Your stairway lies on the whispering wind.

And as we wind on down the road
Our shadows taller than our soul.
There walks a lady we all know
Who shines white light and wants to show
How everything still turns to gold.
And if you listen very hard
The tune will come to you at last.
When all are one and one is all
To be a rock and not to roll.

And she's buying the stairway to heaven.