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Archive for October, 2009

No more RAK for the America’s Cup

October 28th, 2009 No comments

Yesterday the NY court considered a number of issues on the latest Cup fiasco with at least one significant decision …

“The most significant ruling from yesterday’s hearing was that Ras Al Khaimah will not be the venue for the 33rd America’s Cup, despite the government there having, according SNG lawyer Barry Ostriger, already forked out $125 million in preparations.”

So – Valencia for the giant multihulls???

Watercar – I want one!!!

October 28th, 2009 No comments

I just saw this and loved it!A car that performs that well on water – imagine how you could shorten your journey in places like Sydney or London!

From their website www.watercar.com

The Python in one word is the ULTIMATE amphibious vehicle.  It is a hot rod on the water, excess of 60 mph water speeds, and a hot rod on the street, mid 12 second 1/4 mile times and 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds.  The engine is based on the famous aluminum LS Corvette power train.  Enormous Horsepower!

Python Water Car

Python Water Car

Designed from the ground up to utilize the very latest in materials and the most state-of-the-art hull design.  Each rolling chassis incorporates a light weight 304 stainless steel structural frame, state-of-the-art Dominator Jet, and the customers choice of Corvette engine.  Every component is built from the best materials money can buy, and built to withstand even the harshest of conditions.   Providing the owner a combination of speed and performance that was previously thought unattainable…until now.

Billed as a chick catcher

Billed as a "chick catcher"

There is, of course, a slight snag with the concept.  $200,000 starting price. But then again – if you have one you wouldnt want everyone else to have one too!

Categories: Arthur Tags: ,

Our favourite Catamaran hits the water in the Gulf

October 19th, 2009 No comments

Alinghi 5 put her dainty 90 foot paws in the waters of the gulf today and all were very happy with the venue choice (all except BMW Oracle that is!).

“The conditions are ideal here for these boats,” said Brad Butterworth, Alinghi team skipper, “exactly the building sea breeze that we hoped for which means we can sail as much as six days a week; it couldn’t be better for what we are trying to achieve.”

Mind you – you wouldnt really expect him to say “The wind is almost non-existent and I wish we had stayed in Valencia” would you!

As usual the boat looks awesome…

Alinghi 5 in the Arabian Gulf

Alinghi 5 in the Arabian Gulf

Awesome - Alinghi 5 in the Arabian Gulf

Awesome - Alinghi 5 in the Arabian Gulf

So – will they race here?  Ernesto is spending a decent wad in anticipation of doing so.  Have the Americans packed up their Trimaran for shipping?  I haven’t seen reports of that, but the timing is getting tight if they have any intention of attending this race.  Could be a one-boat race!  Great pity if it does come to that – maybe I should pack up the old Dart 18 and go give them a real challenge!

Categories: Arthur, Sailing Tags:

America’s Cup venue dispute

October 16th, 2009 No comments

Herewith a copy of a letter sent to SNG by GGYC regarding their choice of a small UAE country for the next Americas Cup race.

Golden Gate Yacht Club

#1 Yacht Road, San Francisco, California USA 94123

October 15, 2009

Le Comité Central

Société Nautique de Genève
Port Noir
CH-1223 Cologny
Switzerland

Société Nautique de Geneve

Mr. President and Members of Le Comité Central,

33rd America’s Cup Venue

I write to the Société Nautique de Geneve as Trustee/Defender of the America’s Cup on behalf of Golden Gate Yacht Club, Challenger of Record for the 33rd edition, and our representative team BMW ORACLE Racing.

As custodian of this unique and historic trophy, your Club has many responsibilities.  As Trustee under the Deed of Gift, SNG also holds a duty of care, and consequent liability, to all participants in the 33rd Match.

GGYC is considering filing a complaint with the New York Courts on the grounds of breach of fiduciary duty because of your Club’s actions over the past five years. Your selection of the venue for the 33rd America’s Cup would form part of that claim.

As Trustee, SNG has the power and duty to choose the venue for the 33rd Match.   Under New York law, this duty cannot be delegated. It is a clear and inescapable responsibility. This duty lies with your Club – not with Alinghi, ACM, or Mr. Bertarelli.

SNG has announced Ras Al Khaimah as your choice of venue for the 33rd Match, and I am taking this opportunity to urge you to reconsider that choice in respect of your duty and responsibility as Trustee.

As to the suitability of Ras Al Khaimah, please take the time to read the following articles that are freely available:

·         Sheikh Khalid Bin Saqr al Qasimi, said this when a Ras Al Khaimah-connected terrorist cell, planning attacks on major tourist hotels in Dubai, was arrested:

“The fact that the terrorist cell was linked to Ras Al Khaimah is the latest evidence that the close ties between the current regime in Ras Al Khaimah and Iran is not in the best interests of Ras Al Khaimah or the United Arab Emirates.”

http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS158304+18-Sep-2009+PRN20090918

  • Sheikh Khalid Bin al Qasimi’s address to lawmakers in Washington was reported in the New York Post:

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/international/sheikret_weapon_9yUfltJE6wSELzdcRJLhtK

  • Mr. al-Mansuri, connected to the RAK ruling family, was one of those arrested in connection with this terrorist cell:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/sep/17/uae-kept-tight-lid-on-disrupted-terror-plot

  • George Webb, head of the Canada Border Services Agency Counter Proliferation Section, interviewed by The National Post, stated that UN Sanctions-prohibited  microchips destined for Iran were routed through Ras Al Khaimah:

“Ras al-Khaimah is actually leased by the Iranian government, staffed by Iranian customs.”

http://www.nationalpost.com/most-popular/story.html?id=2052630

  • Respected terrorism analyst Douglas Farah has noted links between Ras Al Khaimah, gemstones and the Taliban:

“One thing of significant importance (and which had not developed at the time of my reporting on diamonds and al Qaeda) is the emergence of both Dubai and Ras al-Khaimah (two of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates, one of only three governments to recognize the Taliban when it was in power the first time) as leading diamond markets and gemstone centers.”

http://www.douglasfarah.com/?pg=7

  • Viktor Bout, well-documented Russian arms trafficker now under arrest, operated from Ras Al Khaimah. United Nations List of Individual/Company Frozen Assets refers:

http://www.un.org/sc/committees/1521/1532_afl.htm

  • Contrary to these reports, Dr. Khater Massaad states, “There are no security issues to be concerned about in the UAE. That’s a fact.” However, this recent New Zealand Herald story reports 44 terrorism-related arrests:

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/print.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=10599659&pnum=0

  • Dr. Massaad also claims that the proposed venue is complete and the area is free of all security concerns: “There has never been any security concern so far in the UAE and I don’t see any reason why we should have any now!”

http://valenciasailing.blogspot.com/2009/08/valencia-sailing-talks-to-dr-khater.html

However, Martin Tasker of TV New Zealand visited Ras Al Khaimah. His report (6 October) showed the venue as a building site.

http://tvnz.co.nz/othersports-news/new-legal-war-facing-americas-cup-050347/video

  • The obvious unsuitability of Ras Al Khaimah is causing an increasing and negative press throughout the world, which stains the good name of your club.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601079&sid=aj_z2m9lPpA0

The foregoing is a small and representative sample.

Regrettably, terrorism and threats to public safety are, these days, a fact of life. We note in your brief filed with the court earlier this week the assertion that Ras Al Khaimah has never been connected with terrorism. On the contrary, according to the FBI one of the pilots who crashed into the World Trade Center on 9/11 was born and raised in Ras Al Khaimah (http://www.globalsecurity.org/security/profiles/marwan_al-shehhi.htm).

GGYC’s other objections to this venue are well known to you and we consider them of equal importance.

If Mr. Bertarelli has encouraged your Club into this irresponsible situation, now is the opportunity to salvage the reputation of your Club, the America’s Cup and the sport of sailing by leading the way out.

We confirm, as we have on many previous occasions, that GGYC remains committed to good-faith mutual consent discussions with SNG to resolve this and other disputed matters.

Yours sincerely,

Marcus Young

Commodore

cc:        Ernesto Bertarelli, Team Alinghi

Brad Butterworth, Team Alinghi

Russell Coutts, BMW ORACLE Racing

Tom Ehman, BMW ORACLE Racing

Larry Ellison, BMW ORACLE Racing

Categories: Arthur, Sailing Tags:

Rugby and Golf to be included in the 2016 Olympics

October 9th, 2009 No comments

Well – it made it! Rugby and Golf both make it to the Olypmics in 2016 as per a decision today at the IOC meeting.

Great!

Now all we need is to get that pesky multihull reinstated …

Categories: Arthur Tags: , , ,

SEO Oktoberfest 2009

October 5th, 2009 No comments

Too funny!  Take a bunch of the world’s best SEO  (Search Engine Optimisation) guys, put them in Munich at the time of the Oktoberfest, throw way too much money at the party and this is what you get!

SEOktoberfest 2009 – The Movie from Mike Rübesam on Vimeo.

Categories: Arthur, Computers, Gambling Tags: ,

Americas Cup

October 4th, 2009 No comments

The nonsense continues in the courts with the swiss contesting the length of the Oracle boat (seems Oracle didn’t include their rudders in the length calculation which would be normal practice) while the Americans aren’t too happy with the choice of venue, citing lack of wind and security as issues.

So they return to court and we return to boredom.  It’s a real shame that this cup has become such a legal farce.  To keep you – the viewer – content I publish below pictures of the two boats…

BMW Oracle Trimaran

BMW Oracle Trimaran

Stunning shot of the American tri showing just how large she is!

Alinghi 5 Catamaran

Alinghi 5 Catamaran

Ahh – yes – the rudders on the cat stick out the bottom (thus don’t contribute to the length).  All seems a bit nitpicky to your scribe I have to say.

Our favourite catamaran in the whole wide world arrives in the Gulf

October 2nd, 2009 No comments

The Swiss Defender of the 33rd America’s Cup docked in the Emirate of Ras al Khaimah on Wednesday morning after a 12 day, 4,400nm voyage aboard Rickmers Singapore, a cargo ship.

The 193m ship left Genoa, Italy, on 18 September with the giant catamaran, Alinghi 5, two masts, seven support vessels and approximately 20 containers on board. It travelled across the Mediterranean, through the Suez Canal and Gulf, across the Red and then Arabian Sea before docking in Saqr Port, Ras al Khaimah in the Arabian Gulf at 06:30 CET on Wednesday 30 September.

Alinghi coming off the cargo ship in Ras al Khaimah

Alinghi coming off the cargo ship in Ras al Khaimah (Photo Carlo Borlenghi)

“We are extremely happy that the shipment, including Alinghi 5, arrived safely in Ras al Khaimah,” said Grant Simmer, design team coordinator. “All the equipment that we used in Genoa was onboard so now we can set up our base and workshops and get going. We will be doing some modifications to the yacht over the coming days and the team members are arriving and getting settled so it’s going to be a busy few weeks, we hope to be sailing again as soon as possible. We greatly appreciate the support that we are getting from the local community and from the government of Ras al Khaimah,” he added.

Dr. Khater Massaad, CEO of RAK Investment Authority, added his pleasure at the team’s arrival: “We welcome the arrival of Alinghi to Ras al Khaimah for the preparation of the 33rd America’s Cup event and we also look forward to welcoming BMW Oracle.”

The Alinghi catamaran will travel to the America’s Cup Island of Al Hamra over the coming days along with its entourage and for the next four months the team will be focused on training for the Match for the America’s Cup which starts on 8 February 2010.

Story from Alinghi website.

We now wait for the Americans with their giant trimaran, and then – as they say – “Let the games begin!”.