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Solar boats race 220 km in Holland

It's smart to put a helmet on the brain that built this boat.

It's smart to put a helmet on the brain that built this boat.

Gizmag has an article about the Frisian Solar Challenge that took place last summer in Friesland, a northern province of Holland.  There isn’t a lot of info about the race itself, but the photos are cool.  The race has its own site as well.  This 220 km race mimics the path of a historic ice skating race through 11 cities.  Winning boats complete the race in a little under 17 hours, cruising just over 13 km/h (8.1 mph). 

Look out this summer for more solar boat races in Lake Maggiore, SwitzerlandRio de Janeiro in Brazil and all around the world.

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Accidental Adventurers: Kept Alive by Sea Birds?

Ko Ko Oo and Haung Htaik are lucky to be alive after supposedly floating at sea for 25 days in a cooler.  They apparently survived in monsoon water and fish barfed up by cormorants.  I am quite interested in this survival technique of having birds share their fish.  This follow up article from cnn states “Lee Hollingsworth of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds told CNN it was not uncommon for Asian fishermen to use birds such as cormorants to dive down and retrieve fish that are then regurgitated whole.”  How do you do this?  Do the cormorants come to rest, and then how do you coax them to share their fish?! 

via: Two Men Survive 25 Days At Sea In A Cooler.


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10 foot Circumnavigation a No-Go

According to the around in ten site, ” No one turned up in their 10ft boats to race around the world.”  Oh well.  I wouldn’t do that either.  It was a dwindling group already.  

The main man master microcruiser Tom McNally is still on the scene though, draw big crowds at the London Boat Show.  Go Tom!  We can trust this veteran to not bow out of his adventure.

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Tiny Boats Depart for Global Domination in Under One Month

That’s right, the Around In Ten race begins in less than 30 days.  It whittled down to three competitors, a Floridian, a Mainer, and Jerusalemite.  These fellows plan to race around the globe in boats smaller than 10 feet in length.  Steve Rinker, the Mainer (dare I say Mainiac? ) is doing the best job of updating the AIT photo gallery.  Here is his boat The Floating Bear in mid November.  


The Floating Bear.  Steve Rinker (November 17, 2008)

The Floating Bear by Steve Rinker (November 17, 2008)

Of course, if I were planning on sailing around the globe in a tiny boat, I would probably doing much more important things that uploading pictures to the internet.  So I thank Steve for sharing, and cant blame the others.  I hope this all actually works out, it will be fun to keep track.  

Speaking of tiny boats, no word on Tom McNally’s new crossing yet, but he was kind enough to actually comment here on this very blog! My first brush with greatness!

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Pumpkin Boats Galore

A Maine pumpkin boater

 It’s pumpkin racing season again.  All over the world, giant pumpkins are carving out giant pumpkins for racing.  Locations include Nekoosa, WisconsinWindsor, Nova ScotiaTualatin, OregonDamariscotta, MaineBurlington, VTElk Grove, California and Hampshire, England.  This list is not comprehensive, and it seems like this sport is growing in popularity, especially among competitive pumpkin growers.  These folks aim to grow big pumpkins, some well over 1500 lbs.  It seems you can carve a pumpkin boat from a 600+ lbs, but the bigger the better.  The Windsor, Nova Scotia race appears to be the largest race drawing over 50 contestants, as well as the most advanced, with both a paddled and motorized catagory.  This Wall Street Journal article notes that the first pumpkin boat was made by Wayne Hackney of Winchester, NH in 1996 when traveled 2 miles across Candlewood lake in Connecticut. » Continue reading “Pumpkin Boats Galore”

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