Monday, May 29, 2017

2017 America's Cup Day 2

 The second day of the 2017 Louis Vuitton America's Cup Series went off without a hitch. The racing was just as exciting as on day 1.  The collision during the last race of the day between Land Rover BAR and Softbank Team Japan on the first day did not hamper Land Rover BAR after their boat was repaired overnight.  The Land Rover BAR team was assessed a penalty for initiating the collision. At the end of day 2, Land Rover BAR had lost two races putting them tied for second along with the Emirates Team New Zealand with three points each.  Oracle Team USA remains in first place with 5 points after winning two out of three races.  They were defeated and blown out by Artemis Racing in the second race.  On day three Oracle Team USA has the day off.  The other five teams will be racing. Groupama  Team France is the only team on day three to race twice.  Like the first two days of racing, NBC Sports Network will be carrying the broadcast.

Until next time, be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great outdoors.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

2017 America's Cup Day 1

The first full day of racing is finally one for the record books after high winds on May 26 caused the first race day to be cancelled.  You might ask why cancel the race because of high winds because sail boats need wind to race.  Well the reason is the fact that these racing boats were designed for a specific wind speed range.  On Friday, the wind speed exceeded the design criteria of these racing sail boats.  Racing them in these high winds would have been very unsafe.  

One amazing fact that helps allow these high tech racing sail boats to perform at the level they do is the Internet of Things (IoT).  Take the Oracle Team USA boat.  This racing boat has hundreds of sensors collecting data from 1,000 data points using Blue Tooth, WiFi and fiber optic cable. The data is collected in real time.  After the data is collected it is analyzed to adjust the boat and to better prepare the crew for each race.  Click HERE to read more about how Oracle Team USA use the IoT.

The Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series (LVACWS) started in July 2015 and will end at the end of June 2017.  The series is made up of nine (9) races. These races were held in Portsmouth, GBR - Gothenberg, SWE - Bermuda, BAR - Muscat, OMA - New York, USA - Chicago, USA - Portsmouth, GBR - Toulon, FR and Fukuoka, JPN.  Following the 9 race series, the six teams gather back in Bermuda for the qualifier and challenger playoffs which started yesterday on May 27.  When the qualifier and challenger playoffs are completed the  America's Cup Match between the two top teams will end the 2017 Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series with a new America's Cup champion being crowned.  This year, Team USA is defending the Cup it won back in 2013.

NBC Sports Network is doing a great job covering the 2017 Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series.  Click HERE to watch the 2nd day of race online at 1:00 PM EST.

At the end of the first day of the qualifier and challenger playoffs, Oracle Team USA and Land Rover BAR were tied with 3 point each.  This is because even  though Land Rover BAR lost one race, they came into the qualifier and challenger playoffs with 2 points for winning the 9 race series where Oracle Team USA had 1 point for coming in second.  The second day of racing should be just as exciting as Day 1.

Until next time, be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great out doors.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Paddle Sports Retailer 2017

There is a new outdoor recreation trade show that debuts this year that paddlers have been waiting for. It is the Paddle Sports Retailer.  This new trade show focuses solely on paddle sports.  It is all about paddling.

This is a closed show. It is not open to the public.  This show is for Retail Buyers, Independent Reps, Manufacturer Reps, Working Media, and Industry non-profit. Registration is free.  The show is being held at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, WI August 29 - September 1, 2017.  At this time, if you are a buyer, you can get a three night lodging credit of $129.00 per night if you register and attend.  This is limited to one credit per store.  This sounds like a deal that is too good to miss.

The Paddle Sports Retailer is the perfect show where buyers can see everything about paddling under one roof.  I especially like this.  When attending ICAST or Surf Expo  the paddle sports booths are scattered among surfing and fishing gear booths.  At Paddle Sports Retailer one gets to see kayaks, canoes and SUPs side by side.  

I am not going to be able to attend this year but I have added it to my bucket list along with the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market.  Until next time, be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great outdoors.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

America's Cup World Series Bermuda 2017

The 2017 America's Cup World Series will be held in Bermuda. This great sailing race begins on May 26th, 2017.  The American team sponsored by ORACLE won the 2010 and the 2013 races.  Jimmy Spithill and the America team will be defending the cup they have won two times.  The challenger teams are Artemis Racing, Emirates Team New Zealand, Groupama Team Frasnce, Land Rover Bar, and Softbank Team Japan.  The television coverage of the race spans 8 days and will be provided by NBC Sports Network & App.  The first day's coverage starts on Friday at 6:00 PM and runs to 8:00 PM.  The rest of the coverage starts at 1:00 PM daily.   With the new catamaran design with hydrofoils this year's racing is going to be great.  Click HERE for a America's Cup report from May 18, 2017 to see these racing yachts sailing at 40+ knots.  That's just nuts!  I cannot wait to see videos from the race recorded by using drones.  

Over the years the design of of America's Cup racing yachts have changed dramatically.  The typical America's Cup racing yacht of the 1980s was the 12 Meter Racing Yacht pictured on the left.  The race in 2010 was the last race where this type of design was sailed. In 2013 the race rules were changed to allow winged-sail catamarans.  In 2013 the America team won.

This year ORACLE Team USA on behalf of the Golden Gate Yacht Club will defend its title sailing their magnificent winged-sail catamaran.  The first America's Cup race is held 1851. Since that day there have been 35 races. The American team has defended the cup 30 time.  Only five times have the American team lost.  If you love sailing and have deep pockets, I recommend the book America Cup Yacht Designs. Click HERE to see the book on Amazon.  The boat artwork is very impressive.  So make your calendar for the start of the 2017 America's Cup Yacht race from Bermuda starting on May 26th, 2017.  Do not miss daily updates on the race by visiting the official America's Cup Yacht race webpage.  Click HERE for their webpage.  Until next time be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great outdoors.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Chaco Supports Protecting Bears Ears

Chaco, a major outdoor recreation footwear brand, has stepped up to the plate doing their part to support blocking the Trump Administration's effort to explore and drill for oil and gas in 27 National Monuments. Bears Ears in Utah is the poster child for the effort to "Keep Public Land Public".

Chaco is one of the leading brands of outdoor rugged footwear that is really hard to wear out.  I have been wearing Chaco footwear for about four years and I love my Chaco shoes and Z sandals.   Currently Chaco has a special offering of Bears Ears theme products where Chaco will donate 100% of the net proceeds to those groups battling to keep our public lands public especially Bears Ears.   Click HERE to link to the Chaco webpage where you can support "Keep Public Land Public" by purchasing one of their new Bears Ears Z Sandals, graphic tee shirt and/or the really cool wrist wrap.

I will be ordering my wrist wrap today. I am sure that Chaco will sell out so order yours today.

Until next time, be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great outdoors.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Cocoa Beach VW Classic Car Show 2017

This Cinco de Mayo weekend along the Space Coast had more fun things to do beside going to your favorite Mexican restaurant to eat and drink Mexican beer.

On Saturday May 6th, in Cocoa Beach the 2017 Cocoa Beach VW Classic car show was held.  All the classic VW cars and  vans were there.  There were beetles, Karmann Ghias, 411s, Things, micro-buses and dune buggies.  Along with classic cars there were a few food vendors lining the main thoroughfare.  Most of the cars on display were more than 30 years old and exhibited a Florida Antique license plate.
I fell in love with VWs back during the 1970s when I purchased my first VW a Karmann Ghia in Charleston, SC. She was a British racing green coupe.  What a sweet car.  My second VW was a modified micro-bus converted into a surf wagon.  Purchased her when I was stationed at MacDill AFB in Tampa, Florida.  After the micro-bus came the VW Thing (Type 181). An updated version of the WWII VW Kubelwagen.  Did not keep our Thing long because the USAF transferred my family to Alaska.  During the first winter the plastic windows froze.  With a small child we need a care with glass windows and a good heater.
The VW Thing was not that car.  My last VW was a 1980s Westfalia Camper.  I purchased it in Germany from a Canadian soldier.  This VW had U.S. specifications so I was able to ship it home when I was transferred to Norton, AFB in San Bernardino, CA in 1984.  We lost the camper  in 1986 when it caught fire when the fuel lines ruptured leaking fuel on to the top of the hot engine.  You see the fuel tank was mounted directly above the motor. I later bound out that many VW camper owners had replace the rubber / paper fuel lines with stainless steel to avoid such a problem.  After that fire, I never purchased another VW again.  But today, I have fond memories of all the VWs my wife and I owned.

The Cocoa Beach VW Classic was a big hit.  There were loads of VW fans checking out all the different VWs on display.  At this show, the VW Beetles seem to steal the show.   Click HERE for my video of the VW Classic.  And click HERE for my slide show of my VW car and van photos.

Until next time, be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great outdoors.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

The Wilderness Society Fights For Pubic Lands

As the Trump Administration expands its influence over oil and gas exploration on America's public lands, Trump has asked Department of Interior to start the process of allowing oil and gas exploration on many of our great National Monuments.

The Wilderness Society has reported that the Department of Interior has started the review of the Antiquities Act, the law that protects National Monuments from commercialization encroachment, and to reduce the protection of National Monuments from development by oil and gas companies.  Click HERE to read The Wilderness Society's blog article on this crazy move by the Trump Administration and to see the list of endangered National Monuments, especially Bears Ears.

The Wilderness Society is just one of many environmental organizations and major outdoor retail brands like REI, North Face and Patagonia and the Outdoor Retailer (OR) trade show that support keeping public lands public. Click HERE for a Washington Post article on Bears Ears and the Outdoor Retailer trade show pulling out of Utah. This summer's OR is the last one to be held in Utah.  On July 27, 2017 there will be a "This Land is Our Land" public march from the OR location in Salt Lake City to the State Capital to show support of keeping U.S. Public Lands public.  The entire outdoor sports and recreation industry is invited to join in the march.  Click HERE to learn more about the march and how you can participate.

There are many environment organization that support keeping public land public.  The Conservation Alliance (CA) is one such organization along with The Wilderness Society.  CA has as its mission to engage business in providing funds to organizations like the Appalachian Trail Conservancy or the National Wildlife Federation to protect wild places.  CA has support from more outdoor retail brands than one can name.  Click HERE to see the entire CA membership.  When you buy their gear and apparel you are supporting the Conservation Alliance without knowing that you are a supporting keeping wild places wild.

As we continue to fight against a commercial takeover of public lands, do not be fooled by stated from Washington that appear to support public land.  Behind the scenes there is a public land takeover in the works.  Stand up and fight and be heard.

Until next time, be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great out doors.