Thursday, April 16, 2015

Star Boats on Cape Ann

I lived for this shit back in the day. Eoin Vincent of the most excellent 18 Haven blog graciously put this amazing film online, made by his uncle Peter. Imagine my surprise when I saw my brother Mike's name in the credits - small world!

A bit more about Star Boats:
They are hairy beasts, totally overpowered with a sail area more appropriate for boats twice the length, running back-stays, zero creature comforts (hey they're an Olympic class after all). They slice through the water with and effortless grace, even if their crews end a day's sailing with lacerations, abrasions, and contusions.

From Wikipedia:

The Star is a 6.9 metres (23 ft) former Olympic one-design racing keelboat for two people designed by Francis Sweisguth in 1910.

It is sloop-rigged, with a mainsail larger in proportional size than any other boat of its length. Unlike most modern racing boats, it does not use a spinnaker when sailing downwind. Instead, when running downwind a whisker pole is used to hold the jib out to windward for correct wind flow. Early Stars were built from wood, but modern boats are generally made of fiberglass. The boat must weigh at least 671 kg (1,479 lb) with a maximum total sail area of 26.5 m2 (285 sq ft).

The Star class pioneered an unusual circular boom vang track, which allows the vang to effectively hold the boom down even when the boom is turned far outboard on a downwind run. Another notable aspect of Star sailing is the extreme hiking position adopted by the crew and at times the helmsman, who normally use a harness to help hang low off the windward side of the boat with only their lower legs inside.

The Star was designed in 1910 by Francis Sweisguth—draftsman for William Gardner's Naval Architect office—and the first 22 were built in Port Washington, New York by Ike Smith during the winter of 1910–11. Since that time, over 8,400 boats have been built. For the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, the Star was added to the Olympic programme. Although far from a modern design, the class remains popular today, with about 2,000 boats in active racing fleets in North America and Europe.

As a result of the 2011 Mid-Year Meeting in St. Petersburg, keelboats were removed from Sailing at the 2016 Summer Olympics, and therefore the Star class will not be in competition in Rio de Janeiro. THIS BLOWS -ed

Me with a Star Boat I had the privilege of driving early 90's (not my boat - thanks for trusting me Jim K.!):
I spent many a fabulous day crewing and grinding away on these monsters

'Tasmanian Leg Burner'

Points from stugibson on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Thursday, March 26, 2015

50 years today

A big milestone for me.

Of all the money that e'er I spent
I've spent it in good company
And all the harm that ever I did
Alas it was to none but me
And all I've done for want of wit
To memory now I can't recall
So fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be with you all
-Old Irish song

Here's to the next 50 years!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Musclecar Monday - 1970 GTO Judge

The GTO was the brainchild of Pontiac engineer Russell Gee, an engine specialist; Bill Collins, a chassis engineer; and Pontiac chief engineer John DeLorean. In early 1963, General Motors' management issued an edict banning divisions from involvement in auto racing. This followed the 1957 voluntary ban on automobile racing that was instituted by the Automobile Manufacturers Association.[4] By the early 1960s, Pontiac's advertising and marketing approach was heavily based on performance, and racing was an important component of that strategy. With GM's ban on factory-sponsored racing, Pontiac's young, visionary management turned its attention to emphasizing street performance.
A new option was Pontiac's 455 HO engine (different from the round-port offerings of the 1971–72 cars), available now that GM had rescinded its earlier ban on intermediates with engines larger than 400. A functional Ram Air scoop was available. Car and Driver tested a heavily optioned 455, with a four-speed transmission and 3.31 axle and recorded a quarter mile time of 15.0 seconds with a trap speed of 96.5 mph.

Two-Lane Blacktop
An Orbit orange 1970 GTO with the 455 engine and Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission was one of the featured cars in the movie Two-Lane Blacktop, which depicted an unlikely cross-country race between a new GTO and a quintessential hotrodded, grey primer-painted, 1955 Chevrolet drag car with a dual quad tunnel ram "454" engine and a four-speed manual. The GTO, owned by the studio, was not depicted as a Judge; however, in reality it was a RAIV powered Judge. They mentioned the "455" engine as it projected a more powerful offering to the public.