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June 22, 2007 Although it looks like there should be a Jedi Knight at the controls, these pics of the innovative Front-Runner were not taken on a film set. The full-size hydrofoil watercraft employs twin 215 horsepower forward-mounted jet-drive motors and an airplane-like steering system to create what's been described as an off-roading experience on water. The steering system allows changes in heading, pitch and bank, and its ability to navigate shallow waters means the 11 foot long Front-Runner can reach previously inaccessible places. One of the most outstanding water going craft we've encountered, the concept is not far from reality according to designer Joey Ruiter, with the productions costs and price tag expected to be comparable to a typical twin-engine jet boat. Having completed a working prototype the focus is now on finding a manufacturer to take the project into the production phase. Read More
June 7, 2007 The entire Emirates Team New Zealand squad climbed up on the prize giving stage to receive the Louis Vuitton Cup on Wednesday evening, after winning the fifth race of the Final, to sweep their way into the final of the America’s Cup. The 5-0 sweep was a first time in Louis Vuitton Cup history and the next task for Emirates Team New Zealand is facing Alinghi in the 32nd America’s Cup Match. Throughout the four years of preliminaries (Louis Vuitton Acts), the Kiwis and the Alinghi team have sailed 10 matches, with the Kiwis up 6-4. Last year, the Kiwis won 4 of 5 races. The intriguing battle for this global trophy which showcases the best sailors and the finest nautical technology begins in a little over a fortnight - 23 June. You can follow the racing on the internet in several ways such as the official race tracker, Live Sailing’s real-time 3D animation with real-time boat speeds, time and distances, live weather data, and audio commentaries and free on demand Internet video coverage of the 32nd America's Cup on your PC or Mac. Read More
May 23, 2007 Part of sailing's exclusive reputation is due to the considerable cost and inconvenience of owning, transporting and storing watercraft. A UK company has just made the sport far more accessible, with a range of small, sporty 2-person catamarans that fold up and fit into a convenient carry bag - so it's now possible to take your own boat on holiday with you, or become a weekend racer with your boat stored in a cupboard through the week. Read More
May 22, 2007 In a fascinating study, Allianz, the main sponsor of BMW ORACLE Racing, has released details of a report into the economic impact of participating, winning and hosting the America's Cup, the oldest trophy in international sport. The report takes into account a range of factors such as infrastructure investment, international visitors, media, sponsor, business, construction, accommodation, hospitality, retail, entertainment, transport and logistics and the conclusion is that it provides a massive fiscal injection. The report makes interesting reading. If Alinghi won the Cup and took it to Dubai, the economic impact for Dubai would be US$10 Billion. If BMW ORACLE Racing were to win the Cup and take it to either San Francisco or Newport the corresponding economic impact would be US$9.9 B or US$4.5 B. Total economic return for hosting the 33rd America's Cup in Auckland, New Zealand would reach US$1.75 B, however Emirates Team New Zealand could expect to generate increased revenues if it chose to host the event in Dubai. Total economic return from Luna Rossa winning and then hosting the America's Cup in Genoa, Italy would be in the region of US$3.75 B. Right now, the most likely scenarios involve Luna Rossa and Emirates Team New Zealand will fight out the final where they will win the right to take on Alinghi. Read More
May 21, 2007 A hulking 100 metres long, the Astute is the largest, most heavily armed, stealthiest and most sophisticated submarine ever built for the Royal Navy. The massive nuclear sub, which will never need refuelling in its 25 year service life, is able to circumnavigate the globe underwater, producing its own fresh water and air for the crew - and its range is only really limited by the need for fresh food supplies. From every angle, it is an engineering masterpiece, spoken of as one of the great engineering achievements of all time and more complex than the space shuttle. Britain's Royal Navy is set to launch this new flagship in less than a month. Read More
May 15, 2007 With the oil age slowly coming to an end, the key defining moment of the the 21st Century will likely be the human race's transition to renewable energy. And while we'll have to be dragged kicking and screaming from our dependance on fossil fuels, small groups of innovators are already paving the way toward the next step. In a giant leap towards unfuelled travel, a full-sized motorised catamaran, the "sun21," has just completed a leisurely crossing of the Atlantic ocean without consuming a drop of fuel. Stored solar energy powered the 5-man crew from Spain to the USA at a constant rate of 5-6 knots around the clock via electric engines. This is a major achievement - a reliable, long-distance, powered vehicle with zero fuel costs - and its successful journey hints at a cleaner, greener, cheaper future of transport. Read More
May 15, 2007 Here's an extreme sport that's been developing quietly behind our backs for 30 years now. Snowmobile fanatics around the world are lightly modifying their high-powered vehicles for frenzied "Watercross" races on lakes in the summertime. The massive machines buck, jump and wheelie their way to ferocious 60mph top speeds, and are as physical to ride and turn as a motocross bike. Game on! Read More
May 14, 2007 Viewed from one angle, Sealegs is the world’s most advanced amphibian, but from another, it’s boating without the hassles. While getting a boat in the water is not exactly a herculean task, it nonetheless prevents many people from going boating every day. Sealegs takes the entire process of launching and docking a boat out of the equation – just get in, drive into the water and reverse the process at the other end. The current Sealegs offering is essentially a 5.7 metre Rigid Inflatable Boat with Sealegs retractable 3-wheel system embedded. The addition of the system costs around US$20,000 to the cost of a normal inflatable and adds 100 kg for the ability to drive up any surface from which you can launch a boat. There’s an optional drive-on boat trailer as the boat isn’t registerable for the open road. On land it runs at 6 mph but it does considerably better on water with a top speed of 35 mph thanks to a 120 horespower engine. There’s a 7m version coming soon that can handle a 150 horsepower motor. In Australia, the 5.7 metre version costs AUD$ 49,000 plus another AUD$14,000 for a 120 horsepower motor. The new 7metre unit fully decked out with options will run to AUD$110,000. Demand is growing with a 12 month wait for orders already, the manufacturer is gearing up to increase production capacity by 400% which means the queue won’t be as long in the future. Read More
May 10, 2007 We love this design concept from Spanish design team Ubica. The A0 is a powered catamaran with vast amounts of luxurious living space in the two side floaters, a maximum speed of 50 knots and an estimated power output of around 2740 kilowatts from a hybrid biodiesel turbine/electric powerplant. Read More
May 10, 2007 The Louis Vuitton cup is heating up. The 10th flight of racing saw Desafio Espanol 2007 join BMW Oracle, Luna Rossa and Emirates Team New Zealand as the four semi-finallists. The winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup gets to tackle the defending Swiss champion Alinghi in a best-of-9 series to decide who takes home the America's Cup, the oldest sporting trophy in the world. Read More