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Rolex Transatlantic Challenge 2005 ready to begin - can the transatlantic record stand for...

May 21, 2005 The Rolex Transatlantic Challenge 2005 promises to be one of the greatest sailing races of all time when it gets underway tomorrow after a delayed start due to forecast dangerous weather. When the starts gun fires tomorrow, 20 entrants ranging in size from 70 to 252 feet (21.3m to 77m) will set out on a course from New York for England, recreating the Great Ocean Race of 1905. In that race, the schooner Atlantic, skippered by three-time America's Cup defender Charlie Barr, set a record that has not been broken by a monohull since. Monohull yachts have crossed the Atlantic Ocean faster, but they picked their weather. Atlantic's crossing, in 12 days, four hours, one minute and 19 seconds, survives as the oldest race record in sailing - and despite all the remarkable advances in sailing since then, it might stand for a full century!  Read More

Take your iPod swimming, surfing or waterskiing

May 19, 2005 Surfers, wakeboarders, water skiers, and swimmers can now strap on a convenient and secure armband or swim belt and take their iPod out for a day of music-accompanied activity. With over 10 million iPods sold to date, the iPod is the world’s most popular digital music player, which explains why it is also the world’s most accessorized gadget and the darling of the design community and suddenly appearing everywhere from MBA courseware to BMW’s accessory catalogue. All this qualifies the SV-iP4G waterproof iPod case and headset as a killer product. It takes a full-size Apple iPod and enables you to take it swimming with you and pound out the laps with complete choice of the 10,000 tunes in your pocket even while you’re under water! Until now all of the MP3 players we’ve seen that operate underwater use bone conduction (see stories here, here and here) but the H2OAUDIO SV-iP4G uses waterproof leads and a earplugs and is certain to draw a massive response from the world’s swimmers at US$149.95.  Read More

Human powered hydrofoil

May 16, 2005 To look at the Pump-a-bike, you’d swear it would sink the moment it hit the water. Not so, indeed, with a bit of practice, the human powered hydrofoil is capable of nearly 20 miles per hour – not that much shy of the world record for human powered watercraft . To make it work, all you need to do is jump up and down. Given some time to coordinate the movements and gain a degree of mastery, the Pump-a-bike can even be used in surf to ride waves.  Read More

Spain’s VO70 “MoviStar” breaks the World Sailing Speed Record

April 13, 2005 “Pedro! We just broke the world record!” With the aid of a short and simple satellite phone call from the Pacific Ocean, MoviStar skipper Bouwe Bekking communicated the best news back to the Head Office of the MoviStar Sailing Team in Spain. After months of preparation and just a few days into the second part of their ocean traning schedule for the Volvo Ocean Race, Bouwe excitedly told his colleagues the big news: “We covered 530 miles over 24 hours! We’re thrilled!”  Read More

Sealegs amphibious boat now boasts all-terrain capabilities

Sealegs International today announced that it has developed a new all-terrain version of its amphibious marine craft. The new 5.6m Sealegs All Terrain Amphibious Craft (ATAC) can carry a payload of 500kg (6 adults) on land and sea will sell for US$65,000. The Sealegs ATAC has a top speed of 10kmh on land but is far more capable as a water-going amphibian. Once driven into the water, the Sealegs ATAC hydraulically retracts its wheels to allow speeds of up to 60kmh. Later this year Sealegs will make an attempt on the world record for the fastest crossing of the English Channel by an amphibious vehicle. Gizmag has covered a wide range of amphibious vehicles in recent times, including the original launch of Sealegs, the Gibbs Aquada Sportcar, the Gibbs Humdinga 4WD amphibian, the Platypus 4WD amphibian, the Rinspeed Splash, the Phibicat and the Amphicar.  Read More

The PowerSki JetBoard - EXTREME watersports

March 28, 2005 One of the most radical water toys ever invented, the PowerSkiJetBoard is an engineering masterpiece - the inventors have taken the form factor of a surfboard and built in an ingenuously small and flat 45 horsepower motor capable of propelling it to 40 mph. With the rear thrust, rail and the three fins beneath, the JetBoard carves better than anything else on water, tarmac or snow, generating G-forces up to 6G and enabling the rider to get almost horizontal (check the pics inside). The JetBoard never cavitates or slides out, enabling a standing rider to perform continuous, stable, high speed turns with slight shifts in weight.  Read More

A whole new boating category begins – electric boats

March 8, 2005 American company Johnson Outdoors has launched a significant new line of electric boats that creates a new category of watercraft – whisper quiet, pollution free and very easy-to-use. Designed to be used by boaters and non-boaters alike, the new Escape brand Electric Touring Boat, Electric Chaise Lounger and Electric Fun Boat all feature a simple “flip-the-switch-and-go” electric propulsion system, intuitive steering and lots of comfort features.  Read More

The CHARC: Covert High-speed Attack and Reconnaissance Craft

March 6, 2005 The CHARC is designed to provide a lethal response for some of the emerging littoral threats facing large Navy vessels including suicide speedboats packed with explosives, small high-speed boat "swarm attacks" and diesel-electric submarines. With similar offensive capabilities to that of an AH-1W Super Cobra helicopter crammed onto a high-speed surface platform, the CHARC is small, fast and stealthy and can attack on a moment's notice using an array of Hellfire missiles, 20-millimeter guns, 40-millimeter grenade launchers and torpedoes. Like the AH-1W Super Cobra, a crew of two control the craft from a forward cockpit.  Read More

Hammer Super Yacht - floating beach party

It's the ultimate party machine. Designed as a floating beach party, the Hammer is a 90 metre superyacht designed to hold stylish social events for several thousand people. It also has large reconfigurable decks, creating oodles of party space with lots of terraces over the sea, and an underwater salon with windows that start above the waterline and extend way beneath it. There are also underwater cameras that can broadcast to the many large LCD monitors throughout the vessel. A floating beach party also has lots of toys for people to play with - like the multiple submarines that dock inside the vessel from underneath, and the helicopter can also be lowered into its garage for more party space on the landing pad. And the the swimming pools can be decked to increase the floor space too. The price? ....  Read More

The start of the race in Buenos Aires some 1200 miles before. Photo by: Daniel Forster

February 14, 2005 The brand new 60-foot carbon race yacht Fortuna III has won line honours in the Rolex Buenos Aires - Rio de Janeiro Race, taking the winner's gun in Rio at the crack of dawn on Sunday morning. Skipper Cesar Recalde and his team shook off extreme fatigue after a gruelling week's racing to celebrate their arrival in Rio with the popping of champagne corks and the firing of red flares, just as the sun was rising over Sugar Loaf Mountain. The almost windless conditions at the finish could not have been more different from the past seven days, which have seen Fortuna III and the rest of the fleet pounding into high winds and big seas. This was Recalde's fifth time competing in the event, and he described it as the toughest 1,200 miles of his career.  Read More

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