Thursday, January 31, 2008

What inspires fashion designers?

Nautica: "We are very inspired by ice sailing. Ice sailing is an amazing winter sport that synergizes with our heritage, while creating a modern edge through innovation and technology. We have watched the Athlete, the Spectator and the Sponsor at ice sailing events and love the hybrid dressing that naturally happens. Suits and windbreakers, performance gear and khakis, and cashmere with nylon bottoms. Bold and masculine looks inspired by the ice … Nautica at its best.''

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Kite to pull ship across Atlantic

Story from BBC NEWS

The world's first commercial cargo ship partially powered by a giant kite is setting sail from Germany to Venezuela.

The designers of the MS Beluga Skysails say the computer-controlled kite, measuring 160sq m (1,722sq ft), could cut fuel consumption by as much as 20%.

They also hope the state-of-the-art kite will help reduce carbon dioxide emissions, as it tugs the ship.

Fuel burnt by ships accounts for 4% of global CO2 emissions - twice as much as the aviation industry produces.

The MS Beluga SkySails' maiden transatlantic voyage is from the northern port of Bremerhaven to Guanta in Venezuela. The ship is expected to leave the German port at 1700 local time (1600 GMT).

It's kind of back to the future
Verena Frank, Beluga Shipping

The BBC's Steve Rosenberg, on board the vessel, says the computer will enable the kite to harness the full power of the wind.

"The maiden voyage marks the beginning of the practical testing during regular shipping operations of the SkySails System," says Stephan Wrage, managing director of SkySails GmbH.

"During the next few months we will finally be able to prove that our technology works in practice and significantly reduces fuel consumption and emissions," he said on the company's website.

Free energy

"We're absolutely excited," said Verena Frank, project manager at Beluga Shipping GmbH, SkySails GmbH's partner.

She told the BBC's World Today programme that the project's core concept was "using wind energy as auxiliary propulsion power and using wind as a free of charge energy".

"Nevertheless, it differs very much from traditional sailing, as we do not have any bothersome mast on deck which might be a hindrance to cargo-loading operations."

Ms Frank said the efficiency of the kite depended on wind and weather conditions.

But the advantage of the SkySails system "is that you do not need only backward winds - there can also be side winds and you can still set sail," she said.

She said the kite could be used on medium-size cargo ships, cruise liners and trawlers.


  • The kite sail will help reduce annual fuel costs by 10-35%. Reduced fuel also means fewer harmful carbon emissions
  • The large towing kite resembles a paraglider and is shaped like an aircraft wing, to enable it to take advantage of different wind directions
  • It operates at 100-300m above surface level - much higher than a normal sailing craft - where winds are stronger and more stable
  • The kite can be used in winds of between 12-74km/h (7-40 knots) and not just when the wind is blowing directly from behind the ship

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Good news - Bad news

by William Tuthill

The BAD news is that YOU NEED ONE! and that will cost you (but it is worth it). The GOOD news is that it is one of Kitewing's finest creations - more about that later.

The BAD news is for racers.

This past weekend proved what I had always suspected - that the all new 7.5 square meter "Wave Warrior" from Kitewing is more than just a water wing - it is a powerhouse for winter sailing also! Imagine the difference that an extra 2 square meters of sail area makes when the winds are light or the snow is deep. I knew that it would be good, but I never realized that it would replace almost everything else!
Obviously, the 4.8 and 5.5 will always be great in fast conditions, and I still say that the 4.8 on black ice is the ultimate, but WOW! The 7.5 meter Wave Warrior has way more range than I ever expected.
To quote NASA [North American Skimbat Association] web master Rick Hobbs, "the guys at Kitewing are geniuses". I agree.
The 7.5 meter wing is more advanced than ever. It has a way of absorbing gusts, keeping power, and flying steady in almost any amount of wind. The conditions on Sunday were so gusty that the snow was flying around in small tornadoes that resembled the "dust devils" of the great Australian Outback. Violent surges of power came from all angles yet the wing steered into the flow and kept steady. Quite a feat.
The Wave Warrior 7.5 meter wing will be on display, AND on the racecourse at WISSA-2008.
Come check it out, along with several other excellent winter sailing products, at the "Trade Mission" portion of WISSA 2008.

-- Will

Other winter sailing products on display:

plus several other related products from various manufacturers

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Government of Canada Awards $54,000 in Funding to Corporation Fenêtre Lac Matapédia Inc.

Not bad, eh?


Val-Brillant, Quebec, January 16, 2008 – Jacques Gourde, Member of Parliament for Lotbinière–Chutes-de-la-Chaudière and Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Labour and Minister of Canada Economic Development, today announced that Corporation Fenêtre Lac Matapédia Inc. will receive $54,000 in non-repayable funding to build the facilities needed to host the upcoming Ice and Snow Sailing World Championship. Sponsored by the World Ice and Snow Sailing Association, this event is scheduled to take place from February 10th to 17th in Val-Brillant. Funding for this project is awarded through the Community Economic Diversification Initiative – Vitality, a measure that seeks to support the growth of Quebec's businesses and regions.

"Winter tourism is a booming market, particularly among international travellers. The exceptional geographic and weather conditions of the Matapedia Valley are drawing a growing number of Nordic sports enthusiasts who come from near and far to experience a one-of-a-kind adventure in this magnificent Nature's playground. The contribution we are announcing today will help increase the number of visitors coming from outside Quebec and serve to enhance the region's tourism offering. It confirms the commitment our government has to bolstering the vitality of our regional economies," noted Mr. Gourde.

Corporation Fenêtre Lac Matapédia President Mario Beaulieu welcomed the news of this funding from Canada Economic Development, explaining that "this project will allow us to ensure the safety of the competition participants and spectators and to satisfy the requirements pertaining to the reliability and monitoring of the competition results. It will also enable us to carry out promotional activities to help position the Matapedia Valley as a prime destination in the winter sports market."

"Tourism is a key sector of the Quebec economy and an important source of jobs and growth for all regions of the province. For Canada Economic Development and our government as a whole, this industry is seen as a crucial link in our economic chain and one whose development is a major priority," concluded Mr. Gourde.


Marie-Claude Lemire
Canada Economic Development
Tel.: 418-668-4602

Jean-Philippe Payment
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn
Canada Economic Development
Tel.: 819-953-5646

Sunday, January 13, 2008


by William Tuthill

The sun is low this close to the Arctic Circle this time of year, but
the sailing surface is sweet. Juha Mannermaa is training for WISSA
2008. Open Class sailors, get ready, he is fast.
One month to go: This should be an excellent event.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Winter Sailing

by William Tuthill

Greetings All

I should be preparing for WISSA 2008, but today- this WHOLE week is unseasonably warm. It is global warming ;-((

We needed to move a boat from Newport, Rhode Island to New Bedford, Massachusetts. It is only about 40 nautical miles, but it involves going out into waters that are usually dangerous at this time of year. Today was more like a day in October than a day in January. +15C and sunny with a SW breeze. The boat was a Tayana 64. She is a blue water cruiser with an interior that is nicer than most people's homes.

We left Newport motoring into the wind and waves, and turned East to pick up our course. At that point the hydraulic powered head sail was released and our speed cracked 10 knots. The boat was surfing the chop as we ate and talked. It was peaceful and warm. One week ago this same place was violent and freezing- by next week it will be that way also. It is January and winter is supposed to be here to

Today was rare. There is only one month left until WISSA 2008 Get psyched- get ready- see you there :-)


Sunday, January 06, 2008

Happy New Year!

Something incredible is happening in Massachussets right now...

Part two:

The ice of dream!