Thursday, June 28, 2007


I'm not going to blog about the America's cup - this is media commentary!

This article in the Herald about Team NZ's protest against Alinghi says:
"It may seem unfair to have docked Alinghi the race for such a technical fault which had no bearing on it"

Their journo must know very little about sailing, or be dedicated to oversimplifying. The issue Team NZ complained of was that Alinghi had to send a man up to drop their mainsail (that's the larger sail to the back). It's normal for any sailboat larger than a windsurfer to have its mainsail hauled up by wire/rope such that it can be released from deck level. This is only sensible, as the sail may need to be released in an emergency. If the sail was fixed to the top of the mast, you could potentially have lighter gear at the expense of safety - which would give you a slight speed advantage.

If a boat had this, then it *is* a material breach of the rules. As it turns out, it looks like Alinghi doesn't - it just has a halyard system that doesn't work very well.

I know this stuff - surely the Herald's yachting correspondent should?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Straight back to school

Have the Herald's new outsourced subs started work?

Straight (adj): Not crooked or bent; having a constant direction throughout its length.

Strait (n): A narrow channel of water

Friday, June 22, 2007

It's a bleedin' ski resort mate!

Queenstown has cancelled some of its winter festival events due to snow. Funny, but I thought that was the point of being in a ski resort?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Block Sobbath

In hairfarming news, a resurrected Black Sabbath are playing in Auckland in August and are on heavy bFM advertising/plug rotation:

They go out in NZ as "Heaven and Hell, Black Sabbath the Dio Years"

Two things here:
- I don't believe it's really Black Sabbath with no Ozzy. That's like the Stones without Mick Jagger.
- I'm fairly sure it's Ronnie James DeeOh not DieOh. He is not a girls school.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Pulling the Queen's Chain

New Zealanders believed for many years in the "Queen's Chain" - a strip of land with public access around the coast and rivers of New Zealand. Sadly, no legislation was ever passed to enshrine this.

The UK government (in a rare moment of good sense) has just proposed a similar, but real, coastal access strip, for England and Wales (Scotland has had a coastal walkway for some time).
It's going to cost GBP50 million - not a lot really, given the length of coast and the price of land.

We need the same thing. Our coasts shouldn't be private preserves. Beaches and clifftops should be open to public access, whether they belong to Mr Rich Whitebastard, Ports Of Auckland or Ngati Whatua. This would remove the need for the (racist) Foreshore And Seabed Act and take us closer to having a right then many thought we always had. This is not, by the way, confiscation. Everyone would keep their land - they would simply have to concede the rights of the greater community to access.