Monday, July 19, 2004

15 knots and full speed ahead
I stumbled across a really interesting show on The Discovery Channel yesterday called Mythbusters.  They routinely go about debunking/proving common urban legends like whether you can really set yourself on fire while pumping gas and talking on a cell phone.  Cool premise, odd hosts.  Good show in general.
Yesterday they were going after the notion that a shell of 8 rowers (the classic racing configuration) can pull a water skier behind a boat!  How happy was I??  [Answer: excessively].  The hosts took water skiing lessons and then trussed up a tow-rig onto a Stanford University varsity 8.  The dodgy part was that the minimum speed for sustainable skiing is about 20 knots, and a prime-time rowing crew at max power approaches 15-17 you're flirting with "Can they do it?" Gasp!  On tenterhooks, aren't you?
I won't force you to watch the show yourself...the suspense might kill you.  Bottomline, the SU8 had NO problem cranking up to a velocity to carry Jaime (host) quite a ways along.  Please don't ask me to recreate it all.  I don't want to embarrass Stanford.


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