The book about the three “Carinas” written by Richard B. Nye came out a few weeks ago. The saga of “Carina” continues as she having sailed to Australia to participate in the Sydney-Hobart race from England after having completed the 2011 transatlantic race and now sailing home to the East coast of the United States where she will sail in the Bermuda Race this June. Follow her story HERE.
The story of “Carina” is interesting from many points of view. Her conception was the culmination of years of experience of ocean racing by the Nye family. She was launched in 1969. This is where the story is so interesting as we look back. At the time two racing rules dominated the world: the CCA in the United States and the RORC in the rest of the world.
I have added the photo of “Outlaw” to illustrate the RORC rule. Anyone wondering where the pinched ends under the IOR came from. This was one of the compromises in order to achieve one rule.
Back to the “Carina” story. In 1968, the Nyes had won class in the Bermuda race with the old yawl, but wanted a new boat. The new rule was still being negotiated, no one knew what the final rule would offer, so Jim McCurdy and Bodie Rhodes were tasked with designing a boat that would rate well under any circumstances. The result was a boat that is still winning races 40 years later
It is really about Dick Nye gifting the trophies the “Carinas” had won over the years to the Indian Harbor Yacht Club, coupled with the publication of a book of the history of the “Carinas” and the family whom owned them. I was part of the crew for only a short period of time, 2 transatlantic crossings, 2 fastnet races, 2 admiral’s cups, 1 bermuda race, and of course all the smaller races during that time. I keep many fine memories and hope to see many of the former crew there.
“Carina” finished 2011 by competing in the Sydney-Hobart race; a journey that started in June with the transatlantic race to England, the Fastnet race; and the kids sailing the boat to Australia in time for the race.
Naturally when I pause to think of the wonderful adventure 2011 brought to them I reflect on my own small adventures. The Transtalantic race aboard “Snow Lion”. I have sailed with most of the crew on both boats for great distances and keep many fond memories.
Interestingly these photos all relate to offshore sailing…on “Carina”. I sailed two transatlantics, two admirals cups, 2 fastnet races, 2 channel races, one bermuda race and many other races on the 48 foot McCurdy and Rhodes design.
I still contend we had more fun in that era. There were so many characters with so many stories.
I met the owner and crew of “Phaedo” shortly before the start of the transatlantic race in June, when we took a safety at sea class together. They were new to ocean racing. They performed well in the transatlantic race and in the Fastnet. I guess one could say that they took to it like ducks to water. They have assembled videos of all they have done in a terrific way.
Ran, should be acknowledged as the first back to back winner of the Fastnet Race since the Phil Rhodes designed Carina.
A completely different subject; IBM has announced a chip that will simulate cognitive thinking; much like the human brain.
ARMONK, N.Y., – 18 Aug 2011: Today, IBM (NYSE: IBM) researchers unveiled a new generation of experimental computer chips designed to emulate the brain’s abilities for perception, action and cognition. The technology could yield many orders of magnitude less power consumption and space than used in today’s computers.
In a sharp departure from traditional concepts in designing and building computers, IBM’s first neurosynaptic computing chips recreate the phenomena between spiking neurons and synapses in biological systems, such as the brain, through advanced algorithms and silicon circuitry. Its first two prototype chips have already been fabricated and are currently undergoing testing.
Called cognitive computers, systems built with these chips won’t be programmed the same way traditional computers are today. Rather, cognitive computers are expected to learn through experiences, find correlations, create hypotheses, and remember – and learn from – the outcomes, mimicking the brains structural and synaptic plasticity.
To do this, IBM is combining principles from nanoscience, neuroscience and supercomputing as part of a multi-year cognitive computing initiative. The company and its university collaborators also announced they have been awarded approximately $21 million in new funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for Phase 2 of the Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics (SyNAPSE) project.
The goal of SyNAPSE is to create a system that not only analyzes complex information from multiple sensory modalities at once, but also dynamically rewires itself as it interacts with its environment – all while rivaling the brain’s compact size and low power usage. The IBM team has already successfully completed Phases 0 and 1.
“This is a major initiative to move beyond the von Neumann paradigm that has been ruling computer architecture for more than half a century,” said Dharmendra Modha, project leader for IBM Research. “Future applications of computing will increasingly demand functionality that is not efficiently delivered by the traditional architecture. These chips are another significant step in the evolution of computers from calculators to learning systems, signaling the beginning of a new generation of computers and their applications in business, science and government.”
While they contain no biological elements, IBM’s first cognitive computing prototype chips use digital silicon circuits inspired by neurobiology to make up what is referred to as a “neurosynaptic core” with integrated memory (replicated synapses), computation (replicated neurons) and communication (replicated axons).
IBM has two working prototype designs. Both cores were fabricated in 45 nm SOI-CMOS and contain 256 neurons. One core contains 262,144 programmable synapses and the other contains 65,536 learning synapses. The IBM team has successfully demonstrated simple applications like navigation, machine vision, pattern recognition, associative memory and classification.
IBM’s overarching cognitive computing architecture is an on-chip network of light-weight cores, creating a single integrated system of hardware and software. This architecture represents a critical shift away from traditional von Neumann computing to a potentially more power-efficient architecture that has no set programming, integrates memory with processor, and mimics the brain’s event-driven, distributed and parallel processing.
IBM’s long-term goal is to build a chip system with ten billion neurons and hundred trillion synapses, while consuming merely one kilowatt of power and occupying less than two liters of volume.
Why Cognitive Computing
Future chips will be able to ingest information from complex, real-world environments through multiple sensory modes and act through multiple motor modes in a coordinated, context-dependent manner.
For example, a cognitive computing system monitoring the world’s water supply could contain a network of sensors and actuators that constantly record and report metrics such as temperature, pressure, wave height, acoustics and ocean tide, and issue tsunami warnings based on its decision making. Similarly, a grocer stocking shelves could use an instrumented glove that monitors sights, smells, texture and temperature to flag bad or contaminated produce. Making sense of real-time input flowing at an ever-dizzying rate would be a Herculean task for today’s computers, but would be natural for a brain-inspired system.
“Imagine traffic lights that can integrate sights, sounds and smells and flag unsafe intersections before disaster happens or imagine cognitive co-processors that turn servers, laptops, tablets, and phones into machines that can interact better with their environments,” said Dr. Modha.
For Phase 2 of SyNAPSE, IBM has assembled a world-class multi-dimensional team of researchers and collaborators to achieve these ambitious goals. The team includes Columbia University; Cornell University; University of California, Merced; and University of Wisconsin, Madison.
IBM has a rich history in the area of artificial intelligence research going all the way back to 1956 when IBM performed the world’s first large-scale (512 neuron) cortical simulation. Most recently, IBM Research scientists created Watson, an analytical computing system that specializes in understanding natural human language and provides specific answers to complex questions at rapid speeds. Watson represents a tremendous breakthrough in computers understanding natural language, “real language” that is not specially designed or encoded just for computers, but language that humans use to naturally capture and communicate knowledge.
IBM’s cognitive computing chips were built at its highly advanced chip-making facility in Fishkill, N.Y. and are currently being tested at its research labs in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. and San Jose, Calif.
For more information about IBM Research, please visit ibm.com/research.
Today is the first start for the transatlantic race leaving Newport, RI to the Lizard, UK, at 2pm from Castle Hill. There are only six boats in this start, ranging from the 40′ “British Soldier “to the classic 86′” Nordwind”. Their start will be in a flood tide and a light southerly wind, and likely sunshine.
Our start is wednesday the largest class with 14 entries; again with a broad variety of boats. A swing keel Cookson 50, “Jazz”, two class 40 boats, a 66′ catamaran “Phaedo” and the 289′ “Maltese Falcon”.
On July 3rd the last group sets off. These boats, “Rambler 100”, “Leopard of London” will all still finish ahead of us despite having started 5 days after we leave.
For every boat routing is the key to doing well. Finding a weather pattern and being able to sail to the boat’s rating. If a boat can sail to it’s potential throughout the race, it should win.
The National Sailing Hall of Fame has taken a while to get launched. Let’s hope it takes a healthy direction. We can all think a a number of worthy potential inductees. For Ocean Racing, I will be proposing Dick Nye Sr. of “Carina” fame. His accomplishments even without the context of time stand out.