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⇑⇓TALL SHIP MINUTE OF THE MONTH In the September issue, politically correct Charles Taylor urged Latitude readers to protest the San Francisco visit of Esmeralda, the Chilean tallship/ambassador, because years ago it had been used as a prison and torture ship. Taylor might then also want to protest the next time Eagle, the 295-ft barque that is the training ship for the U.S. Coast Guard, plans to visit San Francisco. After all, she was launched in '36 as Horst Wessel, a Nazi Kriegsmarine training ship. Ron Geick Scanmar International
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• October, 2011
Ron — We had no idea, but you're absolutely correct. Research shows that both Adolph Hitler and Rudolph Hess, his longtime Nazi Party deputy, If you're going to protest 'Esmeralda', attended the launching. then you'd better protest the Coast Horst Wessel was named Guard training ship 'Eagle'. after a party loyalist who was assassinated in Berlin and made into a Nazi martyr. Prior to his death, Wessel composed The Flag on High, known as the Horst Wessel Lied, which became the anthem of the Nazi Party. Everyone was required to give the 'Hitler salute' during the singing of the first and fourth verses of the song, which was played endlessly. The anthem has been banned in Germany and Austria since '45, so both Apple and Amazon got into trouble earlier this year for making it available to German customers. This has been your Tall Ship Minute for this month. ⇑⇓EVEN MORE POLITICS MIXED UP WITH SAILING Based on letters from environmental groups such as the Sea Turtle Restoration Project, and environmental agencies such as the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC), it's obvious to me that not everyone is excited about the America's Cup coming to San Francisco Bay. Dave Benjamin Island Planet Sails Dave — While almost all the groups and agencies are careful to say that they "most definitely want the America's Cup to come to San Francisco Bay", they also make it clear they only want it to come to the Bay on their terms. This is standard operating procedure for all special interest groups. Whenever there is a major event — the Super Bowl, the World Cup, the Olympics — various special interest groups and government agencies see an opportunity to not only press their agendas — which may or may not be altruistic — but also to raise their profiles and solicit money from the public. Yes, everyone wants a piece of the action. Whether the perceived collective 'costs' exceed what the event management is willing to cough up determines whether or not the event actually takes place in a particular venue. The America's Cup has travelled a long way down the road to taking place in San Francisco in '13, but thanks to special interest groups and government agencies, we figure there is still a 25% chance that the Finals will be held elsewhere. Funloving Newport, Rhode Island, where there is a long America's Cup history, where people don't have a problem with big boats
The October 2011 eBook issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.