AMERICA'S CUP: ON THE MARK
Carleton Mitchell's account of the America's Cup trials (SI, Sept. 15) was excellent, but I would like a more detailed explanation of "Bus Mosbacher at the helm put Vim on Columbia's stern a few minutes before the start and, twist and turn as he might, Corny was not able to escape."
JOHN R. BRINDLEY
Fort McPherson, Ga.
?In maneuvering for the start of her second race against Columbia, Vim tenaciously clung to her position 20 feet astern of her rival. Columbia ran down the line on the starboard tack, hoping to jibe or tack back. But Vim, dogging Columbia and also still on a starboard tack, had the right of way were Columbia to come about on a port tack. Vim thus forced Columbia well beyond the leeward buoy, then herself tacked back to cross the starting line with Columbia now behind her and to leeward, thoroughly back-winded. Rounding the first mark, Vim had a 1:30 advantage.—ED.
AH, WILDERNESS (CONT.)
Three cheers for Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas for his Hike for Posterity (SI, Sept. 8). It is good that America still has men of his caliber to fight the good fight in saving some wilderness for our children to enjoy its wonders and untouched beauties. Aye, if it hadn't been for men of vision there would be no Yellowstone Park.
PAUL A. DEHNER
To settle a slight argument with my son, will you please give me your opinion on the following:
Which is the faster craft over level water, an eight-oared regulation racing shell or an eight-paddled canoe?
?The eight-oared shell is the faster. Some time ago, at a rowing regatta on Princeton's Carnegie Lake, Coach Jack Sulger of the New York Athletic Club had the opportunity to compare times of shells and canoes of equal manpower over the same course. The shells were almost twice as fast. The reasons are simple. In a shell the rower has the mechanical advantage of a 12-foot 3-inch oar, almost nine feet of it outboard, with the pivot or fulcrum on the outrigger 32 inches out from the center of the boat. The amount of forward pressure on the hull exerted by the oar is about 1,400 pounds. Furthermore, the rower can utilize leg muscles and his feet are anchored. The paddler, on the other hand, has no fixed pivot (he has to brace himself in the canoe), his paddle is short and, as all canoeists know, he must use one hand as pivot.—ED.
THE REAL THING
I READ WITH INTEREST YOUR STORY OF THE YOUNG BOY AND "THE SOD" (E & D, SEPT. 15). IT WAS MY SON TERRY ABOUT WHOM YOU TOLD THE STORY. IT OCCURRED AT THE FIFTH HOLE ON THE SISTERSVILLE COUNTRY CLUB GOLF COURSE, WHERE THE WEST VIRGINIA STATE OPEN GOLF TOURNAMENT WAS BEING PLAYED. SAM SNEAD HAD HIT HIS SECOND SHOT ON THE GREEN. TERRY, WHO IS 7 YEARS OLD, WALKED UP TO ME WITH HIS EYES GLEAMING AND ASKED ME TO LOOK AT WHAT HE HAD IN HIS POCKET. WITH ASTONISHMENT I SAW SOME GRASS AND DIRT STICKING OUT OF HIS POCKET. TO MY INQUIRY AS TO WHY HE HAD IT IN HIS POCKET HE SAID, "THAT IS A GENUINE SAM SNEAD DIVOT." AT THE PRESENT TIME HE STILL HAS IT GROWING IN A FLOWERPOT AT HOME.
New Martinsville, W.Va.
THERE'S A HUNTER
We've watched the pages of your magazine for a long time, expecting that sooner or later there would be another hunting story by William A. Fisher. In a funny kind of way we feel we know him. A couple of years ago he wrote another story on polar bear hunting in the Bering Sea (SI, July 9, '56). We were both very much impressed with it and with the beautiful pictures because it gave the feel of hunting in the way we know it. Not that we hunt polar bears, but we've hunted enough to know the ring of authenticity when it knells. Most "hunting" stories just send us off into screams of raucous laughter. We cut that bear story out of the magazine and posted it up on the wall of my husband's workshop. A thousand times or more I must have stopped in front of it and said to myself, "There's a hunter—a real hunter."
Now you've given us a real treat in A Shy Target on High (SI, Sept. 15). As far as we're concerned you can put that down as the best hunt story we've ever read. I get a special charge out of Mr. Fisher's stories because he's high on observation and honest affection for his animals and darn low on the killer stuff.
If you can take a word of criticism after all this admiration, we would rather see hunt articles illustrated with photographs than drawings. We were a bit let down this time, though the good long story surely makes up for it. Mr. Fisher makes you just see all that beautiful country on the mountaintops and those beautiful creatures, but it would have been even better if your camera had gone along too. The rest of us are never going to get a chance to see animals like that unless you show them to us. And Mr. Fisher looks as good as his trophies.