Three super maxis favored for line honors will lead the way tomorrow when 117 boats -- the largest field in a decade -- begin the annual Sydney-to-Hobart yacht race from Sydney Harbor. \nThe three big boats -- Skandia, Konica Minolta and Nicorette -- are likely to be at the head of the fleet when the boats sail around hundreds of spectator craft and through Sydney Heads en route to Hobart on the island state of Tasmania, 1,163km away. \nSkandia, skippered by Australian Grant Wharington, and New Zealand entry Zana (now known as Konica Minolta) dueled throughout last year's race, with Skandia winning the final dash up the Derwent River and into Constitution Dock in Hobart by 14 minutes. \nOwner-skipper Ludde Ingvall launched a new version of Nicorette only three weeks ago. He will be looking to take line honors for the second time, having won in 2000 with the old Nicorette. \nIngvall, raised in Finland by parents of Swedish heritage, moved to Australia in 2001 to begin a life of warmer-weather sailing. \n"At this time of year in Finland the sun goes up for about two hours a day and I would go ice yachting," Ingvall told the Sydney Morning Herald on Friday. "When the sea breeze is up, it's so cold, if it were Sydney Harbor it would be like glass." \nGiven favorable winds, the three maxis could all threaten Nokia's 1999 race record of one day, 19 hours, 48 minutes and two seconds. \nCompetitors were warned Friday to expect gale-force southwesterly winds in the Tasman Sea off the New South Wales state south coast on Monday and further gales in Bass Strait off the east coast of Tasmania on Tuesday. \nWind gusts could range from 80kph to 110kph, the weather office officials said.
Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is buying the Forum for US$400 million, ending the billionaire’s legal fight with Madison Square Garden Co (MSG) and clearing the way to build a new arena for his NBA team down the street in Inglewood, California. Ballmer on Tuesday announced his cash purchase of the venerated arena. Ballmer, a former Microsoft executive, and Clippers vice chairman Dennis Wong are making the transaction through CAPSS LLC, a newly formed entity that would continue to operate the Forum as a live music venue. “This is an unprecedented time, but we believe in our collective future,” Ballmer said.
When two Spanish soccer players took to the controls of FIFA 20 after the COVID-19 pandemic saw their La Liga match canceled, a stadium-sized virtual audience watched online. The huge digital crowd last week is part of a spectacular boom for the digital gaming industry, as record numbers flock to online servers for distraction, entertainment and friendship with the “real world” seemingly falling apart. Real Betis Balompie striker Borja Iglesias kicked the winning goal using his own digital likeness in the 6-5 battle against Sevilla, which was broadcast on popular video game streaming platform Twitch. It took place at the same time the
New Zealand Rugby CEO Mark Robinson has said that the sport is “fighting for survival” as competitions at all levels are shuttered amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Robinson told Sky Sport’s The Breakdown that he cannot say when professional rugby might resume in New Zealand and in what form, whether it would be the five-nation Super Rugby tournament or the domestic Mitre 10 Cup. Rugby is New Zealand’s national sport and the All Blacks, the national men’s team, are one of the country’s most recognizable brands. The continuing suspension of competitions has been fully testing rugby’s resilience, Robinson said. “We’re fighting for sport’s survival in
With careers spent scratching around dusty outposts, sometimes with very little in their pockets, tennis’ unheralded army of foot soldiers say that they are struggling to afford food after being made unemployed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Georgian player Sofia Shapatava is pleading with the International Tennis Federation (ITF) to dig deep and help out the hundreds of players who lost their livelihoods when the men’s and women’s tours went into a three-month lockdown. “Players lower ranked than 250 will not be able to buy food in two-three weeks’ time,” said Shapatava, who is not optimistic that the ITF will look favorably on