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Guess They'll Have to Throw Cook Overboard

September 25, 1997|EARL GUSTKEY

The Whitbread, the 31,600-mile, eight-month, around-the-world sailing race, is not an event for anyone desiring luxury accommodations, points out Roger Nilson, navigator on a Swedish entry.

He described to the Washington Post how his boat in the 1981 race was outfitted:

"We had a French cook, a deep freeze and 200 bottles of French wine. I had a cabin to sleep in and another for navigating with a shelf for my books. We had carpets on the floor; weight was no consideration."

One problem, he said. The boats were too slow.

"Now," Nilson said, "It's gone to nothing on board. We have a little tent-type stove, a toilet hung on the bulkhead. There are no pillows, no furniture. You eat from a dog bowl."


Add Whitbread: The most dangerous part of the race, all agree, is the 11,000 miles in the stormy southern latitudes, called the Roaring Forties and the Furious Fifties.

"It has speed, danger," New Zealand skipper Grant Dalton said.

"There's nothing like the midnight-to-4 a.m. watch when it's pitch black. You're screaming down waves at 25 knots in a ribbon of phosphorescence with spray up to the spreaders on the mast, on the edge of control . . . with the radar blipping at what may or may not be icebergs."


Trivia time: Who holds the major league record for consecutive stolen base attempts without being caught?


Funny cars 101: Clemson offers an area of study not commonly found in university class schedules: drag racing.

Two years ago, Clemson established the Robert H. Brooks Sports Science Institute. It is backed by Brooks, owner of the Winston Cup car once driven by the late Alan Kulwicki.

Clemson students have worked with NASCAR teams in the past, bringing engineering skills to racing garages.

Recently, Clemson said its motor sports program has teamed with the National Hot Rod Assn. to place students with drag racing teams and tracks.

"This partnership gives our students real-world opportunities in a high-pressure business environment," said Steffan Rogers, Clemson's vice president for academic affairs.


Formally No. 1? Is Formal Gold America's top race horse?

Sonny Hine, trainer of Skip Away, a horse Formal Gold drubbed in the Woodward Stakes at Belmont on Saturday, says he is.

"Formal Gold was just a bullet out there," Hine said.

"I think he's the best in the country, and I don't think anybody can beat him. . . . He's just a superior horse to mine now. I don't know how to beat him."


Trivia answer: Vince Coleman, who stole 50 in a row in 1988 and '89.


And finally: Washington Redskin fullback Larry Bowie on the importance of rest in building a long NFL career:

"I'll go to the mall or the movies, but that's about it. I got that from Marc Logan and Ken Harvey. They keep saying if you want to be in this league a long time, you have to take care of your body. They're my role models. They don't run the streets, and neither do I."

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