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USA win would surpass Australia II

Wednesday, October 10th, 2018

Oracle Team USA Oracle Team USA
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2013 America’s Cup: Team Oracle USA makes it 8-8Sport’s greatest chokesAmerica’s Cup a billionaire’s game, John Bertrand says

If Australian James Spithill and his crew on the America’s Cup defender, Oracle Team USA, win tomorrow’s decider on San Francisco Bay after tying the series this morning (AEST), their comeback would better that of Australia II in their historic win in 1983.

That was the view on Wednesday of veteran Australian sailing campaigner Syd Fisher.

It was Fisher, 86, who gave fellow Sydneysider Spithill, now aged 34, his first break in the America’s Cup when he appointed Spithill, who was then aged 20, as the youngest ever helmsman for an America’s Cup on Young Australia for his 2000 campaign.

Fisher, a veteran of five America’s Cups (1983, 1987, 1992, 1995 and 2000), has been as surprised as anyone by how Oracle Team USA have clawed their way back from the brink of losing the Auld Mug when 8-1 down to draw level at 8-8 with Team New Zealand. More remarkable, to do so Oracle Team USA have had to win 10 races after starting at minus two points as a penalty for an infraction in the 2012 lead-up series.

Fisher said a victory by Oracle Team USA in the 19th and deciding race scheduled for Thursday morning (AEST) would surpass the feat of Australia II in 1983 when – on the very same day 30 years ago, September 26, 1983 – the Australians fought back from being 3-1 down to beat American Dennis Connors’ Liberty 4-3 in the seven race series and become the first non-American Cup winners in its then 132 years existence.

“That’s a comeback, isn’t it?” Fisher told Fairfax Media on Wednesday morning after Oracle Team USA won the 17th and 18th races to take the Cup to its one-off decider.

“Spithill and the boys have got the boat moving This is really a comeback …

“[Winning the America’s Cup now] would beat the 1983 comeback, after coming back from the deficit they had. It was unimaginable actually, that they could do it.”

With so much now at stake after the emotional and physical toil of having won the last seven races to draw level, how does Fisher believe Spithill will prepare his crew?

Fisher, who says one of Spithill qualities is that he is “cool and has a lot of common sense”, will know they can’t bank on their momentum of success getting them home.

Momentum is on the side of Oracle Team USA that has forced the Dean Barker skippered Team New Zealand crew to sit agonisingly on match point for one week.

But come the final race, says Fisher, all that will matter is performance on the day.

“You just have to tell the crew to take one thing at a time,” Fisher said.

“You might be having a bit of trouble, but you have to deal with each thing as they come up. What I think he will do is get the crew to realise, ‘This is a race. This is the one we have got to win. We won’t worry about the past, and we won’t worry about the future. We have to win this race, the one that we are in right now.”

Twitter: @rupertguinness

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

BMX champ Caroline Buchanan hints at track cycling switch

Wednesday, October 10th, 2018

World BMX champion Caroline Buchanan returned to a welcome-home surprise at Canberra Airport on Wednesday. Photo: Supplied Caroline Buchanan shows off her newest World Championship gold medal. Photo: Charles Robertson
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She’s a five-time world champion at 22, winning her two most recent titles in different cycling disciplines in the space of 56 days.

But Canberra’s BMX world champion Caroline Buchanan has signalled her long-term ambition to become Australia’s fastest woman on two wheels, teasing she may switch to track cycling after the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Buchanan returned to Canberra on Wednesday morning to be greeted by friends, family and supporters after a hectic and successful two months overseas.

Last weekend’s victory at the mountain bike four-cross world titles in Austria – her third after wins in 2009 and 2010 – came after she won her maiden BMX crown in Auckland in July.

Crammed in between was a fifth place at the world mountain bike downhill titles in South Africa.

Buchanan was world BMW time trial champion last year, making her a gold medal favourite at the 2012 London Olympics, where she finished fifth.

While Buchanan’s focus is on Olympic redemption and gold at Rio in the BMX, she wants to continue challenging herself across various disciplines in a bid to become one of the greatest Australian riders of her generation.

Buchanan revealed she was contemplating a future switch to track cycling, currently dominated by Australia’s London Olympics golden girl Anna Meares.

‘‘I’m definitely hungry for Rio [BMX] since London and that’s still the ultimate goal, but there’s a lot more goals,’’ Buchanan said.

‘‘To win these two world titles and to get fifth in the downhill and be so close there … there’s many other cycling disciplines I could have a go at.

‘‘I’d love to be able to dominate cycling in general, not just one event.

‘‘My dad comes from a track cycling background, so that may be something I do in the future.

‘‘As you get older your endurance abilities get higher, so that would be something more I could look to, less explosive events and more endurance based.’’

Buchanan was blown away to see about 50 of her most loyal supporters on hand to welcome her back to Canberra.

‘‘I walked down the stairs and I normally don’t get nervous, but I got pretty nervous and was blushing,’’ Buchanan said.

‘‘There was a whole wall of people in green and yellow balloons and my little French bulldog Diesel ran through the doors at the airport and almost up the escalators.

‘‘Now that I’m home and have two weeks here, everything’s sinking in a bit more.’’

Buchanan’s next event is a BMX race in the Caribbean in October as the countdown to qualifying for the 2016 Olympics begins.

‘‘The the biggest thing I’ve learnt is not to limit myself by the norm or what I should be doing,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s almost crazy for me to look at now, let’s do three separate sports, completely different in 56 days at opposite ends of the world and fit another race in Canada in between.

‘‘I have learnt that I’m capable of more than I know.’’

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Koala detection dog killed

Wednesday, October 10th, 2018

Source: Merimbula News Online
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Jim Shields, of Tura Beach is mourning the death of his friend and co-worker, Oscar who was killed after being hit by a car as he worked to save a koala population in Port Macquarie, NSW.

To most people Oscar, was just another lively black Labrador, albeit a very adorable one, but to the few people who had seen him at work, he was very special, and truly one of a kind.

Oscar could smell a koala at 200 metres and when he did he let his owner, Jim, know without attacking or chasing either the koala or any other wildlife.

As far as Jim knows, Oscar was the only dog trained to find koalas and as people become more concerned about the plight of koalas, Oscar had more and more work from Rural Fire Service groups, prior to a burn, developers, prior to building and councils wanting to expand housing areas.

It was in this latter capacity that Oscar had been employed at Port Macquarie.

Jim said: “We were working in Port Macquarie, finding koalas or “Katies” in front of the excavators and harvesting machines making a new housing development. This was one of the conditions of approval from council – actually, they only required an ecologist to stand by for a run to the Port Macquarie Koala hospital – I was determined we would find them all before the machines did.”

It was while Oscar and Jim were attempting to remove a koala caught in a road way near their accommodation at the Hastings River that tragedy struck. The koala was blinded by the headlights of oncoming cars.

Jim said: “When Oscar picked up the scent of the koala, he ran onto the road way and barked once. The koala ran back to the roadway and escaped up a tree. He probably couldn’t see it in the glare because he put his nose down and did a perfect bend toward the koala. He raced straight forward much faster than I ever could have. He barked once as he hit the road way and the koala ran back to the roads edge. The approaching car hit Oscar – the driver truly didn’t have time to react. The following car stopped and I ran out to Oscar. He was still alive and tried to get up when he saw me. I stroked him and held his head; he barked twice more and died.”

Jim started training Oscar when he was eight weeks old.

“We started with detection. All his toys had koala scent on them, thanks to help from Potoroo Palace so the smell was associated as a good smell every time we played with Oscar.”

The training took over three years and included help from Gary Jackson, the Brisbane dog trainer who became world famous when he discovered a dog could detect cancer at an early stage.

Jim said: “He was more than just a dog, to me and everybody he met. I try to model my human relations and work ethic on Oscar – he was always glad to see you, and he was always ready to go to work.

“I could go on and on about the marvellous things he did and the fine dog he was. Oscar imprinted on me, wanted nothing more than to hang out with me, and was my constant companion.”

Oscar was buried privately under an old growth tallow wood tree, a primary feed tree of the koala, Jim said.

Oscar, believed to be the only dog trained for koala detection.

Diocese acted on wishes of clergy abused victims: special inquiry hears

Wednesday, October 10th, 2018

MAITLAND Newcastle Catholice Diocese officials should not be ‘‘unfairly’’ criticised for their handling of clergy abuse when they always acted in accordance with the wishes of victims, who did not want to report priests to the police, an inquiry in Newcastle has been told.
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Lachlan Gyles, SC, for the Diocese, told the Special Commission of Inquiry this morning no adverse findings should be made against it as officials had not obstructed police inquiries nor actively discouraged victims of Father Denis McAlinden or Father James Fletcher from reporting their abuse.

There was no clear evidence as to why McAlinden had moved about 30 times between parishes and overseas over several decades, Mr Gyles said.

Commissioner Margaret Cunneen SC interjected to question whether the moves were made because McAlinden feared his ‘‘indiscretions with children’’ were about to be exposed.

But Mr Gyles said other possible explanations for the moves, and for claims he was ‘‘run out of town’’ from Forster-Tuncurry, were that McAlinden was known to be restless, had a temper, old-fashioned doctrinal beliefs and may well have been ‘‘disliked’’ in the communities he resided.

‘‘[There] seem to be very few redeeming features,’’ Ms Cunneen said of McAlinden.

Mr Gyles said the reluctance of victims to report abuse to police meant the Church dealt with their complaints internally.

Even today, abuse victims were reticent to come forward and ‘‘expose one’s self to public scrutiny’’, he said.

As well, ‘‘one could not underestimate’’ the capacity for abusers like McAlinden and Fletcher to ‘‘ingratiate themselves with persons both in and out of the Diocese’’ and ‘‘hide what they were up to’’.

Mr Gyles warned the commission against seeking to find ‘‘scapegoats’’.

He also said the abuse matters before the commission had occurred within the diocese at a time other institutions in society were also grappling with internal abuse allegations, as observed from the recent hearings of the national Royal Commission.

The Catholic Church ‘‘does not have a mortgage’’ on child abuse, Mr Gyles said.

The inquiry is continuing.

China at the crossroads

Wednesday, October 10th, 2018

China once evoked mysteries of the orient: opium, corruption and the ineffable other. Today it is more substantial, its economic might visible in the endless ream of steel it rolls out for itself and the world, as well as in the massive iron ore developments of the Pilbara.
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Yet it remains a conundrum. How long can it sustain its extraordinary rise? How long can it keep churning out infrastructure and housing? And, perhaps most particularly for us over here, how long can it keep buying Australian bulk commodities hand over fist?

The bearish school, led by Professor Michael Pettis of Peking University, argues that to keep its high growth rates going China has had to engage in a form of long-term “financial repression”. By that he means that interest rates have been held at artificially low levels for a very long period to enable banks to keep lending to unproductive enterprises and governments, especially those engaged in building infrastructure.

This has led to surging investment and very high levels of growth. But ultimately it’s unsustainable, and evidence for its eventual undoing can be found in the declining growth on each borrowed dollar that China receives.

The more optimistic school of thought sees China’s high investment as the natural course for an economy in the early stages of capitalist reform. High rates of urbanisation and infrastructure investment, the bulls argue, will moderate as the economy moves up the value chain.

Turning Japanese

So who’s right, and what does it mean for Australian investors? Let’s start by taking in some history.

The rise of China began in the ’70s with the embrace of capitalism. The reform era, as it is known, brought private sector dynamism from the West together with the most abundant and cheap labour in the world. What followed was an explosion of economic growth that persists to this day.

This was not some miracle, however. In fact, China simply followed a script written by Japan and then Korea decades earlier. Open up to trade and inwards investment, allow labour to be mobilised by foreign capital, and invest heavily in urbanisation and infrastructure to modernise the economy and unleash its productivity potential.

In short, it is not difficult to evoke powerful growth in an underdeveloped economy. Many nations have succeeded at various times, including much of South America, Southern Africa and most of Asia. But after a certain point, when labour supply gets tight and incomes have risen materially, it gets much harder to keep things going.

Rising wages reduce competitiveness and formerly dynamic but labour-intensive export industries begin to wane before the economy has made the jump to the more sophisticated value-adding activities in exports and services that are the hallmark of developed economies.

Secret sauce

Far fewer nations have made the leap from fast early-phase development economics to fast post-middle-income development. Japan and Korea are outstanding examples, but many more have failed.

The secret sauce for those that made a successful transition was that they liberalised capital markets. These in turn prioritise returns on investment, shifting it to soft infrastructure like education and health, thereby driving labour to higher value-adding industries.

Returning to our central question then, the two schools of thought are much closer together than they appear. Whichever way you look at it, the next phase of Chinese development requires the same basic reforms – most particularly liberalised finance and a shift to soft infrastructure investment.

The difference lies in how well people think it will work. The China bears see growth falling quickly to developed economy levels, while the bulls see growth at 7 per cent or more for another decade.

Importantly, however, for Australian investors, the outcome is more clear cut. If the pessimists are right, Chinese growth will slow along with infrastructure investment and commodity prices will fall. If the optimists are right, fixed asset investment will still fall, to be replaced by other forms of less commodity-intensive growth.

Either way, China will need less commodities; and, either way, Australia and its miners will lose.

Mixed signals

So, is it a no-brainer to sell miners? Not quite. China is sending very mixed signals about when it intends to seriously embark on the reform process. The nation appears to be bitterly divided between the reform-minded new government of Li Keqiang and those interests aligned with former President Jiang Zemin. Zemin is heavily associated with the Shanghai elite that benefited spectacularly from the old development model and will lose if economic liberalisation is embraced.

If the reformers win and the rebalancing project begins in earnest, China may continue to enjoy high or moderate growth, but (combined with the existing supply deluge already pushing prices down) we’re likely to see large falls in bulk commodity prices from mid-2014.

If the reformers lose, China will lurch from stimulus to stimulus, supporting demand and prices for bulk commodities for another few years, before it ends in a Chinese financial crisis.

Be prepared

Predicting the timeline for these events is impossible. If China postpones its adjustment, earnings for the miners could still be good for another few years and, given low valuations, a decent rally is possible if markets focus on the cyclical over the structural. The Australian dollar may also stabilise at current levels until China’s structural challenge reasserts itself.

But over the medium and long term, the probable outcome is that the Chinese reformers will prevail – either that or crisis will ensue sooner or later. Either way, the outlook doesn’t look bright for our mining industry, our economy and our Aussie dollar.

As always, though, economic strife can be the source of opportunity rather than disaster for your investment portfolio, so long as you take appropriate precautions – as we’ve been recommending to our members.

We can’t put it better than the legendary Chinese philosopher Confucius, who said: “Success depends on previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.”

This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 282288).

By David Llewellyn-Smith of Macro Business, in conjunction with Intelligent Investor Share Advisor. BusinessDay readers can enjoy a free trial offer to Intelligent Investor Share Advisor, with access to 18 current Buy recommendations and four special reports featuring stock picks from some of Australia’s best fund managers, such as Kerr Neilson, Geoff Wilson and Erik Metanomski. For more Intelligent Investor articles click here.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Gillard’s first interview: says she’ll pursue education and women’s issues in life after politics

Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

Julia Gillard has given her first known interview since losing the Labor leadership in June, in which she says she will be pursuing education and women’s issues on the global stage.
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Speaking to two representatives from the Laureate International Universities in New York including a student from Malaysia, Ms Gillard has said that she is looking forward to travelling and promoting causes overseas that she has been passionate about in Australia.

”I’m looking forward to doing some international travel and pursing internationally the causes I’ve been so passionate about locally in Australia, particularly education and empowerment for women and girls,” she said.

The interview came as Ms Gillard announced her memoirs will be published next year, and that she will be writing the book herself while events are still “emotionally and intellectually” fresh.

“I want to write a book so that in my own words, in my own way I can reflect on my period in politics,” Ms Gillard said on her deal with Penguin Random House.

“This will be my words direct.”

Ms Gillard announced the book deal in a promotion video with the publisher.

In her six-minute interivew with the university network, Ms Gillard said that it had been a mixed bag being Australia’s first female prime minister.

”It’s an experience that’s mixed, I’d have to say.  Endless focus on hair, and clothes and shoes and things that men don’t have to put up with,” she said.

The former prime minister said the only way to shift that focus was for more women to gain leadership positions.

”Once it’s more normal, then all of that chatter will become boring.”

The Clinton Global Initiative meeting is a prestigious annual gathering of global leaders including the likes of Bono, Barack Obama and IMF boss Christine Lagarde, to come up with ”innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges”.

Ms Gillard is in New York attending the Clinton Global Initiative – a prestigious annual meeting of global leaders including the likes of Bono, Barack Obama and IMF boss Christine Lagarde, to come up with ‘‘innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges’’.

The initiative is led by former US president Bill Clinton, together with his wife, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, and daughter Chelsea. Mr Clinton also serves as Honorary Chancellor of Laureate International Universities.

Ms Gillard, who has kept a low profile since losing her job to Kevin Rudd, is attending the New York meeting for the first time. The six-minute interview with the university network did not include questioning about the former prime minister losing her job, the federal election or Mr Rudd.

When asked about key highlights of her time in power, she nominates pricing carbon and the National Disability Insurance Scheme along with her education reforms.

She said the ”trickiest” thing about leadership in a 24/7 media cycle was being ”focused on the long-term things that matter”.

A spokesman for Ms Gillard said she had no further comment about her New York trip. Her memoirs will be published in October next year.

Since losing the Labor leadership, Ms Gillard has not done any published interviews. She has written a lengthy essay about the Labor Party and its future, and is due to appear in a Q and A session with Anne Summers in Sydney and Melbourne next week.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Julia Gillard says she’ll pursue education and women’s issues in life after politics

Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

Memoir of a prime minister
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Julia Gillard has given her first known interview since losing the Labor leadership, in which she says she will be pursuing education and women’s issues on the global stage.

Speaking to two representatives from Laureate International Universities in New York, including a student from Malaysia, Ms Gillard has said that she is looking forward to travelling and promoting causes overseas that she has been passionate about in Australia.

”I’m looking forward to doing some international travel and pursing internationally the causes I’ve been so passionate about locally in Australia, particularly education and empowerment for women and girls,” she said.

The interview came as Ms Gillard announced her memoirs will be published next year, and that she will be writing the book herself while events are still “emotionally and intellectually” fresh.

“I want to write a book so that in my own words, in my own way I can reflect on my period in politics,” Ms Gillard said on her deal with Penguin Random House.

“This will be my words direct.”

Ms Gillard announced the book deal in a promotional video with the publisher.

In her six-minute interivew with the university network, Ms Gillard said that it had been a mixed bag being Australia’s first female prime minister.

”It’s an experience that’s mixed, I’d have to say.  Endless focus on hair, and clothes and shoes and things that men don’t have to put up with,” she said.

The former prime minister said the only way to shift that focus was for more women to gain leadership positions.

”Once it’s more normal, then all of that chatter will become boring.”

Ms Gillard is in New York attending the Clinton Global Initiative – a prestigious annual meeting of global leaders including the likes of Bono, Barack Obama and IMF boss Christine Lagarde, to come up with ‘‘innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges’’.

The initiative is led by former US president Bill Clinton, together with his wife, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, and daughter Chelsea. Mr Clinton also serves as Honorary Chancellor of Laureate International Universities.

Ms Gillard, who has kept a low profile since losing her job to Kevin Rudd in June, is attending the New York meeting for the first time. The interview did not include questioning about the Labor leadership, the federal election or Mr Rudd.

When asked about key highlights of her time in power, she nominated pricing carbon and the National Disability Insurance Scheme along with her education reforms.

She said the ”trickiest” thing about leadership in a 24/7 media cycle was being ”focused on the long-term things that matter”.

A spokesman for Ms Gillard said she had no further comment about her New York trip. Her memoirs are due to be published in October next year.

Ms Gillard said that she would be out to promote her book when it was published.

“It will be a big public contact for me in a way that I think I won’t have done since the days of being prime minister.”

Since losing the Labor leadership, she has written a lengthy essay about the Labor Party and its future, and is due to appear in a Q and A session with Anne Summers in Sydney and Melbourne next week.

Ms Gillard will take up an honorary professorship at the University of Adelaide in November.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Freo fans’ travel diary: day one

Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

Purple haze: Eagles-turned-Fremantle fans Andrew Dean and Frances Finch. Photo: Liam Ducey Not much leg room: Could you sit like this for 44 hours? Photo: Liam Ducey
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Liams-journey_420

Revelations that come to you, stone cold sober, at 1am, are never good. They’re usually along the lines of “oh God, I’ve made a terrible mistake …” I’m not claiming that quite yet. Time will tell.

But let’s backtrack for a second. At 7pm on Tuesday, I boarded one of two buses, full of mad Fremantle Docker’s fans, going across the Nullarbor. Non-stop. A 44+ hour, 3417 kilometre journey for the bargain price of $880 return. Each bus has two drivers, one sleeps while the other drives. They know I’m an Eagles fan and honestly they couldn’t care less. The more support the merrier.

I talk to the couple sitting across from me, Andrew Dean and Frances Finch, 26 and 27 respectively. Frances made the switch to the Dockers from the Eagles in ’95. Andrew, a New South Welshman, had no particular AFL inclination. His parents like rugby so he too liked rugby until he moved to WA. He joined the Dockers because he liked what he saw in the perennial underdogs.

He’s lucky he did. Frances met him at a party and they got along well enough to make plans for coffee. Realising she may have made a terrible mistake the next day, she sent him a text, asking if he was a Dockers fan. The rest, as they say, is history.

Frances, with her hair dyed, well obviously purple, makes a pretty good case for Fremantle as the neglectful boyfriend come good.

“You love this team so much and they just continue and continue to let you down, but every now and then they give you that little bit of magic and that little bit of spark that reminds you why you love them in the first place, then they just stuff it up again and leave you down in the dumps and depressed and crying,” she said.

“Right now, there’s some genuine heartfelt change going on.”

In the seat behind me there’s some heartfelt decision-making going on. Lucy Saracevic and her father Chris only decided on the bus on Tuesday morning. Lucy didn’t think she’d get tickets in the ballot, but the numbers fell her way and when you get the golden ticket, you have to take the ride. She doesn’t have anywhere to stay, and other fans are calling their hotels, frantically, trying to find her a room, any room. Eventually, she finds a place in Essendon with a spare room. It’s not close to the MCG and presumably she’ll have to swim through a wave of peptides, but a bed is a bed.

We make good time. The buses are quiet, most people have done a full day of work and they’re exhausted, as am I. A stop at the Tammin Roadhouse, where the Dockers guernseys are on proud display behind the counter, comes and goes, with steak and onion burgers and fried chicken snapped up by passengers.

After half an hour we’re off again and we’ve got Legends Of The Fall and Brad Pitt’s smouldering good looks to keep us company. It’s a natural anaesthetic, despite a brilliant performance from Bart the Bear, and the vast majority of the bus is asleep. Apart from, it seems, me. My 6’4” inch frame hasn’t been on a bus in a long time, and as I sit up from trying to get to sleep, it dawns on me. It’s not going to happen until I’m completely and utterly exhausted, and we’ve got 42 non-stop hours to go, at least.

Pav had better play his heart out for this.

Finally though, miracle of miracles, I drop off, somewhere between Norseman, where we stopped to refuel, and Balladonia, where we’re now getting breakfast. Only an hour or so, but it’s better than nothing. We’ve got a big stretch ahead of us, from Balladonia to Eucla to Ceduna. Watch out Hawthorn – we’re coming. Slowly.

Tweets by @the_unbrain]]>

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America’s Cup a billionaire’s game: Bertrand

Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

The America’s Cup has come a long way from when Australia II won the Auld Mug in 1983, with the helmet and safety-equipment clad competitors now being akin to “test pilots”, winning skipper John Bertrand said on Wednesday.
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Bertrand told SEN that the technical advancements that made up the new AC-72 boats made the contest a “different game” from 1983 with campaigns now costing $100 million compared with the $1.5 million that was used for Australia II.

Where the Australia II caused controversy with its winged keel, the contests in the 12-metre category yachts now seem almost stately compared to the high-octane battles of the remarkable AC-72’s, which have been likened to formula one racing cars on the water as they reach remarkable speeds.

‘These boats are now sailing three times the speed of the wind, so in 10 knots of breeze they’re sailing 30 knots so it’s amazing what they’re achieving,” Bertrand said.

“They’re test pilots, these sailors now, because these things are airborne vehicles.

“They’re sailing on hydrofoils but the bottom line is it’s a young man’s sport, it’s a super athletic environment … the power on these boats that’s required is massive, the aerobic ability and also the smarts, so it’s a different game.”

Bertrand said he believed Australia would again compete in the America’s Cup, which he regarded as still “very, very prestigious around the world”.

“We’ve got a lot of guys the question is the cash,” Bertrand said.

“I think the multibillionaire coming out of Western Australian or Queensland who wants to become a global trader, that’s the sort of vehicle that could be of interest to him. The America’s Cup is still very, very prestigious around the world.”

As for the current series, Team America on Wednesday levelled at 8-8 after winning seven races in a row and leaving the series to be decided by a sudden-death race this week. Bertrand said it appeared that the American’s had benefited from intensive out-of-water testing during the series, which New Zealand had led 8-1.

“The bottom line is that the Americans have found another gear,” he said.

“They’ve done a lot of work with the technology at night with all the super computers and so on and they are sailing, I suspect, a shade faster in these conditions.”

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New Lions coach Justin Leppitsch to call disgruntled players

Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

Justin Leppitsch with Brisbane Lions Chairman Angus Johnson. Photo: Angela Wylie Angus Johnson has more on his mind than a new coach. Photo: Angela Wylie
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Justin Leppitsch’s immediate priority as Brisbane’s new coach is to hit the phones to persuade the club’s band of disgruntled young players to stay at the club.

Leppitsch, 38 next week, was unveiled as the successor to Michael Voss – both were teammates during the Lions’ stunning triple-premiership stint just over a decade ago – in Melbourne on Wednesday morning. He said he was “very comfortable” in taking the position on a three-year contract, despite the turmoil engulfing the Lions’ board, centred on the tenure of chairman Angus Johnson.

“My job is to coach the team but I still understand within that you need a stable organisation and the club’s very aware of that – and that’s going to happen,” Leppitsch said. “Things will sort out, and we’ll strive to win this premiership.”

Johnson attended the unveiling but was steadfast in refusing to comment on the turmoil – which prompted the AFL to summon warring Lions directors to Melbourne for mediation – and whether he would be leading the club next season.

“The club made a statement yesterday – other than that [there is nothing more to say]. Today is about Justin Leppitsch,” Johnson said.

“We’re two years into a five-year strategic plan. That strategic plan has been embraced by all of our stakeholders, it’s been embraced by the AFL, our corporate sponsors. We’re achieving what we want to achieve – I’d say after two years we’re actually slightly ahead, and very confident with where the club is going, very very comfortable about where we are going to end up. Having Justin on board is going to ensure that we get there.”

Leppitsch has been recruited from Richmond, where he was the assistant coach in charge of defence. He was hailed by Johnson for his “outstanding references, experience, knowledge of the game and a desire to ensure he gets the absolute best out of everyone… players and staff”.

“It was an easy decision for the selection committee and the board… he’s just an outstanding individual. We couldn’t have hoped to get a better senior coach,” the chairman said of Leppitsch.

General manager of football operations Dean Warren, who chaired the coach selection committee, said Leppitsch’s status as a respected premiership defender for the Lions was not a key factor in his appointment but was instead “an added bonus”. He would not, however, detail how he thought Leppitsch would be superior to Voss, who was sacked late in the season.

“It’s an inappropriate question. Justin has been selected as our senior coach. Technically he’s very good, he’s an innovator of the game, understands what a competitive game plan looks like, has got very good presentation skills and can articulate his game plan,” Warren said.

Leppitsch confirmed his immediate priority was resolving the Lions’ “list issues”, and that he would contact out-of-contract players – Elliott Yeo, Patrick Karnezis, Jared Polec, Billy Longer, Sam Docherty, James Polkinghorne, Aaron Cornelius and also veteran Brent Staker – to sell his vision for the club.

“I’ll do that today, no doubt. It’s critically important we get started on that. I’d love to keep every one of the players, let’s be honest. They’re draft picks over the past few seasons and we need to get them on board. They’re a very important part of the future,” he said.

“I’ll do my very best to… present to them in a way that shows a very bright and clear future, and a pathway for them. I’m looking forward to starting and making those calls.”

While Leppitsch reiterated his goal to “keep the kids and ratify the issues they may have” he also said it was “more important for the club that we’re not in this position again, that we put parameters in place that our players want to stay and play for longer-term deals”.

Leppitsch did not give any clear indication on whether he wanted veterans Jonathan Brown and Simon Black, both former teammates of his, to play on in 2014. His only response was that it was crucial that any decision was made “in the right way”, and that if one or both were to depart if would have to be done “jointly and respectfully”.

The new coach also declined to say whether he would ask the Lions to pursue out-of-contract midfielder Dustin Martin, who he has worked with at Richmond.

“Obviously I know ‘Dusty’ well… I do have my views but I won’t share them here today,” he said.

“Every player is a package… you see that with what’s going on now at Collingwood with Heath Shaw.

“I won’t touch on Dustin’s particular issue, but… we have positives and negatives, or ticks and crosses. You have a lot of ticks and limited crosses [and you’re secure], or if they start evening up you may find your way out the door.”

Leppitsch said he would refrain from making “bold statements” regarding the timeframe for the Lions to be challenging for a premiership.

“I don’t think [first-year Port Adelaide coach] Ken Hinkley would have sat here last year and said ‘We’re going to play in the second week of finals’. Sometimes you get an immediate response, sometimes it takes a bit longer,” he said.

Leppitsch said he would demand competitiveness from his team, but also stressed the importance of creating a consistently enjoyable atmosphere for the players.

“If you don’t actually have fun along the journey you don’t perform, you’ll never actually enjoy turning up to training every day and giving your best. My goal really is to create an enjoyable working environment that… expects hard work,” he said.

Leppitsch also said he was not daunted by the requirement for him to not only coach the team but also promote the Lions in a region that also boasts rugby league, rugby union and soccer teams.

“I understand the Queensland marketplace. We don’t understand how good we’ve got it in Melbourne sometimes. In my time at Richmond you’ve not had to worry about building the game, but I understand that’s a very big component up there in Queensland,” he said.

Leppitsch said he was confident the board would give him sufficient money to properly equip the football depart. He said he has begun to his plan his panel of assistants, suggesting “a number of additions” could be made, but would not give any names as he admitted some were under contract.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.