Archive for July, 2019

Can Daniel Ricciardo go all the way in Formula One in 2017?

Monday, July 22nd, 2019

Formula One packs up and moves on with a speed and scale unrivalled by any other sport. So is it any wonder that with champagne still soaking Nico Rosberg’s side of the Mercedes garage at Abu Dhabi, attention has already turned to what comes next?

Rosberg’s “one race at a time” mantra in tackling his brilliant but erratic teammate Lewis Hamilton finally won him the ultimate prize and possibly not a moment to soon.

New regulations are coming and the field is gaining – particularly the Red Bulls of Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo and Dutch wunderkind Max Verstappen.

By winning 10 races to Rosberg’s nine, Hamilton could easily have won his third consecutive title on Sunday, but some poor racedays combined with the worst of the mechanical failures in 2016 left him a mere five points adrift.

Next year, new regulations on aerodynamics and tyres will mean faster speeds and potentially bring Mercedes back to the pack. If it all ended tomorrow for Hamilton and Rosberg, no one would argue that a two-one title result over the past three years is not a fair result.

So what can we expect the scorecard to be for Red Bull in 2020 once the Ricciardo v Verstappen rivalry has had three years to play itself out?

There’s little doubt that Ricciardo is considered one of the best racers on the grid. No less an authority than former world champion Fernando Alonso made that clear last month when asked who he thought had the chops to tackle Mercedes’ dominance.

Ricciardo’s well deserved third in the 2016 title race came after 18 months of dealing with an underpowered car. The time spent under pressure also underscored the character and charm that has won him a legion of fans that cross international boundaries and team allegiances.

On Channel Ten’s broadcast ahead of Sunday night’s race Ricciardo said he’d had more highs than lows this season and happily conceded that in Formula One, if you can say that about your season, you should probably be happy.

It was a point not lost on 1980 world champion Alan Jones, who said Ricciardo was now well placed to capitalise on his brilliant racing and people skills.

“Since they’ve given him that upgraded Renault engine he has responded, well the team has basically, they were virtually getting nowhere, but since that upgraded engine was made available to them, boy they have really utilised it,” Jones aid.

“I think that certainly next year [engineer] Adrian Newey will give them a good car. They’ve got wider wheels and tyres, they’ve got upgraded aerodynamics so I think they’ll be in a good place next year.”

But the key words here are “they”. Ricciardo is not only racing to catch up to Rosberg and Hamilton, but will be spending much time in coming years trying to fend off his own teammate.

Verstappen’s move to Red Bull when the team demoted Daniil Kyvat was immediately rewarded with a debut victory at the Spanish Grand Prix. It was the first of several rueful days for Ricciardo when strategy within his own team, combined with Verstappen’s maniacally aggressive racing, saw him finish behind the younger man. The pitstop debacle in Monaco only further heightened his desire to climb to the top step again.

The pair appear to have formed a good working relationship, but there’s little doubt that Verstappen is taking no prisoners in his quest to get to the top and stay there. His battles this year against the Ferrari drivers were explosive and on Sunday Rosberg’s tensest moments came when trying to pass the unpredictable Verstappen.

The season ended with Ricciardo winning a Grand Prix in Malaysia and eight podiums in total, while Verstappen – having joined Red Bull in round five – had a win in Spain and seven podiums.

This has to leave the Australian aware that it could be now or never in his quest for a title. If Red Bull can give him the car he needs in 2017, he must ram home his edge in experience and calm before Verstappen knocks his own rough edges off.

If Red Bull does turn out a car with the potential to win a world title next year Ricciardo may well find himself in the same situation as the Mercedes drivers – taking things one race at time, with strategy and luck playing a role in deciding who comes out on top.

“It must be an amazing feeling to be world champion,” Ricciardo said in congratulating Rosberg after Sunday’s triumph. “They both pushed each other until the end and it’s nice to see the title go down to the line like that.”

Careful what you wish for, perhaps?

“Looking at the season overall I’m super happy and very pleased with the year. It’s definitely been more highs than lows this year with a lot of podiums, satisfying races and a good chunk of points,” Ricciardo said. “I got amongst it when I could so I think it was a good 2016 for sure.”

And what comes next when the lights do out on March 26 in Melbourne?

“I’m not going to get too caught up with thinking about next year, but if we woke up in February for testing and the car’s quick then you’ll see me fighting for it (the title).”

Ricciardo clearly knows he’s not the lone ranger.

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

Waratahs CEO Andrew Hore demands greater voice for Super Rugby clubs

Monday, July 22nd, 2019

Greater say: Waratahs chief executive Andrew Hore wants the Australian Rugby Union to consult more often with its stakeholders. Photo: SuppliedThe boss of Australia’s most powerful province is demanding a louder voice for Super Rugby clubs on the future of the 18-team competition.

At the same time as a major rift over funding threatens to bring down the Australian Rugby League Commission chairman John Grant, Waratahs chief executive Andrew Hore has called on the Australian Rugby Union to consult more often with its stakeholders, who are forced to play in the cumbersome Super Rugby competition.

Hore did not specify how this would take place, but presumably a permanent spot on the SANZAAR executive committee, which is comprised of the chief executives and chairmen of the four member nations, would be the place to start.

Under the current model, the Super Rugby clubs are denied a formal presence at the decision-making table, leaving the national unions to make decisions on their behalf.

The ARU funds each province using the proceeds of its five-yearly broadcast deal, but the provinces themselves come up with the shortfall. Hore said he wanted to challenge the widely-held belief here that only the Wallabies can make the game any money, but needed the power to change the Waratahs’ off-field circumstances.

“I think our union is still looking at it as international rugby being the be-all and end-all, where I think the rest of the world has moved on a bit in their mentality,” he said.

“They know we can get money in to feed our game through professional rugby and also through the international game. I think there’s an opportunity there for us to collaborate far more effectively and look at our governance model – we’ve said this quite openly – to make sure that we can continue to grow the competition.”

His comments come at a critical juncture for professional rugby in the southern hemisphere. Super Rugby and its Test-level iteration, the Rugby Championship, command top dollar from European and overseas broadcasters, but at a domestic level within Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, the 15 Super Rugby franchises are struggling to turn a profit, hampered by poor crowds and an interrupted season.

The competition is the subject of a 10-year review, which will be finalised next month. Hore, who ran Ospreys in Wales before he moved to the Waratahs, is worried that he and his counterparts have no say on the strategic future of the businesses they run.

He urged the ARU and SANZAAR to look to the Pro12 and the English Premiership, where salary cap growth has doubled in a four-year period to more than $8 million per club, to chart the way forward.

“In France [the Top 14] the clubs basically run the competition and the union stays out of their affairs and vice versa. In England [Premiership Rugby] it’s closer, they have a pretty solid commercial agreement between the two parties and although the relationship is tense, by and large it works,” Hore said.

“The Pro12 [Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Italy] are a little bit different again. On their board they have one club/provincial representative, representing the provinces or regions of the country, and they have one union representative. Between the parties, they’re able to figure out what is what.

“We’re not that far off the money at the moment, with regard to the number of games played and the revenue we generate, but the simple fact is they have a lot more content over there and they’re working a lot closer together with the unions.”

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

Toddler killed in horror crash

Monday, July 22nd, 2019

Toddler killed in horror crash TweetFacebook CarnagePictures: ADRIAN POVEY, SAMUEL KLEIN and MARK JESSERA TODDLER has been killed in a horrific crash that left his father and brother in hospital.

Emergency services rushed to Spring Drive at Mulwala about 4pm on Sunday.

A Mitsubishi Lancer had crossed onto the wrong side of the road and hit a tree.

A three-year-old boy died at the scene and his brother, 4, was taken to Albury hospital in a serious but stable condition.

Their Albury father, aged 40, was airlifted to hospital for treatment.

Police are investigating the cause of the crash, which was one of several serious incidents on the roads in recent days.

A 30-year-old man allegedly tested positive to drugs after crashing at Ebden on Sunday with three young girls in the car.

His vehicle allegedly travelled onto the wrong side of the road and struck an oncoming four-wheel-drive towing a camper van about 1.50pm.

The four-wheel-drive also had four people on board.

HELP: Witnesses run over to the hot rod immediately after the crash to help the driver. The passenger was flung out of the car. Picture: SAMUEL KLEIN

The offending driveris facing 23 charges.

A man was also flung from a speeding red hot rod at Lavington in a smash that left the driver trapped.

Samuel Klein witnessed the incident, which occurred on Douglas Road about 5pm Sunday.

“We were all having an ultimate frisbee tournament and were just wrapping up,” he said.

“I don’t know if the driver saw us, but he started ripping up the tyres, speeding up.

“He started swerving and collided into three parked cars.

“One guy got thrown from the car and landed on the bonnet before hitting the ground, probably five metres away.”

A group of 10 people rushed to the vehicle but Mr Klein said there was not much that could be done except call Triple-0.

“The driver was crushed in on one side,” he said.

“The other guy was yelling out for help, he had a broken leg.

“The thing that worried me the most was that if it was life-threatening, I wouldn’t have known what to do.

Paramedics quickly arrived at the scene and took the 31-year-old Wodonga driver to hospital after freeing him.

The 36-year-old passenger was also taken to hospital.

Two motorbike riders were also hospitalised in separate crashes on Sunday.

The Border Mail

Fighting the war on obesity on all fronts

Monday, July 22nd, 2019

Never before has there beenmore publicly available information about healthy nutrition. Likewise, food companies are under more pressure than everto reduce sugar and fat in their offerings.

Despite this,a significant portion of the community remainsoverweight.

The latest Australia’s Health Trackers report showsRaymond Terrace and Scone are the fattest suburbs in the state, with 70.8 per cent of adults recorded as overweight or obese.

The data also showedMount Hutton and Windale had 69.2 per cent of its population recorded as overweight or obese, with Lemon Tree Passage and Tanilba Bay close behind at 68.7 per cent.

A closer analysis of the Hunter figures shows that a significant percentage of those classified as overweight live in lower socio-economic communities.

While these peoplemay have the same access to education about healthy eating, the economic reality is that, in many cases,less healthy food options are cheaper and more convenient.

This fact directly plugs into the debate about the role of government policy in helping to improve health outcomes.

One example is the Australian Medical Association’s call for the introduction of a sugar tax on soft drinks.

Another proposal is to place as much emphasis on a child’s physical fitness as on their academic performance.

But it seems that for every step forward in the war against obesity, a new challenge arises in the form of a fast food marketing campaign or a new online sensation that acts as a disincentive to be physically active.

Those who have successfully lost weight will tell you that while an improved diet and exercise are essential, the most important factor is old-fashioned determination closely followed by thesupport of family and friends.

Like so many other areas of public health there is always more to be done.

At the same time, almost half a century of public education campaigns to promote healthy eating have definitely reaped rewards.

The focus moving forward needsto be on providing support to those groups in our communitywhich are vulnerable to obesity.

This can be achieved through a combination offormal government policy or improved community support networks.

Issue: 38,400

Jackson and Jesse George plead guilty after theft of Symbio pygmy marmosets

Monday, July 22nd, 2019

Police hopeful of finding missing monkey Gomez

As distraught keepers were appealingfor information into the theft of three rare monkeysfrom aHelensburgh wildlife park,Campbelltown 23-year-old Jackson George’s phone pinged with a message.

“Ay check out my monkey,” it read. “Wat ya reckon they worth?”

Jackson and his older brother Jesse Michael George, 26, fronted Campbelltown Local Court on Monday, admitting their part in the race-against-the-clock mystery that has angered and disturbed thousands of area animal lovers.

The court considered a series of text messages between Jackson and another man,who theMercuryhas opted not to name while the police investigation is ongoing.

During the exchange Jackson, an exotic animal enthusiast with a penchant for snakes and lizards,offersto buy the pictured monkey, unfazed when the seller reveals he “paid nothing” for the creature and had “got it from the zoo last night haha 3 of em and a baby joey”.

“Ill(sic) buy all 3 if use(sic)want to sell them,” Jackson replied, in a message sent Saturday afternoon.

The brothers were arrested a day laterafter they drove to Appin Hotel with the youngest of the monkeys on board, wrapped in Jesse’s jumper.

Bothwere charged with dealing with proceeds of crime. They would later admit they went to the hotel intending to on-sell the baby monkey, aged four weeks.

They spent the night injail after refusing to take part in a police interview.

Jackson had withheld information that could have helped police to find the other two missing monkeys –only one of which had since been recovered -police prosecutor Peter Robinson told the court.

“Mr [Jackson] George has shown complete contempt for police and theirdesperate attempts to (restore) the family unit,” he said.

“Mr George has information that could lead to the finding of that third monkey.

“He has laughed and stated that…‘you have my phone, you’ll work it out’.”

Jackson was released on bail and will return to court on January 10 for sentencing.

Ms Carr, who represented both men, told the court Jesse George had played a limited role in the affair.

But she conceded he knew the monkey was stolen and was“proceeds of crime” when he agreed to transport the creature.

Jesse was fined $1500 and placed on a two-year good behavior bond.

He gave supporters a thumbs-up as he left the court room and, once a free man, ran directly inside the Court Hotel.

It is not suggested that either brother played a role in breaking into the park and removing the animals from their enclosure.

A police investigation into the theft is ongoing.

Illawarra Mercury