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December 25, 1994

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) _ Fifty years ago, a couple of yachtsmen at an upstart ocean-racing club on Sydney Harbor chatted about sailing to Tasmania for a lark. They asked a visiting British sailor if he’d come along.

″I will if you make a race of it,″ Cmdr. John Illingworth of the Royal Navy told local yachties Jack Earl and Bert Walker.

From that humble, spontaneous dash south down the Tasman Sea, won by Illingworth in the Rani against eight other boats, has grown the mightiest deep-water yacht competition in the world, the annual Kodak Gold Sydney-Hobart Race.

This year about a half-million people will line the harbor shores to watch 374 yachts surge out of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia on Monday. The fleet will collectively carry some 3,500 crew members 630 nautical miles to Hobart, the biggest field of any blue-water classic in history.

Weather expert Ken Batt on Saturday predicted there is an excellent chance the lead yachts will break the race record, set 19 years ago by American Jim Kilroy’s time of 2 days, 14 hours, 36 minutes, 56 seconds in the maxi-yacht Kialoa III.

Beating that time would be worth $77,000 to the winning yacht. Smaller boats take up to six days to finish.

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BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) - Thailand’s Saen Sor Ploenchit stopped Danny Nunez of the Dominican Republic in the 11th round Sunday and retained his World Boxing Association flyweight title.

Nunez, 25, took terrific punishment in several toe-to-toe encounters during the scheduled 12-round fight.

Ploenchit, 23, pummeled Nunez for almost a minute when he had him trapped against the ropes in the eighth round, but the challenger came back in the ninth.

However, with strength spent, Nunez did little but stumble about the ring for about 45 seconds in the 11th round. He was knocked down and the referee stopped the fight as he stood up shakily.

The victory at the arena in Rayong, 90 miles southeast of Bangkok, moved Ploenchit’s record to 18-0. Nunez, who was the eighth-ranked challenger, now is 25-3.

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia is a finalist to host the U.S. Olympic Cycling Team training camp preceding the 1996 Atlanta games, the team’s national training director said.

Officials recently scouted four resorts in West Virginia for a three-week training camp scheduled to begin July 1, 1996. ″It’s a perfect place for us to be,″ director Chris Carmichael said from U.S. Olympic headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo. ″The roads are excellent and the people are great. The state’s really behind us.″

Carmichael said he toured Canaan Valley Resort and three private ski resorts, Timberline, Snowshoe Mountain and New Winterplace.

He said he has visited ″just about every state in the southeast,″ including North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama. He declined to identify other states under consideration for the training camp.

Carmichael said team officials expect to make a decision by Feb. 1.

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Antigua Sportswear has announced a program that will award $.1,000 to a youth golf program in the local area of any tournament won by one of its affiliated players.

Through its association with Integrated Sports International, a sports marketing agency, Attigua is adding PGA players Mark Brooks, Mike Heinen, Dicky Pride, Ted Tyba and Jim Furyk, and LPGA Rookie of the Year Annika Sorenstam as endorsees. They join Hall of Famer Billy Casper, Billy Mayfair and Bob Irvin from the PGA and Senior PGA Tours, and LPGA players Chris Johnson and Pearl Sinn.

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PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. (AP) - Oliver Choo of Princeton Junction, N.J. routed Ljuba Paviovic of Yugoslavia 6-3, 6-1 on Sunday in the opening round of the Boys 14 Division of the Port Washington International Championships.

This is the last year the event will be conducted under its current four age categories format.An adjustment in the International Tennis Federation schedule will change the format to 18s only on an outdoor hardcourt site beginning next Sept. 18.

Alexandre Guindon of Canada outlasted Phil Stolt of Upper Saddle River, N.J. 6-4, 7-6 (8-6) also in the Boys 14. Borko Miljanic of Yugoslavia was a 6-3, 6-2 winner over Arnaldo Alvorniz of Babylon, N.Y., and Jaroslaw Juzwiak of Poland eliminated Michael Yani of Boca Raton., Fla., 6-2, 6-1.

In other matches, it was Johnny Murray, Lexington, Ky., 6-1, 6-2 over Lance Lim of Morristown, N.J.; Allan Zapadinsky of Brooklyn, N.Y., 6-2, 6-4 over Zaken Ben of Israel; and Predag Zdrakovic of Yugoslavia 6-0, 6-0 over Joshua Dishong of Alexandria, Va.

Also, Igor Libow of Brooklyn, N.Y., 6-1, 7-5 over William Muirhead of England; Adam Lazarus of West Nyack, N.Y., 6-1, 7-5, over Irakli Kiknadzc of Georgia; Ethank Farbman of Plainview, N.Y., 6-0, 6-0 over Nitin Deodbar of North Potomac, Md.; and Marjan Lacic of Yugoslavia 6-3, 6-1 over Marko Gojanovic of Westboro, Mass.

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