Kiwi female sailing duo inspired to keep breaking barriers on the water

While America's Cup fever may be dying down, that doesn't mean rest for many of our other elite sailors who are preparing for World Championship events as they begin the next four year cycle towards the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

From Auckland's Milford Beach on a brisk winter day, Tokyo 2020 seems a long way away - but after a break, Molly Meech and Alex Maloney are ready to chase Olympic gold.

"I've almost been pleasantly surprised how fun and inspiring it's been being back," Maloney said.

Part of that inspiration came from watching Team New Zealand bring the America's Cup home from Bermuda.

Four of Meech and Maloney's Olympic teammates were part of the crew including Alex's brother Andy.

Meech admitted the men's transition to professional sailing compared to the women's path is a lot easier.

"It's definitely something you aspire to in the future but I think some things have to change before girls can get involved."

There are organisations trying to improve things - following an all-female entry in the last Volvo Ocean Race the Magenta Project was born.

The initiative helped give both Meech and Maloney a taste of catamaran sailing at a world match racing tour event earlier this year - an experience Meech said was a learning curve.

"I think it really highlighted a bit of the strength aspect between boys and girls," she said.

"[It] made me feel a wee bit weak so might have to hit the gym a little bit more!"

Strength can be a problem for female sailors, but with evolving technology and other requirements on bigger boats, the pair of Olympic silver medallists hope there will be more equality in the future.

There's been talk of a quota at the America's Cup and the Volvo Race already has a rule that encourages female crew.

"I think if we prove ourselves as a really dominant team and as really good sailors, I think mini opportunities may open," Maloney said.

A golden result in Tokyo is therefore part of that plan - a plan that will have its first test at next month's 49er World Championships. 

Alex Maloney and Molly Meech believe there could be opportunities soon for women in the America’s Cup. Source: 1 NEWS

'I'm coming back to fight' - Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao tease rematch

Floyd Mayweather Jr. says he's coming out of retirement again to fight Manny Pacquiao for a second time in December.

Mayweather posted a video on Instagram that showed him and Pacquiao together, reportedly in Japan, jawing at each other over a possible second fight.

"I'm coming back to fight Manny Pacquiao this year," Mayweather said. "Another nine-figure pay day on the way."

Whether the fight actually happens remains to be seen. There are no promotional barriers between the two men, because Mayweather promotes himself and Pacquiao is a boxing free agent.

Oddsmakers at the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook immediately made Mayweather a 2-1 favorite.

Mayweather defeated Pacquiao in May 2015 in a massively hyped fight that was largely panned by most boxing fans. The bout delivered a record 4.6 million pay-per-view buys, and Pacquiao blamed an injured shoulder for landing only 81 punches in the fight.

Mayweather, who has won all 50 of his fights, last fought a year ago when he stopped Conor McGregor, the UFC star who was in his first professional boxing match. The 41-year-old Mayweather reportedly made more than $200 million for that fight, on top of a reported US $300 million for his win over Pacquiao.

Pacquiao, the Filipino star who will be 40 in December, lost to unheralded Jeff Horn last year before rebounding with a win over Lucas Matthysse in Malaysia last month.

Representatives for the two fighters could not immediately be reached for comment.

Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao



Watch: MLB batter mortified after bat slips out of hands, flies into crowd and hits fan

MLB slugger Devon Travis was left visibly shaken in his game yesterday after an at-bat went horribly wrong and his bat hit a fan in the forehead.

Travis was batting in the eighth innings for the Blue Jays in their contest against the Red Sox when his bat slipped out of his hands on a big swing.

The bat managed to clear the netting which stretches down the baseline at Fenway Park in Boston, soaring nearly 15 rows into the crowd before it hit a fan.

Security rushed to the injured fan's aid with towels and a stretcher while also taking the bat away.

The injured supporter managed to stand on his own though, pumping his left fist to thank the crowd as he received a huge cheer.

Travis' night got worse with the Blue Jays going down to the Red Sox 1-0, giving the Boston franchise their 100th win of the season.


'He's a little dog' - Kiwi UFC fighter Mark Hunt unloads verbal tirade on 'weak minded' drug cheat Fabricio Werdrum

New Zealand mixed martial arts veteran Mark Hunt has unleashed a tirade of verbal assaults at former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum ahead of his bout at UFC Fight Night in Russia.

Hunt is headlining the UFC event at Moscow's Olympic Stadium, set to fight Alexei Oleinik on Sunday (NZ time).

He told media he was excited to fight in Russia and was extra pleased to fight someone close to his age.

"He's a clean fighter, so it's great,” said Hunt.

The 44-year-old has had a long battle against performance enhancing drugs after facing a rivals who had failed tests, namely former champion Brock Lesnar.

Hunt unloaded a war of words on Werdum after he was handed a two-year suspension by the US Anti-Doping Agency.

"I'm glad that Fabricio Werdum got caught, that little b****," said Hunt.

"Go back to the favelas. F*** you, you little c***. Good job. He was supposed to be here, but that's what you get for being weak. That's what you get, Fabricio, for being a weak-minded person. See you later."

Mark Hunt v Fabricio Werdum Source: Associated Press

Werdum was meant to face Oleinik in Russia but was withdrawn after an out-of-competition test conducted in April showed the steroid trenbolone and metabolite epitrenbolone in his sample.

Hunt has fought several fighters who have failed drug tests - Lesnar, Frank Mir and Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva.

His UFC 180 fight with Werdum is topical, with the Brazilian fighter going on to win the UFC's interim heavyweight belt and then going on to beat Cain Velasquez for the undisputed heavyweight title.

"I had to lose 21 kilograms in three and a half weeks to make that a title fight," Hunt said.

"I got kneed in the head by that little cheater. Then he beats Cain in Mexico. That really upsets me about that guy.

"Then he wouldn't fight me – he's just a cheating little b***, man. He's a little dog, that guy. See you later, Fabricio. Enjoy, mother f*****.”

Hunt has a MMA record of 13 wins 12 losses and 1 draw with eight wins in the UFC, six losses and one no contest bout.