BOATING—MERLIN, a 67-foot yacht skippered by Doug Fryer of Seattle, finished first in the 2,300-mile Victoria, British Columbia-to-Maui race in a record 10 days, two minutes and 37 seconds, breaking the previous record, set in 1974, by more than two days.
Sorcery, a 61-foot sloop skippered by Jacob Wood of the California Yacht Club in Marina del Rey, won the 3,571-mile Los Angeles-to-Tahiti race with a corrected time of 18 days, 22 hours and 53 minutes.
BOWLING—WAYNE CHESTER of San Mateo, Calif. defeated John Handegard of Eugene, Ore. 216-152 to win the $60,000 Salt Lake City Open.
GOLF—JACK NICKLAUS won his third British Open, shooting a final-round 69 for a seven-under-par 281 at St. Andrews, two strokes better than four other golfers (page 14).
Dean Prince of Santa Rosa, Calif. defeated Tony Figueredo of Miami 5 and 4 to win the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship in Bangor, Maine.
Joanne Carner shot a final-round, one-under-par 71 for a total of 209, seven under par, to win the $85,000 Borden Classic at Dublin, Ohio by one stroke over Pat Bradley and Betsy King.
HORSE RACING—TERLINGUA ($2.80), ridden by Darrel McHargue, won the $97,475 Hollywood Lassie Stakes at Hollywood Park by 3½ lengths over Joi'ski. The 2-year-old daughter of Secretariat covered the six furlongs in a stakes-record 1:08[4/5].
MOTOR SPORTS—Averaging 116.61 miles per hour in a Ferrari CARLOS REUTEMANN of Argentina won the British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch in England. Niki Lauda, in a Brabham Alfa, finished second. Mario Andretti blew the engine of his JPS Lotus halfway through the race but still retained his lead in the driver standings.
Cale Yarborough, driving an Oldsmobile, averaged 88.924 mph to win the $69,800 Nashville 420. Darrell Waltrip, in a Chevrolet, was second, two laps back.
SOCCER—NASL: Tulsa took over first place in the National Conference Central Division, and the Minnesota Kicks' Alan Merrick could, well, kick himself for it. The Roughnecks defeated the Kicks 1-0, the only score coming at 48:03 when Merrick booted the ball into his own goal, the second time this season Minnesota has lost a game in that fashion. Portland and Vancouver continued their fight for first place in the National Conference West. Vancouver held a one-point lead after beating Memphis 2-1, and Portland defeated Dallas 3-1. New England snapped the Cosmos' 23-game home victory streak, winning 3-1, but had its own seven-game streak ended by Rochester, 3-2. Chicago upset Ft. Lauderdale 4-3 on Arno Steffenhagen's goal with five minutes left. It was the Sting's fourth victory in six games. San Jose tied a league record for futility, losing its 12th straight, 5-1 to Washington. Trevor Francis scored a record-tying five goals, and Detroit set a league record for goals scored by one team as it routed the Earthquakes 10-0 (page 58).
ASL: The race for the two remaining playoff spots in the Eastern Division began to resemble musical chairs. The New York Eagles moved into second place, snapping the New York Apollo's 10-game winning streak with a 2-1 victory in the first game of a home-and-home series. But the first-place Apollo started another streak the next night against the Eagles, beating them 6-3 as Kevin Mahon had two goals and an assist and Mike Mancini a pair of goals. Cleveland, which moved into third place, beat the New Jersey Americans, who dropped from second to fourth place, 5-2, as Derek Brownbill and Keith Dyson each scored two goals. The Connecticut Yankees lost twice, 2-0 to Sacramento and 5-1 to Los Angeles.
TENNIS—VITAS GERULAITIS defeated Ilie Nastase, 6-2, 6-0 to win the $300,000 Forest Hills Invitational in New York.
In Davis Cup competition, Bjorn Borg defeated Jose Higueras 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 to lead Sweden to a 3-2 victory over Spain in their Group B European zone semifinal at B‚Äö√†√∂‚Äö√Ñ¢stad, Sweden. Sweden's opponent in the Group B finals will be Hungary, which upset Italy 4-1 at Budapest. England advanced to the finals in Group A by defeating France 3-2. The English will meet Czechoslovakia, which defeated Romania 5-0.
WTT: Los Angeles player-coach Ilie Nastase had hardly recovered from the news of the three-month suspension and $5,000 fine he received from the Men's International Professional Tennis Council before Strings General Manager Bart Christensen lightened his wallet another $15,000 for passing up L.A.'s 28-26 overtime defeat of New Orleans for the Forest Hills Invitational in New York. Chris Evert defeated Renee Richards 6-2 in women's singles. The Strings also defeated the Golden Gaters 25-20 to take over second place in the Western Division. Boston won twice and maintained a 7½-game lead over New York in the East. The Lobsters beat Indiana 28-15 as Martina Navratilova defeated Dianne Fromholtz 6-2 in the women's singles and paired with Terry Holladay for a 6-2 doubles victory over Sue Mappin and Tanya Harford. Boston also won a 28-21 overtime match against slumping Phoenix. The Racquets also lost to New York, 28-22, and New Orleans, 26-20. Anaheim, with newly acquired Tracy Austin winning her first two singles decisions, beat the Golden Gaters 29-19 and lost to New Orleans 30-28. At the league's All-Star match in Las Vegas, the East defeated the West 27-17 as Wimbledon champion Navratilova beat Evert 6-1.
VOLLEYBALL—Tucson snapped Santa Barbara's nine-match winning streak with a five-game victory at Santa Barbara, but the Spikers remained in first place in the IV A Western Division with a 2½-game lead over Orange County. The Sky, the league's most improved team, continued to lead the Continental Division, but Denver, the defending division champion, continued to skid. The Comets lost their 10th match in their last 13 in four games to San Diego.
MILEPOSTS—BANNED: By the International Tennis Federation, from pro competition, the double-strung "spaghetti" racket, for at least a one-year period.
NAMED: BILL DINEEN, 45, former coach of the defunct Houston Aeros of the WHA, as coach of the New England Whalers, replacing Harry Neale.
RESIGNED: BOB KAUFFMAN, 32, as general manager of the Detroit Pistons, because of "long-term family goals." Kauffman took over as interim coach at mid-season last year and led the Pistons to a 29-29 record, but the team missed the playoffs.
RETIRED: JOHN BUCYK, 43, the fourth leading goal scorer in NHL history. In 23 seasons, 21 of them with the Boston Bruins, Bucyk scored 556 goals.
RETIRED: FOREGO, three-time Horse of the Year, by owner Martha Gerry. In six years the 8-year-old gelding won $1,938,957, second only to Kelso on the all-time list (page 66).
SIGNED: to a five-year contract, LENNY WILKENS, who coached the Seattle SuperSonics to the NBA Championship Series.