Out There One by land and two by sea: a motocross record and an America's Cup preview

June 27, 2004

WHEEL DEAL Two years ago, after Ricky Carmichael swept the
motocross season, becoming the first rider to win both heats of
all 12 events in the 250cc class, the Clearwater, Fla.-born star
stated the obvious: "If I don't win another race, I've
accomplished a lot." Clearly, though, he had no intention of
giving up on winning. On Sunday the 24-year-old Carmichael took
first at the Budds Creek (Md.) AMA 250cc motocross race. That
victory made him the first rider with 100 combined AMA motocross
and supercross victories. Carmichael, who underwent knee surgery
for a torn left ACL last winter, won despite stalling his Honda
during the first moto and temporarily losing the lead to Chad
Reed of Australia, who wound up second after Carmichael roared
ahead. After four of 12 rounds, Carmichael leads the championship
standings by 32 points over Reed. Last week's victory took
Carmichael a step closer to his fifth straight 250cc AMA
Motocross series title. But he's enjoying the moment. "I never
dreamed that one day I would win 100 races," he said after the
Budds Creek event. "It's almost too hard to believe."

SUMMER SAIL Coming soon to a yacht club near you: America's Cup
Class racing. In an effort to spark public interest in the
152-year-old event, which is held every four years, two of the
world's elite boats will compete in five preseason regattas at
sites around the world. Last Saturday the weeklong UBS Trophy
race series, the second stop on the tour, kicked off in Newport,
R.I. The exhibition race, which has no effect on America's Cup
standings, pits the reigning Cup defender, Team Alinghi of
Switzerland, against BMW-Oracle Racing, the top U.S. entry and
Alinghi's chief rival for the Cup in 2007 in Valencia, Spain. The
course is set up 100 yards from the Narragansett Bay shoreline.
(When the America's Cup came to Newport 21 years ago, the race
was seven miles out in the ocean.) The proximity has created a
stadiumlike atmosphere for the 5,000 fans on hand for the event.
As of Monday the score was tied 2-2. "It's as serious as racing
action can be," says BMW-Oracle skipper Chris Dickson, who has
competed in four America's Cups. "Anytime you get these teams
together, the sparks fly, and when you're closer to the shore,
it's fantastic viewing." --Julia Morrill

COLOR PHOTO: LARRY LAWRENCE/AP (CARMICHAEL) STAR 'CROSSER Carmichael got victory No. 100 at Budds Creek. COLOR PHOTO: VICTORIA AROCHO/AP (SAILING) SEA SCRAPE Oracle (front) and Alinghi face off in Newport.