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Mavericks surf contest gets the go-ahead

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 03:28:48 UT

After months of dealing with a complicated permit process, the World Surf League has cleared its final hurdle and will stage the Mavericks big-wave surfing contest within a waiting period running from Jan. 3 through Feb. 28. Once known as the Titans of Mavericks, the event off the coast of Half Moon Bay now will be called the Mavericks Challenge. In purchasing rights to the event from Cartel Co., a Southern California-based company that filed for bankruptcy, the WSL needed approval from the California Coastal Commission after securing all of the other requisite permits.

Bob Wilhelm dies, was last surviving member of Cal’s 1938 Rose Bowl team

Wed, 29 Nov 2017 04:26:36 UT

Bob Wilhelm, who was the last surviving member of Cal’s 1938 Rose Bowl-winning team, has died, family members said Tuesday. He was 100. “Unfortunately, my dad contracted pneumonia shortly after the weekend of his birthday” Nov. 11, said Mr. Wilhelm’s son, Jim. “He has fought through several bouts of it over the past five years. We will miss him a great deal, but we know Mom and he are with us.” Mr. Wilhelm’s wife, Doris, died in 2012. They had been married 72 years. Mr. Wilhelm continued to live in the senior-living apartment they had shared in San Rafael. A native of St. Paul, Minn., Mr.

Now it’s Cal, UCLA chasing the same goal

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 07:03:39 UT

The Bears were hoping it wouldn’t come to this. A Big Game victory would have secured a bowl-game berth, marking coach Justin Wilcox’s first season as an unqualified success and sending all the bragging rights toward the Berkeley campus. That goal remains within reach, but after a 17-14 loss at Stanford in the Big Game on Saturday, the 5-6 Bears have to get that sixth win at UCLA next Friday night. It doesn’t hurt Cal’s cause that the Bruins’ program is in tatters just now, with no guarantee that coach Jim Mora can hold his job.

Stand-up paddlers endure “crazy” SF conditions

Sat, 21 Oct 2017 00:16:52 UT

In conditions that had spectators shaking their heads in amazement, if not outright fear for the competitors, Denmark’s Casper Steinfath won the Red Bull Heavy Water event for stand-up paddle surfers Friday at Ocean Beach. As Steinfath said afterward, “It didn’t really feel like a race. It was more like survival.” The competitors were greeted by icy waters, a chilly west wind and relentless waves approaching 15-20 feet on the face. The notion of paddling out beyond the breakers on 12-foot, six-inch boards seemed inconceivable, and the riders were asked to do that twice before heading out to sea, negotiating the heavy currents of Land’s End, coming underneath the Golden Gate Bridge and finishing at the St.

Warriors’ defeat more weird than crushing

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 06:50:58 UT

When you’ve won two championships in three seasons, facing the reality of another long season, perhaps it’s appropriate to take the long view. That appeared to be head coach Steve Kerr’s plan Tuesday night as an apparently certain victory turned to dust in a season-opening 122-121 loss to the Houston Rockets. It was one thing to watch Nick Young get 26 minutes of playing time. The Warriors needed to see him in a real game, and he did not disappoint with a sensational, 23-point effort. But Kerr’s thirst for experimentation ran well down the roster, and in that sense, it wasn’t a true heart-breaker. It was just a bit strange to witness.

NBA Eastern Conference Preview

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 03:51:09 UT

ATLANTA Coach: Mike Budenholzer 2016-17: 43-39, fifth in the East, lost to Washington in first round. Outlook: Travis Schlenk left the Warriors to become the Hawks’ GM, right at the start of a rebuilding process. Check the Hawks’ roster three years ago and marvel at the downturn. ... Point guard Dennis Schroder is now the team’s best player, and that’s not good, but Kent Bazemore, a former Warriors swingman, will get plenty of looks at shooting guard. ... John Collins, the intriguing No. 1 draft pick from Wake Forest, backs up power forward Ersan Ilyasova.

Cal’s shocking upset of WSU ranks with its finest

Sun, 15 Oct 2017 01:40:38 UT

When a .500 team knocks off a national powerhouse in college football, it’s usually a down-to-the-wire thriller that could have gone either way. Such was the case Friday when Syracuse upset second-ranked Clemson 27-24. For those lucky enough to attend the Washington State-Cal game that same night in Berkeley, the residue still seems unfathomable. Bears 37, Cougars 3? How is that even possible against an eighth-ranked, unbeaten team? When a Pac-12 school hasn’t been to the Rose Bowl since the 1958 season, it rightly can call this one of its greatest wins. And it was no accident.

To the rescue in fire country: a big-wave surfer

Thu, 12 Oct 2017 02:30:48 UT

Hall of Fame hockey goalie Grant Fuhr and his wife were among those fleeing the Wine Country fires in the wee hours Monday morning, and as an increasingly chaotic scene unfolded, they realized they were stuck — without a ride to San Francisco, where they were scheduled to catch a flight later in the day. They made it, thanks to one of the many great Bay Area athletes in Santa Rosa for Ronnie Lott’s charity event and golf tournament. That man, it came to light Tuesday, was legendary Mavericks big-wave surfer Jeff Clark of Half Moon Bay. Clark, a regular at the annual event, had been seated with the Fuhrs at the evening dinner. He was asleep at the Vintners Inn around 2 a.m.

A’s Bob Melvin makes the smart call with his extension

Fri, 29 Sep 2017 02:07:44 UT

A’s manager Bob Melvin signed an extension Thursday, expanding his contract through the 2019 season, and that sounds about right. He loves the organization and its players, but he has seen too much over the years to commit himself long-term. These are pretty good times for the A’s. They’ve settled on a ballpark site, although there’s a long list of complications that could skewer the deal. They have a sterling assemblage of young players with a future, including Matt Chapman, Matt Olson, Ryon Healy, Franklin Barreto and Chad Pinder. And Melvin, typically doing the best with what he has, is regarded near the top on any list of the best managers in the game. Behind the scenes, Melvin has known frustration.

Possible offseason targets for Giants to consider

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 00:14:02 UT

Tampering rules prevent the Giants from discussing specific names, but by consensus among a number of sources, these are some potential targets for the offseason, going into 2018: Giancarlo Stanton: His power-hitting presence would change everything in the Giants’ lineup, and they contacted the Marlins as soon as it became evident they might trade him. His contract is worth some $290 million through 2028, and that would place a financial burden on the Giants for years to come. They’re also likely to be out-bid by teams with more attractive prospects and veterans. But the Giants will take a shot.

History unkind to win kings

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 05:33:53 UT

There’s nothing like some old-fashioned skepticism to ruin a really good time. You can bet there’s a healthy dose of concern in Cleveland right now, for as impressive as the Indians have been with their 22-game winning streak, the question arises: Have they peaked too soon? Fans of the Warriors are all too familiar with the subject. They steamed through the 2016 regular season and set a record with 73 wins, but lost in the Finals, putting a serious damper on what had seemed a monumental achievement. In baseball, it almost seems counterproductive to be historically good.

Cleveland streak impressive — but what does it mean?

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 23:55:12 UT

There’s nothing like some old-fashioned skepticism to ruin a really good time. You can bet there’s a healthy dose of concern in Cleveland right now, for as impressive as the Indians have been with their 21-game winning streak, the question arises: Have they peaked too soon? Fans of the Golden State Warriors are all too familiar with the subject. They steamed through the 2016 regular season and set a record with 73 wins, but lost in the Finals, putting a serious damper on what had seemed a monumental achievement. In baseball, it almost seems counter-productive to be historically good.

Pac-12 Football Preview

Fri, 25 Aug 2017 05:12:51 UT

North WASHINGTON Coach: Chris Petersen Last year (including postseason): 12-2, 8-1 in conference (1st) Key players: QB Jake Browning, RB Myles Gaskin, WR Dante Pettis, LB Azeem Victor, DL Vita Vea, S Taylor Rapp Story lines: Browning’s reputation lost a bit of luster in losses to USC and Alabama (in the playoff semifinals), but he is surrounded by great talent once again. Fleet receiver John Ross will be tough to replace, but Pettis had 15 touchdowns last year. ... Big break this year: The Huskies won’t play the Trojans, at least in the regular season. ...

Kyrie-Isaiah deal rocks the NBA landscape

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 06:08:58 UT

The NBA makes a point of scheduling attractive matchups at all the best times, and it’s no accident that the two best teams in the Eastern Conference, Cleveland and Boston, will open the season against each other Oct. 17. That game just became twice as appealing, thanks to Tuesday’s trade that sent Kyrie Irving from the Cavaliers to the Celtics for Isaiah Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets’ first-round pick in the 2018 draft. It’s that last bit of information that shocked many observers. Considering the Cavaliers’ recent difficulty in getting any kind of a deal done, they’ve scored heavily with Thomas and Crowder. To get that draft pick, which could wind up being No.

Too much CoCo for CiCi at West of the Bank Classic

Sun, 6 Aug 2017 04:31:16 UT

Bellis leaves on Sunday morning for her next tour stop, Toronto, and won’t be able to catch the final, but it should be an afternoon treat (2 p.m.) for those in attendance and an ESPN2 audience. Madison Keys knocked off Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza 6-3, 6-2 in the evening semifinal, setting up a significant match in the hierarchy of American women’s tennis. The Williams sisters rank so far above the rest, it’s difficult to remember the last time another American woman won a Grand Slam event (it was Jennifer Capriati, at the 2002 Australian Open). No one is quite certain what gets into Muguruza at the majors, but the spectacle can be wondrous — she also won last year’s French Open, defeating Serena Williams — and very much for real. On the regular tour, not so much. Muguruza struggles with her motivation and consistency, and she never found her rhythm against Keys, who had a 3-17 lifetime record against top-5 players (Muguruza ranks fourth) heading into the match. Called “the future of American tennis” by the great Chris Evert several years ago, she’s still just 22 and savoring her renewed good health. There was a bit of suspense in the first set when Bellis, trailing 2-1, had a break point at 30-40. Vandeweghe rallied to clinch that game with an ace, then broke Bellis’ serve for a 4-1 lead — a game that ended when Bellis tried a backhand drop shot but missed wide. Bellis did manage to break serve — a first for Vandeweghe in the tournament — for 5-3, nailing it down with a cross-court backhand winner, but Vandeweghe broke right back, taking advantage of a double-fault (at 15-30) and wrapping it up with a big cross-court forehand.