Apr. 2, 2006

One season ends, another starts

I have a Formula One race and a hockey game to report on today. First the hockey: My son's team won their house league semi-final game this morning, 7-5. Their opponents were favoured to win and for the first period the teams swapped goals getting three a piece. Usually parents sit on their team's side of the arena; this morning three 'opponent' dads planted themselves in our midst, presumably expecting to get a better view of their team's goals. Surprisingly though it was my son's team that kept up the intensity and pulled ahead. Lots of great scoring chances on both sides though. I was glad to see that Chris, who is sometimes a bit sullen on the ice, also played well... The championship game is Saturday afternoon.

On to motor-car racing! The starting grid for the Australian Grand Prix (in Sheryl's home town of Melbourne) looked normal enough, with the exception of Jenson Button's Honda sitting on the pole and both Ferrari's well back in the field. Somehow Juan Pablo Montoya managed to spin out his McLaren on the parade lap, although he regained his starting position. While waiting for the start Fisicella's Renault stalled, which necessitated another parade lap while Fisi was pushed into the pit lane to start from there.The first few laps were exciting, with Jenson struggling to keep ahead of Alonso's Renault and McLaren teammates Kimi and Juan Pablo having a go at each other. Massa crashed his Ferrari, taking Nico Rosberg's Williams with him and bringing the safety car out for the first of four incidents. Sadly for Button his Honda slowly fell back through out the race as his tires never really performed for him. In the end his engine failed spectacularly and he coasted to a stop 10 m short of the finish line. Agonising. Other dramatic exits included Mark Webber's drivetrain failing while he led on lap 23, seven-time champion Michael Schumacher running wide and hitting the wall on lap 33 and Montoya's McLaren "shutting off" on lap 46 literally alongside his pit. Nine cars out of the 22 starters failed to finish (Button "finished" even though he didn't cross the line).

Alonso pretty much ran away with the race in his Renault, but Kimi's McLaren had a lock on second. The really story of the results was that the second-tier teams are starting to perform well. Particularly Toyota (Ralf Schumacher was third) and BMW Sauber (Nick Heidfeld was fourth and Jacques Villeneuve sixth). Ferrari seems to have lost their form again, perhaps the result of being forced to redesign their front wing for better compliance with regulations. Honda seems to have the car, but not the tires. Which means that they haven't got the car...

The weather's been so nice the last few days that I've been getting the bike out and going for short runs. All part of getting ready for a few more triathlons. I was at the local triathlon shop, Enduro Sport, yesterday for their spring event and was tempted by some of the lower-end triathlon bikes. But no bike until I find a good job...

Listening to: Things Go Wrong by Chris Isaak from Forever Blue.

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