Meanwhile Indianapolis Colt defensive tackle Tony Siragusa fairly drooled over Indy fans for their support during a 10-6 win against the Miami Dolphins. "They were definitely the 12th man. If I could, I would give everyone other than the ugly guys a kiss on the lips."
Makes You Wanna
Heave magazine is not a journal devoted to regurgitation. It's the official publication of the International Hurling Society, an organization dedicated to the art, science and sport of throwing things. The current issue includes articles on topics ranging from the origins of the mounted crossbow to the use of armadillos for trapshooting. A feature on cow-tossing advises: "Due to a cow's asymmetrical shape, special considerations during hurling are necessary to avoid a cow spinning off range."
The society itself sprang half-formed from the minds of dentist John Quincy and engineer Richard Clifford, both of Fort Worth. Two years ago, inspired by the Holstein-slinging catapult in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, they began work on a 25-foot trebuchet, a medieval siege weapon. "The problem was, we couldn't find any plans for trebuchets," says Clifford. "They stopped making them around 1350." So they enlisted a team of engineers from the University of Texas. The resulting device can heave a bowling ball 250 yards down the firing range that doubles as Quincy's front yard.
Next year the IHS hopes to unveil what Clifford calls the Big One, the world's largest mechanical hurling machine. One hundred feet tall and anchored by a 10-ton counterweight, it should be powerful enough to propel a Buick more than 200 yards through the air. "I've purchased 80 acres of land adjacent to my property," says Quincy, "just so the Buick will have somewhere to land." He talks of charity events such as Hurling for Hospice, where, for a $20 contribution, a donor could watch an item of choice—a dishwasher, a piano, a 1,000-pound block of Spam—chucked across the skies. "I figure the Big One will be able to throw a 180-pound mime about a third of a mile," he says. "Of course, we'd never actually throw a mime. At least not a live one."
Rescue at Sea
In October, when French sailor Isabelle Autissier made landfall at Cape Town with a 5�-day lead after the first leg of the round-the-world BOC Challenge, race director Mark Schrader called her 1,200-mile advantage over her 17 rivals, all male, "incomprehensible." SI's Amy Nutt details the equally unfathomable events befalling Autissier between South Africa and Sydney during the second leg of yachting's most perilous solo race:
On the night of Dec. 2, in the Indian Ocean six days out of Cape Town, gale-force winds and 12-foot seas were buffeting Autissier's 60-foot sloop, the Ecureuil Poitou Charentes 2, when the boat suddenly rolled onto its side, snapping its 83-foot mast like a matchstick. The 38-year-old Autissier was forced to cut loose the heavy rigging and ripped sails that bound the broken mast to the boat and threatened to damage its hull. "Thirty knots of wind, sea dark, sky crying," she messaged despairingly to shore. "There is almost nothing left on the deck, nothing left of my dream."
Autissier was only half right. Still determined to be the first woman to win a major long-distance yacht race—she was dismasted in the BOC four years ago and finished seventh—the 5'8", 130-pound former marine biologist jury-rigged a new mast from a 30-foot spinnaker boom and attached two tiny headsails. Within 24 hours she was under way again, heading toward the Kergu�len Islands, 1,100 miles downwind. After 10 more days at sea and three in the Kergu�lens making repairs, Autissier reentered the race, informing BOC officials on Dec. 16, "I'm heading for Sydney as fast as I can."
A dozen days later BOC race officials received two satellite distress signals from Autissier's boat—but no word from her. Some 18 hours after that, on Thursday, an Australian military plane spotted Autissier, about 900 miles southeast of Adelaide, her boat dismasted again and being tossed by 40-foot waves. On New Year's Day she was picked up, ending a search-and-rescue operation characterized by a spokesman for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority as surpassingly difficult and ultimately very lucky: "Looking for her was like looking for a pin in the Grand Canyon." Autissier was weary but unharmed, her race finally over but her dream once again deferred.