SI Vault
November 02, 1998
Baseball Bucks Golden Mike Award
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November 02, 1998


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Ellen Yarrell, a court-appointed guardian for Dominique, says Dumitru rejected a compromise whereby Dominique would be declared an adult but have her assets entrusted to a financial manager. "My goal is to bring both parties together and work out a resolution," Yarrell says, "but that will take cooperation. Right now I can't say that I'm encouraged."

Soccer and Sex
Blonde Ambition

In 1990 an Iraqi man named Sam Hashimi tried to buy the English soccer club Sheffield United. Hashimi, who had a wife, two kids and a Saddam Hussein mustache, was introduced as the club's new owner before financing problems forced him to pull out.

Last week, in meetings with the Sheffield United board, a tall blonde woman named Samantha Kane proposed a plan to invest in the club and become CEO.

The connection? Kane and Hashimi are the same person, thanks to a $70,000 sex-change operation in 1994. If she succeeds in buying the club, Kane will become—we think—sports' first transsexual owner.

Danger: Falling Mountains

Half a mile offshore in Half Moon Bay, near San Francisco, waves the size of five-story buildings crash with such force that they register on seismographs at Berkeley. Welcome to Maverick's, the most notorious big-wave break in the world.

"We're giving Maverick's the event it deserves," says Jeff Clark, tournament director of Quiksilver's Men Who Ride Mountains, the first surfing contest to be held at Maverick's. Starting on Nov. 1 Clark will be on the lookout for the conditions—a northwesterly swell, no wind-that make surfable waves 20 to 50 feet high. Such waves can drop tons of water on a competitor's head and hold the strongest swimmers underwater for a minute or more. "Maverick's holds you down like you owe it money," says Clark.

In 1994 Mark Foo, one of the most famous big-wave surfers, drowned at Maverick's, yet the place still attracts big-wave riders, a kamikaze brotherhood with little regard for safety. Unlike stars of the pro tour, who perform in far smaller surf, big-wave surfers seldom make magazine covers or appear on TV. All they do is risk their lives for a thrill Clark likens to "hanging on the edge of a crazy rock."

The waves at Maverick's don't always break bigger than those at Oahu's Waimea Bay, Maui's Jaws or Mexico's Todos Santos, but they're nastier. The water temperature falls to a bone-chilling 50°. The rocks in a spot called the boneyard can snag a surfer's ankle leash and hold him under. Other perils include "sharks, lots of them," says Maverick's vet Mark Renneker. What kind of sharks? "Right from central casting—that kind."

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