He went back to his surgeon, Dr. Jack Copeland of University Medical Center in Tucson, and took a series of stress tests. In late April, Clark, down to a solid 180 pounds and closely watched by medical personnel, finished the 1.5-km swim, 40-km bike race and 10-km run in 4:36:59, placing 200th in the field of 335. "I felt so good I couldn't believe it," he says. "I was surprised I finished so high, because I stopped a lot."
Nothing stops Clark for long. He hopes to compete in a minitriathlon in Phoenix this Saturday, another in Los Angeles on June 15th and one in Denver in July. Asked whether he'll ever enter a full triathlon, Clark answers, "The seed is there."
AN OMINOUS SIGN
The license plate on Houston Astros catcher Alan Ashby's Pontiac reads E-2.
RETURN OF THE UNLUCKY SHAMROCK
"I canna win, I canna win," said Irishman Sir Thomas Lipton when his America's Cup challenger, the 119-foot J boat Shamrock V, was beaten in 1930 by Enterprise. The loss was Lipton's fifth in five stouthearted attempts to win the Cup, and it prompted Will Rogers to call him "the world's most cheerful loser."
Lipton's unlucky Shamrock returned to the United States last week, ghosting silently through New York Harbor on her way from Bermuda to Newport. Thomas J. Lipton Inc.—yes, Sir Thomas is the fellow on the tea bag—has donated the noble runner-up to the Museum of Yachting.
The arrival of Shamrock marks the first time a J boat has visited America in a half century. The J's were among the largest and fastest racing boats ever built. Their 15-story masts held enough sail to cover two basketball courts; raising the 1.5-ton mainsail required 20 of the 33 crewmen to heave on the halyard. Twice the length of the 12-meter America's Cup racers that replaced them in 1958, J boats were abandoned because they proved too expensive for even the wealthiest owner to maintain. The J's are now looked upon as the dinosaurs of yachting: Only 10 were ever built—Shamrock V was the first—and just three still exist.
Staging five futile Cup campaigns endeared Lipton to the American public. A bona fide folk hero, he was respected for his heart rather than his fortune. "America's Cup hunting has been my principal recreation for over 30 years," he said shortly before he died in 1931 at age 81. "I can truthfully say that in the quest of it I have spent some of the happiest moments of my life."