Ready, Set, Show!

 

 
Now in its fourth year, The Rolex Central Park Horse Show has taken over Wollman Rink once again, transforming New York City’s famed ice skating rink into a Grand Prix show jumping ring. Nestled at the bottom of Central Park, with the city’s skyscrapers behind it, this urban yet bucolic setting makes for a spectacular venue. The show has become a highlight of the equestrian circuit, attracting the biggest names in the sport who come to compete under the lights and under the stars in the heart of New York City.

The course itself is extremely challenging for both riders and horses, squeezing the multiple combinations of head high jumps that define a Grand Prix competition into what is a small and oddly shaped arena. But first there is the metamorphosis of an ice skating rink into a horse ring which is no easy feat. From the first load of dirt to the first horse in the ring, it is about 5 non-stop days and nights of activity – one that we thought would fun to document. The time lapse video shown above takes place over the course of week, compressing the whole process into about 90 seconds.
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Eye of the Falcon

 

 
In what fans had hoped would be an exciting rematch of the 2016 NFC Championship Game, the Atlanta Falcons came out on top again Sunday night, beating the Green Bay Packers 34-23. As eagerly anticipated was the Sunday Night Football debut of the $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the brand-new home of the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United FC (MLS).

The state-of-the-art Mercedes-Benz Stadium covers 2,000,000 square feet, and includes 71,000 total seats. It boasts the largest scoreboard in the world — three times as large as any in the NFL — a revolutionary 360 degree, 58 by 1100-foot LED “halo board” that circles the entire arena. There is also 100-foot mega-column LED display board.

Click to watch timelapse of the roof in action!

What is most spectacular about the new stadium, however, is its 14-acre retractable roof, featuring 8 translucent petal-like panels that weigh roughly 500 tons each, and open and close like a camera lens. In front of a sellout crowd, the stadium’s groundbreaking roof opened for the first time Sunday night for the Falcons’ first open-air home game since 1991.
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Time For A SUPgrade

 

 

If you’ve been into Stand Up Paddleboarding for a while now — preferring the serene waters of the bay or lake over ocean waves, but still riding a traditional surfboard shaped SUP — it might be time to graduate to a race or touring board. With a nose shaped more like a kayak, called a “displacement hull”, these sleek and streamlined boards are designed to go fast and straight, cutting though choppy waters and gliding with ease.

Touring boards are generally more stable and are wider than race boards, designed for recreational paddlers, while race boards tend to be narrower, designed for more advanced and competitive paddlers. Touring boards come in a variety of different lengths, while race boards are either 12’6 or 14 ft. 

As we kick off the second half of the summer and head into those beautiful fall months ahead, here are 6 of our favorite race and touring boards to take your paddling to the next level.

CLICK BOARD FOR SHOPPING INFO:

 

FROM LEFT: BARK CONTENDER LITE PRO ELITE 12’6. Joe Bark is one of the most respected paddleboard designers, and more races have been won on Bark boards than any other brand. The new Bark Contender Lite is a reflection of the shift in design towards lower-volume, narrower boards. It’s fast and responsive, and the ideal choice for the experienced paddler looking for the playfulness of a lower-volume 12’6″ board that can handle any variety of conditions.

STARBOARD ALL STAR CARBON 2017. The Starboard All Star has long dominated the racing scene. Available in 12’6 or 14′ and a variety of widths, it offers performance, comfort and stability with its recessed deck and tri-concave bottom.  The All Star comes in a more expensive lightweight carbon sandwich construction that flexes with each stroke, or a hybrid carbon that’s slightly heavier, but more durable. Flat water, choppy, or in the surf, it’s a versatile favorite in any condition. Read More

 

Trading Places: Michelle Wie & Genie Bouchard

 

 

PHOTOGRAPHS BY ANNE MENKE

When two of the biggest stars in tennis and golf, Eugenie “Genie” Bouchard and Michelle Wie respectively, met for the first time last week, you would have thought they were lifelong friends. Both Nike athletes, they had been brought together for a promotional event and quickly hit it off, literally, hitting golf and tennis balls, and exchanging coaching tips. Their rapport was instant and their ability to pick up each other’s sport didn’t lag too far behind.

Korean-American Michelle Wie, 27 years old, has been on the LPGA tour since just before her 16th birthday and is currently #34 in the Rolex Ranking. Though at age 10 she became the youngest player to qualify for a USGA amateur championship, Wie actually had dreams of becoming a professional tennis player. This phenom’s golf game was better than her tennis game, however, and so the clubs beat the racquet. Wie won her first major at the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open. Though she doesn’t get much of a chance to play tennis these days, after a few pointers from Genie, she quickly showed she’s still got some game.

Canadian Genie Bouchard, 23 years old, is currently ranked 57th in the WTA and has been a force to contend with since she hit the tour: named WTA Newcomer of the Year in 2013 and WTA Most Improved Player in 2014. She was the 2014 Wimbledon runner-up, and semi-finalist in both the Australian and French Open that same year. Though Bouchard has virtually no golf experience, she was swinging like a pro after just a few tips from Michelle.
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All’s Well in Wellington

 
KENT FARRINGTON AND HIS STABLES IN WELLINGTON, FLORIDA.
©Rolex/Ashley Neuhof

 

Unless you are part of the equestrian set, Wellington, Florida might not be a familiar destination, but every winter the world’s best riders descend upon this sport mecca for the 12-week Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Hosted at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, the main attraction is the show jumping and its numerous Grand Prix events — along with the perfect climate for rider and horse alike. 

Next door to Palm Beach, Wellington was originally created in 1972 as a 7000-acre equestrian preserve. The Winter Equestrian Festival has been going on since 1979, but it wasn’t until 2008 that Wellington began to evolve into the equestrian lifestyle destination it is today. In 2006, about 1000 acres that included the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, were purchased for $135 million by Mark Bellissimo, a former tech entrepreneur, who envisioned the economic impact developing this community could have.
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The Sunfish

 

 

There are few images more evocative of summer than that of a Sunfish sailboat lazily cruising around a lake or bay — with its cheerfully striped triangle sail, topped off with the black silhouette of its namesake fish. If you went to summer camp or grew up near a flat body of water, chances are you learned how to sail on a Sunfish or at least were along for the ride. The Sunfish has been around since 1952 and continues to be one the most popular sailboats for both beginners and experienced sailers alike.

The Sunfish is distinguished by its simplicity, which makes it one of the easiest boats on which to learn how to sail, for both kids and adults alike. Its small size and single “lateen” sail (a triangular sail mounted at an angle on the mast), with its basic two line rigging, make it an easy boat to set up and set sail. Upgrades can be added for competitive sailing, of which the Sunfish is in fact a popular class of racing.

Sailing basics, like learning how to tack and jibe and use the wind, are easy to teach on a small boat. Being so low on the water, its size makes it very responsive too. Says Susan Koehler, one of the founders and owners of The Dinghy Shop in Amityville, Long Island in New York, and one of the largest Sunfish dealers on the East Coast, “With the Sunfish you can feel the water, feel the wind, and feel the response of the boat.”

Part of the fun of being so low in the water is on a hot summer day you’re sure to get wet — be it a refreshing splash or a likely dunk, if like this editor you decide to take one out for a sail for the first time since summer camp. Yes, the Sunfish can be easy to tip as we did, but they are easy to right as well and a good laugh usually ensues. Though I was acting as first mate, after 30 plus years my skipper’s sailing basics returned quickly as we jibed, tacked and sailed our way home — with me gleefully leaning off the side of the keeling boat, laughing and smiling just as I’d done as a kid.

A Sunfish is still what summer memories are made of.

 

Tri It Out

 

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Mid-way through the summer and the triathlon season is in full swing. Swim, bike, run… if you’re a gear head, this is the sport for you! We asked Lucy Danziger, Founder and CEO of Hintd (the website that lets you create your ultimate wish list that anyone can shop), an Ironman triathlete herself, for some of her favorite training and competition essentials. From Ironman to Olympic to sprint distance races, whether you’re an old pro or newbie to the sport, here are a few hot picks to get a little edge on the competition this summer! 

TOP ROW: SPECIALIZED ALIAS SPORT $2500. Combining performance with versatility, the Specialized Alias Sport is perfect for riders looking to get into triathlons who still want the design of a traditional road bike. The full-carbon frame combines tri-specific geometry with aerodynamic tube shaping, a zero-offset seatpost, and clip-on aerobars — eliminating the need for a both a race and training bike. The Alias Sport is made for triathletes who want one bike for every ride. GARMIN 920XT GPS WATCH $450. Offering a plethora of tri-sport tracking and data, along with everyday fitness monitoring, the Garmin 920XT is your ultimate swim, bike, and run companion. With a vivid color screen that boldly displays training metrics, this GPS watch is made for elite and amateur athletes alike. Wear it all day to monitor your steps, activity, and calories, and stay in touch with email, text and other smart notifications the watch displays.

ROW 2: GIRO SYNTHE MIPS HELMET $269.95. With the Synthe MIPS Helmet, Giro introduces the industry-leading Multi-Directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) safety technology into its top-end helmet. Combining the best of aerodynamics and ventilation, this lightweight helmet slices through the air, keeping riders cool and comfortable with giant vents and Aero Mesh Panels — all in a stylish package. UNDER ARMOUR MID-CROSSBACK BRA $34.99. With a tight compression fit; smooth double-layer HeatGear® fabric; and signature Moisture Transport System, this sportbra will keep you cool, comfortable and supported throughout your training run and rides. Crossover straps with keyhole detail offer a bit of extra style too. ROKA MAVERICK X TRIATHLON WETSUIT $900. Though pricey, the new Maverick X from Roka is revolutionary in its design. By inverting the existing paradigm and starting with the arms up, this wetsuit is designed for total mobility throughout the stroke. Says Lucy Danziger, “It’s so thin and yet buoyant — like a skin more than a wetsuit. The sleeves don’t constrict at all so you feel fast and high in the water without the usual tight wetsuit feeling.” Says Roka, “It is the freest, fastest wetsuit ever built.”
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The Pro Shop

 
JOHN MCENROE, TOMMY ROBREDO, JIM COURIER AND FEW OTHER PRO RACQUET STASHES AT RPNY

 
As the players take the court at the Wimbledon Championships now underway, it’s hard to miss the massive tennis bags slung over their shoulders, packed with the multiple racquets they will use throughout the match. Individually wrapped in clear plastic bags, you might notice an RPNY logo printed on the side. Each racquet is exactly the same, with absolutely no variation, and likely has been customized to precise specifications by a man named Roman Prokes.

Tucked away on the second floor of a nondescript building on East 51st street in Manhattan is RPNY – the secret weapon of the pros and any other tennis player who wants to feel like one. Owned and run by Roman Prokes, 55 years old and originally from the Czech Republic, RPNY has been open since 2002. Prokes has been customizing and stringing tennis racquets since 1991 for such players as John McEnroe, Jim Courier, Maria Sharapova, Caroline Wozniacki, Tommy Robredo and Andre Agassi, just to name a few, and these same services are available to anyone who wants the perfect racquet to better their game.
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