Category Archives: Sports

Sagesse Honorary President Says They Threw Holy Water On Riyadi Official

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abouna

I was actually defending Sagesse against the decision taken by the Lebanese Federation and I was hoping they’d file a proper complaint but this is just crazy. I can’t believe this guy, who happens to be Sagesse’s honorary president, is justifying fans throwing water bottles by saying the water is holy.

What was he thinking? I really hope he was joking.

Riyadi Beirut Rewards its Fans By Keeping Them Away From The Finals

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derby

Instead of rewarding their fans by offering the most loyal ones VIP tickets or special passes, Riyadi Beirut decided to keep the fans away from Game 4 in the Finals and book the whole stadium for the families of the team’s management, the staff, the players, the sponsors and their friends.

Maskhara, just like this whole Lebanese Basketball League is.

riyadi

Meet Charbel Habib: The Only Lebanese & Arab Competing In the 35-day Long Peking – Paris Rally

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pekin paris

What needs to be proved today is that as long as a man has a car, he can do anything and go anywhere.

The Peking-Paris rally is often considered as the greatest motoring adventure and attracts every 3 years over 100 teams from all over the world to compete in the 35-day long rally. This year, a Lebanese team formed of Charbel Habib (driver) and his co-driver Walid Samaha is proudly taking the challenge and will be the only Lebanese & Arabic team to take part in this extraordinary journey.

What is the Peking to Paris Motor Challenge?
pekinrace Source

The Peking to Paris motor race is an automobile race, originally held in 1907, between Peking (now Beijing) and Paris in France, covering an impressive 13,695-kilometer total distance and crossing many countries in Asia and Europe including China, Mongolia, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy and France.

The 2016 Peking to Paris Motor Challenge starts from the Great Wall outside Beijing on Sunday, June 12th, and finishes with a drive into Paris to cross the finish line in Place Vendome on Sunday, July 17th.

Who is allowed to race?
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The race is only restricted to vintage cars which are divided into four different categories:
– Vintage cars (1920 to 1931 type cars).
– Vintageant cars (1932 to 1941 type cars).
– Classic cars up to 2.0 liters (1942 to 1975).
– Classic cars over 2.0 liters (1942 to 1975).

Who is the Lebanese team competing?
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I had the honor to meet Mr. Charbel Habib and his co-driver Walid Samaha a couple of months ago and I was mind blown by the collection of classic & vintage cars that he has. We are talking about over 40 old cars that include a number of Porsche’s, Ferraris, Lamborghini’s, Mercedes, Bugatti’s, Maserati among others.

part Source

What I loved about Mr. Habib is how devoted and passionate he is about his collectibles. There’s a story behind every old car he purchased and he has a special garage set up to restore all these cars and make them look and run like new. When he was briefing me about his 1964 Porsche 356C, he knew every single detail related to the car, the changes that his team has done and of course the history behind it.

For those of you who are not familiar with old cars restoration, it is more than just a hobby and requires a lot of time, patience, know-how and money. Restoration means more than just making a vehicle’s exterior look nice as you need to go through every single part of the car and try to be as historically accurate as you can. You need to find the same exact parts, keep the same engine, find the right tools to work with etc. Of course it’s always easier to rebuild everything but the real challenge is in bringing back a car from the dead and up to its original factory specs.

Some people look at classic car restoration as an investment but from what I’ve seen and read, it’s more of an art and the skills to work on these old cars are becoming harder to find than the cars themselves.

What is the car?
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As stated earlier, the Lebanese team is racing in a 1964 Porsche 356C. The 356C was the last revision of the 356 series and was succeeded by the popular 911 model. The car features a 1.6 liter twin-car air-cooled engine, disk brakes all around, and the most powerful pushrod engine Porsche has ever produced, the 75HP “C”.

It takes around 10 seconds from 0 to 100kph and weights around 2000 pounds. Check out Jalopnik for a full review of this dream car.

How hard is the Peking to Paris race?
pekinde

I don’t know if you’ve ever driven or been in a vintage car, but it’s often very demanding and uncomfortable. When I was visiting Habib, he took me for a ride in his 1964 Porsche 356C and in another antique car from the 1930s. Riding in these old gems was quite special but racing across countries for 35 days with a 1960s sports car is quite hard and physically demanding. Keep in mind that they will have to drive all day, carry with them tents, sleeping bags and all spare parts including wheels, and that the rules and regulations are quite strict.

Of course Peking-Paris is also a fun race and teams will get to camp beside rivers and lakes and enjoy stunning sceneries on a daily basis.

Race starts on June 12
map

All in all, being a classic car guy isn’t for everyone and taking part in the Peking – Paris Rally definitely isn’t for everyone. You need determination, stamina, know-how and passion and I’m pretty sure our Lebanese team has them all!

I will keep you posted with updates from the race as soon as it starts! You can follow updates on [ClassicCarLebanon] on Facebook, as well as Twitter [@ClassicLebanon] and Instagram [@ClassicLebanon]

Reliving The First F1 Showrun in #Beirut

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Photo Naim Chidiac Photo by Naim Chidiac

The first ever F1 showrun in Beirut took place on Sunday the 22nd of May. I couldn’t make it but I compiled some of the best pictures and videos shared online to make you relive this unique and once in a life time experience.

The Red Bull F1 car made two spots at the Cedars and in Byblos before the showrun in Beirut.

cedars Photo by Akl Yazbeck

Jbeil #RedBullF1inByblos

F1 Jbeil Super Baby Brian and myself met Red Bull in Jbeil – Photo by Akl Yazbeck

Moving on to the Sunday event, it was an epic showrun! Here are some of the best pictures and videos.

Sainz F1 Driver Carlos Sainz getting ready – © Akl Yazbeck / Sportscode Images

Maya Diab Maya Diab warming up the car

BNL F1 Off we go! – Taken from BeirutNightLife

Imad Diab F1 in Beirut – Photo by Imad Diab

redbull3 Drifting – Photo by Red Bull

F1 Aerial Aerial view

redbull2 Donuts – Photo by Red Bull

Continue reading

Here’s Why I Love Formula One

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f1 1

I love Formula 1. Everything about this sport is fascinating and I hate it when I hear people telling me “It’s just driving around in circles”. Formula 1 is considered by many to be the greatest sport ever because it simply is. You have the best automotive engineers and teams using state-of-the-art technologies to build the fastest, lightest and most advanced cars for the world’s most talented drivers to drive around the most beautiful and demanding tracks in the world.

Even though I’ve been watching F1 for almost 20 years now, I’ve only been to one Grand Prix at Monza back in 2011 and the whole experience was simply amazing and out of this world, so you can imagine my excitement when I heard Red Bull are organizing an F1 showrun in Beirut!

drift

I am sure Formula 1 fans are as excited as I am about this event, but I want non-F1 fans to realize how awesome this sport is and what they are missing out on. I want them to know how hard it is to make an F1 car, how much time it takes, how demanding it is, the different stages involved from Design and R&D, Composites, Manufacturing and Assembly and other fascinating details.

I’ve teamed up with Red Bull to come up with this post 1) because I love Red Bull, 2) because Red Bull Racing won four successive Constructors’ Championship titles in the past 6 years with my favorite driver Sebastian Vettel and 3) because they are organizing the F1 showrun on Sunday.

f1

So here we go: How to make a Red Bull Racing F1 car?

What does it take to make one of the world’s fastest racing cars? How are they so powerful? How much time does it take to build one? How is the perfect design chosen? How many tests before a car is good to go? How many parts does an F1 car need? And how many machines are needed for the whole process?
Questions, so many questions! Here are the answers.

There are basically four stages in the making of an F1 car:
I- Design and R&D
II- Composites
III- Manufacturing
IV- Assembly

rb

Here are a few insights on what happens at the Red Bull Racing factory. The first two parts were already covered by Red Bull so I will elaborate on the last two which are Manufacturing and Assembly.

III- Manufacturing:
rbcars

Did you know a Formula 1 car typically takes only five months to design and develop? It takes over 300 designers, aerodynamicists and machinists to create one RB model. Yes, three-hundred, THREE-hundred! Every model created has a specific purpose.

The RB car is made from over 6,500 unique parts which include 100,000 components, 70% of which are machined in house. There are 20 programmable machines capable of manufacturing all parts of the car and the engineers running the machine shop have to constantly improve to reduce the manufacturing time while preserving the quality needed and making sure the parts are 100% reliable. Weight is the biggest challenge for any F1 team as they are constantly trying to make the car lighter and lighter. Quoting Christian Horner, the team principal at Red Bull Racing, the parts produced are pieces of art and the work being done is phenomenal.

paint Even the Painting Process is a hassle

The RB car is painted in-house. The painting process is very critical as it’s not about aesthetics. It’s a performance element as the finishing needs to be smooth and building up paint on the car might increase its weight and slow it down or even affect the aerodynamics. An F1 car’s paint job may seem silly but it’s a very technical process that is often overlooked.

IV- Assembly:
ind

Assembling a Formula one car is similar to a 5,000-piece jigsaw puzzle that needs to be completed in a record time with zero margin for error. The first build tends to take about a week and the planning process is even more painful than the assembly itself.

The cars are assembled in the “Race Bays”. Five chassis are prepared, one for each driver, two test cards and one kept in disassembly mode. Every manufactured or purchased component goes through a thorough inspection process and there are several state-of-the-art tools that are used to inspect the car and its different components without touching it. The tiniest mistake, we are talking microns, could cost the team disqualification or drastically affect the car’s performance.

All in all, Formula 1 has the best of everything: The technology, the cars, the tracks, the crashes, the drivers, the glamour, the rivalries. It’s probably the best sport you are not watching!

See you all on Sunday and let’s hope that one day we will have a Beirut F1 GP.

Lebanese Equestrian Marek Maitala Wins The 2016 FEI World Jumping Challenge Finals!

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lib

The FEI World Jumping Challenge Final took place in Rabat (Morocco) between April 22nd and 24th and Lebanese Marek Maitala managed to win the top spot against 10 other participants. The competition is usually open to 20 riders, which are the 2 best-placed Category A from the 10 regional Zones and is held outdoors. [Official Results]

Marek is only 20 years old and has a dream of competing one day in the Olympics. This is already an incredible achievement and I’m sure that he can bring in more trophies if he gets the proper support and training.

Congrats Marek!

res1

Sunday Morning Escape

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Bike1

You might have visited every city in the country, but if you have not experienced Lebanon by bike then you have definitely been missing out. Three years ago, my friends got me a bike, they were certain that it was going to end up in the garage with layers of dust covering it. To everyone’s surprise, from that day, I have been biking every single weekend.

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Sunday for me, has drastically changed from a lazy day (±200 calories) to the most active day of the week (+2000 calories). On an average, we cover around 60-70 Km per ride, taking anywhere between 3-5 hours, depending on the number of stops we do. Our rides are not competitive, we are not in it to win a championship, but rather escape, be active, enjoy the outdoors and Live Love Lebanon.

When is the best time to go biking?
Bike0

My journey starts every Sunday at 6am. I wake up, grab a light breakfast (usually a small sandwich), pack my bike and gear and head out for my ritual ride. The ride usually starts at 8am and ends by 1pm, just in time for Sunday lunch. Before you start, find yourself a biking partner, it’s always more fun and a lot safer when you have someone with you. Every week we set out to discover a new location in the country.

What’s beautiful about bike rides, is that you get to see the places you usually miss out on by car. You can go into the narrow streets, stop and admire anything you find interesting along the way, enjoy the scenery, discover new places and take lots of amazing pictures.

What type of biker are you?

There are plenty of locations to enjoy different types of rides. City rides, sea side rides, mountain rides, uphill rides, and my personal favorites are the offroad rides.

Beginner:
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If you are a beginner, haven’t been on a bike for a long time or panic around cars, I would advise you to stick to relatively closed circuits, where cars aren’t swarming around you, like the Dbayeh Marina, Raouche, Beirut Waterfront or Amchit seaside boulevards.

Average:
Bike2

If you are an ok biker like most people, then you can venture a bit and hit the streets, the best place to ride is the on the old sea side road Jbeil – Amchit – Batroun – Anfeh. It’s relatively a straight path with few slopes, not many cars use that road on a Sunday morning, the scenery is breathtaking, and there are many places where you can stop and relax along the way. You can stop at the beach and have a swim, fuel up with a lemonade in the old Batroun souks or even get a glass of beer and chill at Colonel Beer.

Advanced:
Screen-Shot-2016-04-30-at-14.25.04

If you are an advanced biker, you can burn few more more calories by riding uphill in the Metn area, starting in Baabdat and moving up to Ain El Sefsaf or even shoot for longer rides in the Bekaa valey from Taanayel to Qaraoun.

Thrill Seeker:

Thrill seekers can go into remote rocky areas in Wata El Joz, Keserwan and enjoy an offroad experience. Of course you need a mountain bike and some extra protection gear to endure the ride.

How much does it cost?
Biking_20140202_0017-2

If you don’t have a bike, you can always purchase one, you don’t need an expensive bike. You can get a mountain bike that works both for city rides and offroad for $500-700. If you don’t want to invest in a bike just yet, there are plenty of bike rentals in Beirut, Gemmayze, Jbeil, Amchit and Batroun. You can rent a bike for as low as 7,000 L.L.

All in All:
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In Lebanon, we have the perfect landscape and weather for outdoor activities. Unfortunately, our roads are in terrible conditions, there are no bike lanes and car drivers have no respect for bikers on the streets. This is the main reason why I bike very early on Sundays, to minimize as much as possible the risks of getting hit by a car and avoid heavy traffic.

With the upcoming municipal elections, electoral programs should focus more on making the cities open and fit for healthier outdoor life, encourage people to go out, be active and use less and less their cars. Of course we can always dream of having a bicycle highway, like the one Germany just opened. It’s a 62 miles bicycle road that connects 10 western cities including Duisburg, Bochum, and Hamm, as well as four universities.

Twelve Things You Always Hear in a Lebanese Basketball Game

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bball

If a team loses, they blame the referee.
If a team wins, the other team’s fans attack them.
If the fans are banned from watching, the players get into a fight.
If the teams don’t like some new rule, they blame the federation.

The sad part is that some referees are terrible and should be fired and the federation is almost as incompetent as all the previous ones. And let’s not forget the 3-foreign players rule which killed the game and turned it into a 3 on 3 between every team’s foreign players. (Sometimes it’s even a 1 on 1).

Here’s Your Chance To Meet World Football Legends in Lebanon

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figo

World football legends might be coming to Lebanon on September 10 to play a game at the Fouad Chehab Sports Stadium in Jounieh.

The final list of players and details of the event will be announced on May 5th during a press conference by the organizing committee. The event is sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism and organized by Arabica sports (part of Arabica Group TV network). The game might be played against stars of the Lebanese Football but that was not decided yet.

I’m sure all football fans, including myself, would love to meet these legends. I will update you with the final lineup as soon as it is announced.

roma

Speaking of Lebanese Football fans and Football legends, a Lebanese AS Roma fan called Bako Karnib got an exclusive chance to meet his idols at Trigoria. He traveled specifically To Rome to get a sight of the players he admires and, after watching the team draw with Bologna last Monday, spent hours each day outside the training ground to get further mementos of his trip.

PS: Thank you Figo29 for the great news and Fouad for the AS Roma story!