The 2014 Dakar Rally will propose, in five stages, "different routes for the cars and motorcycles," which the event's organizers said will "increase difficulty and make the race more interesting," according to the EFE. Details were announced Wednesday in Paris. The race will begin Jan. 5 in Rosario, Argentina. From there, "it will head north to Bolivia," and end Jan. 18 in Valparaiso, Chile. Dakar Dir Etienne Lavigne highlighted the "logistical difficulty that will come during racing in Bolivia's Uyuni salt flats." Lavigne: "The cars will go on routes not marked by motorcycles, which will make navigation interesting. They will have to open up the track, and this could complicate the stages. Also, we will reduce the risk of accidents." The rally will feature "more than 430 cars and 700 drivers from more than 50 different nationalities, with Argentina and Chile as the third- and fifth-most represented countries, respectively" (EFE, 11/20).
Events and Attractions
US PGA Tour Commissioner Tom Finchem "has played down the prospects of a global tour coming to fruition any time soon, but has given his tentative support" to playing one of the sport's four majors -- the US PGA Championship -- outside the U.S. in the "near future," according to Brent Read of THE AUSTRALIAN. While "conceding a global tour was possible," Finchem admitted it was not "under consideration at the moment and wouldn't be any time soon." Finchem: "The game will get more integrated at some level. But that doesn't necessarily mean going to a world tour. But I wouldn't leap to the conclusion that the professional game coming together means a 'World Tour.'" He was "much more open to taking one of golf's four majors on a world tour in the near future." The Australian Tour has "already put its hand up to host the fourth major on the calendar should the event go on the road." Finchem said, "I certainly don't have a knee-jerk reaction on the negative side if it is good for the PGA Championship and it is good for the world of golf. The questions though that would need to be answered are where is it going to be played, how does it affect the calendar, etcetera" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 11/20).
The Qatar Marine Sports Federation "plays host to a double-header of thrilling marine sports activity this weekend," when it hosts the fourth round of the Formula One Powerboat World Championship and the inaugural Qatar Nations Cup on Doha Bay. The first Qatar Nations Cup began Tuesday and ended Wednesday (GULF TIMES, 11/19). ... Six of the world's top 30 women tennis players "are set to join the field for the upcoming WTA Tour event in Auckland." World No. 14 Roberta Vinci, Kirsten Flipkens (20), Sorana Cirstea (22), Elena Vesina (25), Jamie Hampton (28), and Lucie Safarova (29) will join Venus Williams and Ana Ivanovic, who were named to take part seven weeks ago (STUFF, 11/20).