OWNER of Benjamin Sports/Fitness and former National cyclist, Wilbert Benjamin, continues to give back to the sport he loves.This time the former National cycling champion made a generous donation of cycling uniforms to nine cyclists of the Flying Ace Cycling Club (FACC) of Berbice at a simple presentation at his business establishment Lot 220 Courtland Village Corentyne, Berbice.Benjamin said, “I hope with this donation it can motivate the guys.”Meanwhile, coach of FACC, Randolph Roberts, expressed his gratitude to Mr Benjamin for making such a timely donation. Roberts said, “This will benefit our cyclists and I hope to see more cyclists come on board with FACC,”. He went on to say that more support is needed in the area of cycling in the Ancient County.Benjamin then emphasised, “Fitness is important and persons should adopt a healthy lifestyle.”
Sophomore driver Jacob Mercep’s 44 goals rank second on the team this season. (Josh Dunst | Daily Trojan)After a close 10-9 victory against the formerly top-ranked Stanford in the championship match of the Mountain Pacific Invitational last Sunday, No. 1 USC will take on two more top-10 opponents this weekend in No. 8 Long Beach State and No. 6 Pepperdine.The Trojans are coming off a strong weekend, not only securing a championship win but also sweeping the MPSF weekly honors. Freshman goalie Nic Porter was named Newcomer of the Week for the second time this season, while sophomore driver Jacob Mercep earned USC’s first Player of the Week honor of the season.Following the accomplishments of the past week, the team shifted its focus to prepare for Long Beach State and Pepperdine, drawing on strategies that have contributed to its prior successes.“We always have a specific preparation,” Mercep said. “[Head coach Jovan Vavic] does his job and the other coaches do their job very well. They break down the other team, and what they are trying to do, and when the game comes, we are ready for it and we know what’s coming.”The Men of Troy will face their first test of the weekend when they visit Long Beach State on Saturday. The two teams met at last weekend’s Mountain Pacific Invitational, where the Trojans bested the 49ers 14-8. Although USC has an all-time record of 70-15 against Long Beach, last year’s meeting between the two teams was quite close, with the Trojans narrowly defeating the 49ers in overtime at home.To come out on top against Long Beach, the Trojans will need to play well at both ends of the pool. A cohesive defensive effort will be necessary to counter the 49ers offense, led by redshirt junior attacker Austin Stewart, who boasts a team-high 33 goals this season. Capitalizing on offensive opportunities will also be important, as sophomore goalie Marwan Darwish has a .434 save percentage.After returning from Long Beach, the Trojans will face Pepperdine on Sunday. The Waves enter the weekend with an 11-8 overall record after a sixth-place finish in the Mountain Pacific Invitational. Pepperdine’s leading scorer is senior center Chris Dilworth, who has put up 43 goals so far this season. His performance has not gone unnoticed by the Trojan coaching staff, who have focused on defense in practice this week.“Defending fast breaks and opponents’ frontcourt offense is always our main emphasis, and I think we will only grow in our form during this season,” Mercep said of the team’s preparation.The Trojans plan to apply the lessons they learned in last weekend’s victory against Stanford, which handed the Trojans their only loss of the season, to this weekend’s matches against opponents of similar calibers.“Certainly we learned that we are tougher than we thought we were,” Mercep said of the Trojans’ tournament performance. “Whether things went good or bad, we showed character, and showed that we are really strong, collective and we stick together. We showed that we really can perform the way we set it up at the meetings, the way we agree upon doing.”Despite their No. 1 ranking, the Men of Troy continue to consider their potential for growth.“[Our play] can always be better,” Mercep said. “We are always trying to improve every day. We really strive towards excellence.”The weekend’s first opportunity for the Trojans will be Saturday at 1 p.m. at Long Beach State. The Trojans will host Sunday’s 1 p.m. match against Pepperdine at Uytengsu Aquatic Center.
A large, rusty ship with no crew or cargo on board made a startling appearance this week, drifting off the coast of Myanmar. The vessel bears the name Sam Ratulangi PB 1600 and is about 580 feet long. It ran aground on August 30, 2018, near Thongwa township in the country’s Yangon region.“No crew or cargo was found on the ship. It was quite puzzling how such a big ship turned up in our waters,” said a regional parliament MP for Thongwa to The Myanmar Times.The Sam Ratulangi PB 1600 at the container terminal of Port Sudan in 2008. Photo by Bunks –CC BY 3.0Local fishermen boarded and inspected the ship after reporting it to the authorities. Teams from the navy, coast guard, and police all subsequently searched the abandoned freighter that reportedly weighs 26,510 tons.Built in 2001, the vessel was last recorded off the coast of Taiwan in 2009, according to marine records.The BBC reported an explanation on September 1st: “The navy now say the freighter was being towed by a tugboat headed to a ship-breaking factory in Bangladesh. However, the crew abandoned the ship after being caught up in bad weather.”The container of the ship. Photo by Yangon police/ FacebookMyanmar’s navy said it theorized this was a towing gone wrong after “two cables… were found at its head.” They later found a tugboat, called Independence, about 50 miles off Myanmar’s coast.After questioning the 13 Indonesian crew members on board, it seems that the tugboat had been towing the vessel since August 13th. They were trying to take it to a factory in Bangladesh to dismantle and salvage the ship.The news site Eleven Myanmar reports that the owner of the tugboat is from Malaysia.Dockyard Scene along Karnafuli River – Chittagong. Photo by Adam Jones/ Flickr CC BY SA 2.0“Bangladesh has a large ship-breaking industry, with hundreds of old commercial vessels dismantled in Chittagong each year,” according to the BBC. “But the business is controversial — with critics saying the work is poorly regulated and dangerous to laborers.”This would seem to be supported by the crew’s wholesale abandonment of the large ship.Ghost Ships“In my opinion, the ship was recently abandoned. There must be a reason,” Aung Kyaw Linn, general secretary of the Independent Federation of Myanmar Seafarers, said in an interview.Unseaworthy vessels are reportedly taken to the port of Chittagong in Bangladesh once they have reached the end of their working lives.The Guardian reported in an article published in 2017 that thousands of workers have been killed or maimed dismantling the world’s ships in Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan.Night view of the Port of Chittagong from Karnaphuli River (East-west view). Photo by Moheen Reeyad CC BY-SA 4.0“New legal action is needed, say environmentalists and unions, because of the steady number of deaths and injuries to workers. On one level, shipbreaking is one of the world’s ‘greenest’ industries, with every nut, bolt and sheet of metal on a ship being recycled.” The Guardian also stated that the industry employs hundreds of thousands of people in some of the world’s most poverty-stricken countries. Critics also claim that owners knowingly harm workers by sending their ships to be recycled on Asian beaches.Ingvild Jenssen, director of Shipbreaking Platform, a Brussels-based coalition of environmental, human rights and labor groups, has said, “Shipowners shield themselves from responsibility through the use of cash buyers.”Sam Ratulangi PB 1600. Photo by Yangon Police/Facebook“These scrap dealers sell off the ships for the highest price offered. All ships that end up on the beaches of Bangladesh, Pakistan or India pass through cash buyers, and all sales to cash buyers are clearly scrap deals where the higher price paid indicates that the vessel will be beached.”Read another story from us: The Missing Nuclear Weapons Lost Off The Coast Of BermudaIn Myanmar, no one is yet sure who will take responsibility for Sam Ratulangi PB 1600.Nancy Bilyeau, a former staff editor at Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, and InStyle, has written a trilogy of historical thrillers for Touchstone Books. For more information, go to www.nancybilyeau.com.