Tesla Model S Plaid Deliveries Start In First Gear; S&P 500 Hits High; Google, RH In Buy Zones| Investor’s Business Daily


Dow Jones futures rose slightly Friday morning, along with S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq futures. The stock market rally on Thursday shrugged off a hot inflation report, with the S&P 500 index hitting a record high and Treasury yields fresh lows.




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A bipartisan group of senators announced an infrastructure deal late, but will party leaders back it? Tesla CEO Elon Musk held a low-key, no-surprise Model S Plaid event Thursday night, announcing that deliveries will start with a slow ramp up.  Tesla stock rose slightly early Friday after reclaiming a key level Thursday.

In Thursday’s session, several stocks broke out or flashed buy signals, including RH (RH), Signet Jewelers (SIG), Zscaler (ZS), CrowdStrike (CRWD), Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) and Adobe (ADBE).

Meme stocks sold off Thursday, including GameStop (GME), AMC Entertainment (AMC), Clover Health (CLOV), Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) and Workhorse Group (WKHS).

Some bounced back somewhat, including GME stock and AMC.


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Homebuilders fell sharply, including Century Communities (CCS), LGI Homes (LGIH) and D.R. Horton (DHI). That continues their weak performance despite sliding Treasury yields.

Several hot stocks sold off as share offerings priced, after the sale plans knocked them earlier this week. Those include Celsius (CELH), PLBY Group (PLBY) and Rev Group (REVG). All three lost 15% or more. CELH stock has a clearly failed breakout while PLBY stock wiped out an early entry. REVG stock broke below the low of a base.

Adobe and Google stock are on IBD Leaderboard and Long-Term Leaders. Google, CELH stock and CRWD stock are on IBD 50.

Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal?

A bipartisan group of 10 senators — five from each party — say they’ve reached a “tentative understanding” on an infrastructure spending deal without explicit tax increases. The package reportedly includes $579 billion in additional spending. Including baseline outlays, spending would be $974 billion over five years or $1.2 trillion over eight. The senators suggest indexing the gas tax to inflation, providing a de facto increase, and using unused Covid funds.

But it’s unclear if President Biden or congressional leaders from either party will go back it.

Dow Jones Futures Today

Dow Jones futures rose 0.25% vs. fair value. S&P 500 futures climbed 0.15% and Nasdaq 100 futures advanced 0.15%.

The 10-year Treasury yield kept sliding, dipping two basis points to 1.44% after hitting 1.43% overnight.

Copper futures rose 2%, a positive sign for various mining stocks.

Remember that overnight action in Dow futures and elsewhere doesn’t necessarily translate into actual trading in the next regular stock market session.


Join IBD experts as they analyze actionable stocks in the stock market rally on IBD Live


Stock Market Rally

The stock market rally rallied at Thursday’s open but then pulled back in late morning, with the Nasdaq briefly turning negative. But the major indexes rebounded.

The 10-year Treasury yield initially rose modestly on the hot inflation report, but reversed lower to 1.46%, setting new three-month lows. Bond traders do not appear concerned with inflation or the Federal Reserve, which meets next week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 0.1% in Thursday’s stock market trading, with Apple (AAPL) and Caterpillar (CAT) weighing on blue chips. The S&P 500 index climbed 0.5%. The Nasdaq composite advanced 0.8%. The small-cap Russell 2000 retreated 0.8%.

Among the best ETFs, the Innovator IBD 50 ETF (FFTY) retreated 1.7% due to some sharp individual losers. The Innovator IBD Breakout Opportunities ETF (BOUT) rose 0.5%. The iShares Expanded Tech-Software Sector ETF (IGV) gained 1.8%. ADBE stock is the No. 1 component in IGV, which also owns CRWD and ZS stock. The VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF (SMH) rose 1.3%.

SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF (XME) dipped 0.4% and Global X U.S. Infrastructure Development ETF (PAVE) slid 1%. U.S. Global Jets ETF (JETS) also fell 1%. SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB) retreated 1.1%, with the ETF losses minimized because RH stock is the No. 1 component.

Reflecting more-speculative story stocks, ARK Innovation ETF (ARKK) popped 1.9% and ARK Genomics ETF (ARKG) 2.7%. ARKK closed just below its 50-day and 200-day lines, while ARKG reclaimed those levels on Wednesday. Tesla stock is the No. 1 holding for ARK Invest across its ETFs.


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Tesla Model S Plaid Event

Tesla (TSLA) finally held its Model S Plaid event Thursday night, touting the revamped luxury electric sedan.

The Model S Plaid can go from a rolling start to 60 miles per hour in just under two seconds. But Plaid deliveries will take a lot longer to pick up.

At the end of the brief event, Elon Musk said Tesla will begin deliveries of 25 Plaid sedans “now.” He said that’ll soon pick up to hundreds per week, reaching 1,000 per week in the third quarter.

The EV giant paused Tesla Model S and X production for months as it switched over to “Plaid” versions. Elon Musk originally said in late January that Model S Plaid deliveries would begin in February.

The Model S Plaid looks very similar to the decade-old Model S on the outside. But the interior has been refreshed somewhat. Elon Musk touted the new screens and sound system, as well as the Plaid’s video game capabilities.

On Wednesday, Tesla raised the price of its high-end Plaid by $10,000 to $129,990. But that top-of-the-line Plaid won’t hit 200 mph, as previously claimed, until the right tire and wheel mix is available in the fall.

On Sunday, Musk canceled the Plaid Plus, saying the Plaid is “so good.” The Plaid Plus, which was priced well above the Plaid, was supposed to have a range topping 500 miles.

The Model S Plaid Plus cancellation could reflect further trouble with mass producing 4680 battery cells. If so, that would be a bad sign for the Tesla Semi and Cybertruck, both of which are slated to use the 4680 cells.

The Plaid event had no surprises about batteries, the Cybertruck or any other Tesla vehicle or project.

Tesla stock climbed slightly in premarket trade.

On Thursday, Tesla stock popped 1.9% to 610.12, reclaiming its 200-day line. TSLA stock remains below its sliding 50-day line.

RH Stock

RH stock surged 16% to 707.14, rebounding from its 50-day line and breaking a trend line. The upscale furniture retailer reported booming earnings and revenue growth, guiding higher on sales and margins. RH stock is 8.1% above its 10-week line, so it’s actionable here. But investors could wait to see if it forms a handle. RH stock is on track to have a base with a 733.15 buy point after Friday.

Signet Stock

Signet stock vaulted from its 50-day line to a record high, clearing a flat base with a buy point of 68.39/68.46. Shares hit an intraday high of 74.80 but then slashed gains before rebounding somewhat. Signet stock closed up 14% to 69.58.

The relative strength line for SIG stock hit a new high. The RS line, the blue line in the charts provided, tracks a stock’s performance vs. the S&P 500 index.

Zscaler Stock

Zscaler stock popped 4.55% to 204.91, moving above a double-bottom buy point of 199.60, after hitting resistance multiple times at just below 200. The last time was on May 26, following strong Zscaler earnings. ZS stock broke a tiny trend line earlier in the week.

The RS line for Zscaler stock is off the February peak but is at a three-month high.

CrowdStrike Stock

CrowdStrike, another cybersecurity play with a similar chart to ZS, jumped 6.85% to 228.60, breaking past resistance right around 227. CRWD stock was actionable from a short trend line break; again, much like ZS stock. The official buy for CRWD stock is 251.38.

Adobe Stock

Adobe stock rose just over 4% to 535.52, a record close and clearing a 525.54 early entry in a nine-month consolidation. ADBE stock is 5.8% above its 10-week line, which can be an attractive buying area for Long-Term Leaders. But, Adobe earnings are due June 17, giving new investors little time build a cushion in ADBE stock.

The RS line for Adobe stock is trending higher again, but has fallen significantly since last September.

Google Stock

Google stock edged up 1.1% to 2,435.13, edging past a 2,431.48 buy point from a flat base. The RS line hit a record high along with GOOGL stock, giving the weekly MarketSmith chart a very bullish blue dot.

GME Stock

GME stock plunged 27% to 220.39. GameStop stock is now down 11% for the week despite rising in the prior three sessions.

Late Wednesday, GameStop topped earnings views and named two Amazon execs to be its CEO and CFO. But it also said it might sell 5 million shares of GME stock, at a time when investors are punishing stock offerings. GameStop also disclosed an SEC probe related to trading in the stock.

Executives also again didn’t take questions in a brief GameStop earnings call.

Other Meme Stocks

Clovis Health slumped 15% to 14.34 after reversing from record highs Wednesday to close down 24%. While CLOV stock hasn’t erased Tuesday’s 86% gap-up surge, it has fallen below that day’s low. So anyone who actually bought CLOV stock on Tuesday is now down.

AMC stock skidded 13% to 42.81. Since the wild June 2 gap up, AMC stock has remained within that day’s trading range.

WKHS stock slid 11%. BBBY stock fell 8%.

Most investors should avoid meme stocks. The wild moves offer the potential for huge gains but also massive losses. Given the weak fundamentals and often-poor company prospects, most of these stocks are likely to see huge declines over time.

But if you’re going to play meme stocks, buy them as they clear some plausible resistance on a chart. Do not chase them. Consider using options so you can size your potential loss up front. Consider at least partial profits quickly and be ready to cash out before seeing a massive gain turn into a loss.

Market Rally Analysis

The S&P 500 index finally moved above its early May peak to an all-time high, despite the late morning wobble. The Dow Jones and Nasdaq are closing in on record territory. The Russell 2000 is pulling back but after a strong run.

However, the S&P 500 has been nudging higher, not showing real power in the past couple of weeks. Tracking volume on the major indexes is tricky when meme stocks are in play, with CLOV stock trading more than 700 million shares on Tuesday.

But new buying opportunities continue to appear, as RH, Zscaler and even Adobe stock show. Some stocks rebounded bullishly from early losses, including Roblox (RBLX). Miners and many other stocks are quietly forming positive consolidations.

Chip-gear makers and many medicals had solid sessions.

But it’s still a tricky stock market rally.

Homebuilders are breaking down despite falling Treasury yields. Financials are struggling. After opening higher as the 10-year yield nudged up, they retreated once again as interest rates hit fresh lows.

The brutal sell-offs in CELH stock and others announcing and pricing share offerings is something to note. Sometimes, stocks quickly shake off share offering news, but not always. With a lot of new IPOs in recent months, investors have to be ready for share offerings and lock up expirations.


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What To Do Now

Buying as close to the buy point as possible, at least with your initial position, is crucial in the current market environment. As a stock gets extended, don’t chase it.

To avoid missing out, do your homework. Build up those watchlists, taking a closer look at a select handful of nearly actionable stocks. Stay engaged with the market, using alerts when possible to catch breakouts as they’re happening. That way, you can buy the right stocks at the right time.

Even if you do everything right, some of your buys are going to struggle or fail. The key is to keep those losses small.

Read The Big Picture every day to stay in sync with the market direction and leading stocks and sectors.

Please follow Ed Carson on Twitter at @IBD_ECarson for stock market updates and more.

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Florists gear up for mums


While the temporary lockdown and COVID-19 restrictions last year impacted some Geelong florists, Mr Collins still did quite well with online orders, according to Mr Pett.

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Best Beach Towel: Durable & Practical Beach Gear


Whether out for a spur-of-the-moment romp in the sand or planning your dream week-long beach vacation, chances are you haven’t given too much thought to your beach towels. To most people, what’s most compelling about a trip to the beach is the destination, not what you bring with you. But the right towel is an essential part of your beach gear strategy and can make a big difference when it comes to establishing a comfy home base for your fun in the sun. Whether you just want to show the sand who is boss or show off some personalized style to the whole world, the right towel is both a perfect and practical accessory for the summer. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of choices for the best beach towels that do the job and look good at the same time.

What to look for when choosing the best beach towels

Putting a little thought into your beach towel purchase goes a long way toward making your beach (or even just neighborhood pool) outing as hassle-free as possible. If you’ve ever spent a day at the water only to find your towel soaking wet and full of sand when you need it the most, then you know how disappointing it is. Picking a quick-drying towel long enough to fit your lounge chair or give you room to spread out on the sand can make a world of difference, and there are materials, size, weight, and thickness to consider, not to mention your budget. Lucky for you, we’ve soaked up the options and are ready to layout the best beach towels for every occasion.

Related: These beach umbrellas throw shade on the rest.

Avoid itchy annoyances with the best sand-free beach towel

There are plenty of beach towels that look pretty, but then there are some that actually do more than coordinate with your bathing suit. If you plan on being at the beach all day, choose the best sand-free beach towel to ensure you can dry off without leaving annoying patches of sand all over your wet skin. 

Sand-free beach towels use microfiber, which keeps sand (and other natural materials) from sticking. With a simple shake, you easily loosen all the sand on the towel and then dry off with a clean fabric. Microfiber has the added bonus of being quick-drying too, which makes this beach gear a perfect all-day companion.

Best sand-free beach towel: 4Monster Microfiber Beach Towel


Full Of Personality, Not Sand

This microfiber beach towel makes sure you can stay on the beach and it won’t stay on you. 4Monster

BUY NOW

Made of 100-percent microfiber with natural plant dyeing, these colorful, sand-free towels wick away moisture and shake away the sand. Soft and portable (they even come with their own 6 inches by 9 inches drawstring carrying bag), the best sand-free beach towels make sure nothing weighs you down on your getaway.

Personalized towels let you make a statement while staying dry

Let’s face it: We need to be practical, but it doesn’t mean we can’t look good in the process. Nothing screams your individuality better than personalized beach towels. Whether you choose the classic three letters of your first, middle, and last initials or go the longer, full name route, personalizing your towel brings a little bling to what is otherwise boring. 

Personalized beach towels not only make a statement at the pool or beach, but they also make perfect gifts. Whether it’s for your bridal party, your kids, or your friends, custom beach towels are both charming and practical.

Best personalized beach towels: Let’s Make Memories Customized Microfiber Beach Towel

Light blue beach towel with different writings on it

Emblazoned With Individuality

This personalized towel lets everyone know which spot is yours.
Let’s Make Memories

BUY NOW

Easily add your name to these personalized beach towels, which are ultra-absorbent, plush, and let everyone know this patch of sand is yours for the day. You don’t have to worry about someone confusing your towel with theirs, plus you have the added benefit of the ultra-fast-drying microfiber material.

Oversized beach towels wrap you up like a warm embrace

Most beach towels are around 30 inches wide by 60 inches long, which means unless you are shorter than five feet tall, you may not be able to stretch out entirely over your towel. If you like every square inch of your body to touch fabric, however, look for longer, oversized beach towels. A longer towel allows you to comfortably stretch out without laying your head in a mound of sand or on a germ-coated pool chair, plus it provides additional comfort when you’re resting.

Another benefit to oversized beach towels is the ability to wrap them around the entire length of your body. If you are visiting the beach on a cooler, blustery day, you’ll appreciate the added warmth from an oversized beach towel that wraps around you like a big hug from grandma. If you are a teenager or adult, look for sizes wider than 30 inches and longer than 60 inches, such as one that measures 40 inches by 72 inches in length. 

Best oversized beach towel: Welhome Cabana Beach Towel

These oversized beach towels offer numerous designs for those who are looking for larger beach essentials. Plus, the Turkish cotton makes them super thick and absorbent, providing comfort and coverage. Turkish cotton, grown exclusively in the Aegan Region, uses extra-long cotton fibers. This means your towel becomes even more soft, plush, and absorbent the more you wash it.

Love comfort? Here’s how to get in the thick of it

Choosing a thick beach towel is a little tricky, but can be done. On one hand, who doesn’t love a warm towel (again, think hugs from grandma). However, if you go too thick with a beach towel, it takes forever to dry, should it get a little wet. Cotton towels, both Turkish and velour styles, offer the softness and thickness you want and are relatively quick-drying. 

If you envision lying on your towel all day for sunbathing and need comfort, or like a little weight to yous, then choosing a thick beach towel combines the two seamlessly. You can also review the grams per square meter (GSM) to let you know how thick and “weighted” the towel feels. The higher the count, such as 450 GSM, the thicker and weightier the towel will feel.

Best thick beach towel: Great Bay two-pack 100-percent Velour Cotton Plus Towel

Stripped green and white beach towels

Like Your Favorite Blanket

These towels provide the warmth, softness, and thickness you crave, without taking forever to dry. Great Bay Home

BUY NOW

This two-pack of towels is 100-percent velour cotton, which means they are both soft, thick, and have the right amount of weight to them. Velour is a knit fabric, which means it’s woven with a loop pattern. You find this in everything from athleisure wear (hello, yoga pants!), to pillows and blankets, so you’re likely familiar with the comfortable feel.

Stay dry while staying within budget

One of the best aspects of buying a quality beach towel is you don’t have to spend a fortune to find one that works hard for you. This means you can plan to spend more on your day of enjoyment at the beach, pool, or by the lake, without having to invest in your beach gear. It’s possible for you to find all the qualities you want such as oversized, sand-free, quick-drying towels and still remain well within your budget.

Look for options where you get two or four towels in a pack; this way you get the most for your money since you’re essentially buying in bulk. And don’t worry, even though you’re paying less, you don’t have to skimp on coverage or absorbency. Many budget-friendly towels are made with the same microfiber or Turkish cotton you find with other pricey brands, but without the hefty price tag to go with it.

Best budget beach towel: Utopia Beach Towels

Stripped blue and white beach towels

Less Cash, More Coverage

These towels prove you don’t need to stretch your paycheck to get a decent beach towel. Utopia Towels

BUY NOW

The Utopia beach towels offer thick, absorbent, oversized Turkish cotton beach towels for a price far less than what you would expect to pay for this quality level. The towels are highly absorbent, yet offer lightweight coverage. They are also oversized, measuring 35 inches by 70 inches, which is several inches wider and longer than standard towels.

FAQ: people also ask

Are microfiber towels good for the beach?

Microfiber towels are a great choice for your beach essentials. Microfiber offers the benefit of sand not sticking to the towel easily, so that means all those annoying grains stay on the ground and not your wet skin. Plus, microfiber dries extremely quickly and absorbs water: all the qualities you could want.

What makes a good quality beach towel?

There are four main qualities to look for to find a beach towel that works for you.

  1. Materials: Whether you prefer cotton, which is soft and thick, or microfiber, which keeps sand away and is quick-drying, choose the towel with the material you prefer.
  2. Remain sand-free: Microfiber towels keep sand from sticking inside the fibers, which means you can dry off without feeling tiny grains all over.
  3. Quick-drying: When you are at the beach or pool all day long, choose quick drying so you can use it as much as possible throughout the day.
  4. Size: Will it cover you with both the length and width you need? Be sure to measure before you order those beach essentials so you get adequate coverage for your day in the water.

How do I choose a beach towel?

The easiest way to choose a beach towel is to review the material and size, whether it’s online or in-person. Yes, you definitely want it to look good too, but focusing on the construction of the towel is a better approach, versus solely choosing one based on color or design. Fortunately, numerous towels offer both quality and fun designs, giving you the best of both worlds. 

Related: Bringing gear near water? Here’s how to protect it.

The final word on choosing the best beach towels

A day by the water whether it’s the ocean, lake, pool, or spa requires little more than a willingness to relax and the best beach towels to keep you dry. The best are super absorbent, dry quickly after you use it, and maybe even show off a little of your personality. There are tons of affordable, fun options to choose from when it comes to this beach gear the hardest part will be deciding which cold beverage to enjoy while relaxing on your perfect beach towel.



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Cyclists gear up for Big Canberra Bike Ride




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Cyclists gear up for Big Canberra Bike Ride
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Racing ‘Queen’ and Top Gear star dies


Racing driver and Top Gear favourite Sabine Schmitz has died at the age of 51.

The Nurburgring’s most famous female driver — widely known as “Queen of the Ring” — lost her battle with cancer after more than three years with the disease, The Sun reported.

Paying tribute, a statement from the legendary German racetrack said: “The Nurburgring has lost its most famous female racing driver.

“Sabine Schmitz passed away far too early after a long illness. We will miss her and her cheerful nature. Rest in peace Sabine!”

Sabine, the only female winner of the 24 Hours of Nurburgring, became known to the general public after appearing on Top Gear from 2004 before joining the presenting team when Chris Evans took over the show in 2016.

Current host Paddy McGuinness paid tribute to the driver, describing her as “an amazing human being”.

“She gave me pointers on how to drive a Ferrari very fast and hunted me down in a banger race,” he tweeted.

“Brilliantly bonkers and an amazing human being! RIP the great Sabine Schmitz.”

Sabine, who became a professional driver in 1993, was first seen on British TV taking ex-Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson around the Nurburgring.

Meanwhile, Chris Evans also expressed his “shock” at her death on his Virgin radio show, recalling how she made him “throw up” during a speedy drive.

“It’s a shock to hear that she’s passed away. It’s really sad. She made me throw up!” he told listeners.

“On Daytona, the best bit on my time in Top Gear was the ad, the trailer for Top Gear where we managed to put together because Sabine is such a good driver, we spent some time in southern California together and she taught me how to drive, how to actually make a car fly around Daytona. But very very sad news that she’s passed away.”

Formula One paid tribute tweeting: “We are all deeply saddened to hear that Sabine Schmitz has passed away. An incredible talent and wonderful person who made us all smile. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this sad time.”

Sabine had co-presented German motoring show D Motor from 2006, frequently being set challenges behind the wheel.

She became known as “the fastest taxi driver in the world” after being one of two drivers who circled Nurburgring’s 20.8km track in BMW M5 “ring taxis”.

She has also featured on other driving shows such as Fifth Gear.

Sabine was diagnosed with cancer in 2017 and in summer 2020 the disease struck again, reported Autoblog.

She revealed her heartbreaking battle with cancer in a social media post explaining her absence from the Nurburgring Endurance Series with her team Frikadelli Racing.

“Dear friends of professional motorsport, many of you have probably wondered why I was on the list of participants on our Porsche in the NSL and then didn’t drive after all,” she wrote.

“I would like to provide enlightenment here, I think I owe it to my/our fans!

“Since the end of 2017, I have been fighting an extremely persistent cancer that has not been eliminated with the resources so far.

“It got a little better – but now it’s come back with full force.

“Now I have to draw all the strength and nerve to master the next powerful therapies … hoping something (good) will happen. So I say goodbye ‘probably’ for the first time this season.

“In addition, I would like to thank everyone for their help and support in my everyday life, and encouragement in writing!

“So sweethearts, now you have an update. Please stay healthy and cheerful, see you at the ‘Ring’.”

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission

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Sabine Schmitz: Former racing driver and Top Gear presenter dies aged 51


Sabine Schmitz, pictured in January 2020

Former Top Gear presenter Sabine Schmitz – famous for being the only woman to win the Nurburgring 24 Hours – has died aged 51.

Schmitz said last year that she had been diagnosed with cancer in 2017.

Schmitz had become synonymous with the Nurburgring Nordschleife, the 14-mile circuit in Germany that is renowned as the toughest in the world.

She won the 24-hour touring car race at the track twice, in 1996 and 1997, driving a BMW M3.

She became known as the “Queen of the Nurburgring” and estimated she had driven around the track more than 20,000 times.

Schmitz later gained acclaim for an appearance on Top Gear in 2004 in which she drove a van around the track, and subsequently became a presenter on the show alongside Chris Evans in 2016.

This Sunday’s episode of Top Gear will be dedicated to Schmitz, with Clare Pizey, executive producer, saying: “Sabine was a beloved member of the Top Gear family and presenting team since 2016, having first appeared on the show in 2004, and everyone who had the pleasure of working with her on the team is in shock at this news.

“Sabine radiated positivity, always wore her cheeky smile no matter how hard things got – and was a force of nature for women drivers in the motoring world.

“Like everyone else who knew her, we will truly miss her – Sabine really was one of a kind. Our thoughts are with her partner Klaus, who was always by her side and who we welcomed to Dunsfold many times, and her family in Germany.”

Top Gear presenter Chris Harris said Schmitz was a “wonderful, powerful, hilarious person” while the show’s former presenter Jeremy Clarkson paid tribute by tweeting she was “such a sunny person and so full of beans”.

Formula 1 said Schmitz was “a force of nature” who inspired “a new generation of motorsport enthusiasts”.



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Bike Commute Gear for Cold, Wet Weather


A bike commute is rarely glamorous. You pedal through swampy humidity, flogging winds, bone-chilling temps. But a few key pieces can make all the difference for maintaining miles during darker days, or converting new bike commuters into year-round riders.

 

 

We’ve put together a list of bike commute gear suitable for any skill level and region. These will cover you top to bottom—from a smart helmet to waterproof shoes. Word to the wise: Layer up if you live in colder climates with a sweat-wicking baselayer.

Courtesy Image

Bike Commute Gear to Weather Any Storm

1. Hudski Doggler / City

This versatile urban cruiser—featuring the same aluminum frame and carbon fork as Hudski’s other two Doggler models, designed for gravel and mountain riding—more than covers a bike commuter’s needs. The Sausalito, CA, startup brand loads it with technical riding components, a dropper seat post, and mounts galore for fenders, racks, and bottles.

[$1,999; hudskibikes.com]

Get it

 

Lazer Urbanize
Courtesy Image

2. Lazer Urbanize MIPS Helmet

If wearing a helmet feels dorky, a rad lid goes a long way. This MIPS helmet offers stylish protection (leather straps, LED taillight), plus a removable lens that reattaches via magnet. A winter kit plugs generous vents and provides over-the-ear warmth.

[$159.99; lazersport.us]

Get it

 

Velocio Stealth pants
Courtesy Image

3. Velocio Recon Stealth Pants

Don’t bother with protective over-pants; instead opt for a capable, water-resistant layer. These stretchy, durable, cool-weather pants have three zippered pockets for security in the saddle, plus reflective strips on the hems for extra visibility.

[$249; velocio.cc]

Get it

 

Ortlieb Commuter Pack
Courtesy Image

4. Ortlieb Commuter-Daypack High Visability

Winter warriors needing to protect their valuables can rely on this rugged, waterproof Cordura-fabric pack woven with reflective threads. Ventilated back padding and a removable laptop organizer seal the deal.

[$250; ortlieb.com]

Get it

DZR H2O
Courtesy Image

5. DZR H2O

Clip-clopping around in cycling shoes is never fun. Step into these full-grain leather sneakers instead, 100 percent waterproof with a reflective heel badge. The soles are compatible with SPD cleats, though gummy enough to stick to flat pedals.

[$189; dzrshoes.com]

Get it

7mesh Copilot Jacket
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6. 7mesh Copilot Jacket

Crafted from waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex Paclite, this cycling rain shell is slight enough to pack away into its own stash pocket. The wide hood with three-way cinching easily accommodates a helmet, and the dropped-back hem prevents tire spray from soaking your backside.

[$250; 7mesh.com]

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Endura Gloves
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7. Endura Windchill Gloves

These weather shields have windproof and water-resistant (and stretchy) rear panels to prevent cruel, cutting winds generated by riding from turning bare hands to icicles. The ergonomic design boosts handlebar grip with silicon ridges and gel padding.

[$48; endurasport.com]

Get it

 


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Top tips for priming fishing gear before barra season



There’s plenty to do while you wait for the skies to clear and barramundi season to open if heavy rain isn’t your ideal fishing weather.

Tackle World Mackay salesman Nathan Edwards suggested starting with your rods and reels.

“Check there’s nothing damaged or broken,” Mr Edwards said.

“Check your runners and the inserts.

“They can be replaced with just a bit of patience.”

He said fixing new runners with binding and epoxy glue would keep your rod in good repair and work out much cheaper than buying a new one.

“With reels, you want to check and make sure they’re in workable using order, that it’s free to wind and that your braid or mono’s in good nick,” Mr Edwards said.

“You can wash them down with some warm soapy water and give them a light brush down. ”

He said seized bearings could be ordered and replaced.

“But if you’re not up to fully pulling your reel apart, just a bit of reel oil on the moving parts, on your bearings, on the parts you can reach, like on your oil roller.

“Reel oil is a couple of dollars.”

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Redthroat emperor fish return to ‘very healthy’ levels

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Now is also a good time to work out your rigs in time for barramundi season opening on February 1.

“Make sure your treble hooks are up to standard or sharp enough,” Mr Edwards advised.

“They can be replaced quite easily.”

He said anyone looking to try a new set up were welcome to go down to the shop at 318 Shakespeare St, Mackay for advice.

Mr Edwards said the team could also help out with replacing parts on rods and reels.

 

Central Coast and Whitsundays Forecast:

Friday: Cloudy. Very high (95%) chance of showers. A thunderstorm likely, with heavy falls possible about the coast and ranges, depending on the development and movement of the coastal trough. Light winds becoming easterly 15 to 25 km/h in the morning. Overnight temperatures falling to the low to mid 20Cs with daytime temperatures reaching around 30C.

Saturday: Cloudy. High (80%) chance of showers. The chance of a thunderstorm. Heavy falls possible about the coast and ranges, depending on the development and movement of a coastal trough. Winds east to south-easterly 25 to 35 km/h. Overnight temperatures falling to the low to mid 20s with daytime temperatures reaching the mid to high 20Cs.

Sunday: Cloudy. Medium (60%) chance of showers. The chance of a thunderstorm. Moderate to heavy falls possible about the coast and ranges north of Sarina, depending on the development and movement of a coastal trough. Winds east to south-easterly 25 to 35 km/h. Overnight temperatures falling to the low 20Cs with daytime temperatures reaching the mid to high 20Cs.

 

And your BOM coastal waters forecast for Mackay from Bowen to St Lawrence:

Friday:

Winds: East to north-easterly 10 to 15 knots shifting east to south-easterly 15 to 20 knots early in the morning and increasing to 20 to 25 knots by midday. Winds reaching up to 30 knots south of Mackay in the evening.

Seas: 1 to 1.5m, increasing to 2 to 3m during the morning.

Swell: Easterly below 1m.

Saturday:

Winds: East to south-easterly 20 to 25 knots, reaching 25 to 30 knots from late morning.

Seas: 1.5 to 2.5m.

Swell: Easterly around 1m offshore.

Sunday:

Winds: Southeasterly 20 to 25 knots, reaching up to 30 knots at times.

Seas: 1.5 to 2.5m.

Swell: Easterly below 1m inshore, increasing to 1 to 1.5m offshore.

 

Mackay’s tide times:

Friday: Low tide of 1.09m at 12.23am, high tide of 4.97m at 5.68am, low tide of 1.64m at 1.08pm, high tide of 4.8m at 6.57pm.

Saturday: Low tide of 0.9m at 1.24am, high tide of 5.38m at 7.50am, low tide of 1.38m at 2.17pm and high tide of 4.79m at 8pm.

Sunday: Low tide of 0.74m at 2.20am, high tide of 5.74m at 8.45am, low tide of 1.14m at 3.18pm and high tide of 4.79m at 8.59pm.

 

More Mackay fishing stories:

Goodbye 2020, hello east coast black jewfish season

WANTED: Fishers to report sightings of female mud crabs

MACKAY FISHING: Making it fun with the kids in tow

 

BOM’s coastal waters forecast for the Whitsundays from Cardwell to Bowen:

Friday:

Winds: Variable about 10 knots becoming north-easterly 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon.

Seas: Below 1m.

Swell: Easterly below 1m.

Saturday:

Winds: East to south-easterly 10 to 15 knots, increasing to 15 to 20 knots east of Cape Bowling Green. Offshore winds tending east to north-easterly 10 to 15 knots.

Seas: Around 1m.

Swell: Easterly below 1m.

Sunday:

Winds: East to south-easterly 10 to 15 knots, increasing to 15 to 20 knots southeast of Cape Bowling Green and reaching up to 30 knots at times in the afternoon and evening. Inshore afternoon sea breezes east to north-easterly 10 to 15 knots.

Seas: 1 to 1.5m, increasing to 1 to 2m during the afternoon.

Swell: Easterly below 1m, increasing to 1 to 1.5m outside the reef.

 

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Finally, the Whitsundays’ all-important tide times:

Friday: Low tide of 0.61m at 12.15am, high tide of 3.26m at 6.56am, low tide of 1.19m at 12.58pm and high tide of 3.05m at 6.49pm.

Saturday: Low tide of 0.48m at 1.08pm, high tide of 3.6m at 7.54am, high tide of 1.03m at 2.09pm and high tide of 2.99m at 7.51pm.

Sunday: Low tide of 0.38m at 1.58am, high tide of 3.87m at 8.45am, low tide of 0.89m at 3.06pm and high tide of 2.93m at 8.47pm.



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WHO and China gear up for coronavirus probe: Five things to know


SHANGHAI — The World Health Organization is expected to dispatch a team of international experts to China in January to investigate the origins of COVID-19.

Beijing has long deflected allegations that it hid information about the virus, which was first reported in the city of Wuhan on Dec. 8, 2019. The government has also resisted calls for an independent international inquiry into the source of the pandemic, though it has been willing to work with the WHO to some degree.

A two-member advance team from the United Nations agency visited China for three weeks in the summer, though they did not visit Wuhan, drawing criticism from some quarters. The WHO said the trip was simply for laying the groundwork for a proper investigation.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman on Thursday would not confirm the upcoming visit, saying only that Beijing would cooperate with the WHO’s “global origin-tracing.”

Much about the probe remains up in the air, but here are five things to know.

What’s the objective?

Many of the first reported cases of COVID-19 were traced to people who had visited the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan. Early on, experts suspected the virus may have jumped to humans from bats.

A year later, the bat theory looks far from certain, and most scientists dismiss other speculation, such as the suggestion that a government lab in Wuhan was the real source. The fact is that experts remain unsure exactly what caused the pandemic that has resulted in nearly 75 million cases and 1.6 million deaths worldwide as of Friday.


A boarded-up entrance to the Huanan wet market, where the coronavirus is believed to have first surfaced: How the virus got there remains a mystery.

  © Reuters

The Global Times, a Chinese state media outlet, covered the planned WHO mission on Wednesday. Its report said that “the international team will conduct studies to better understand how the virus might have started circulating in Wuhan, and these studies include in-depth reviews of hospital records for cases compatible with COVID-19 before December 2019.”

The same report said the WHO intends to map traffic and items traded at Huanan and other markets last year, “including types of animals and stalls.”

Who are the experts?

The full roster of visiting researchers is not yet known. But the Global Times said it will be a team of 10, including Fabian Leendertz, a biologist from the Robert Koch Institute — Germany’s national disease control and prevention center.

Reuters quoted Thea Fisher, a team member from Denmark, as saying that the researchers will be in China “just after New Year” for a six-week period, including two weeks in quarantine upon arrival.

Where will they go?

Reports suggest the team will visit Wuhan, among several other cities, but neither the WHO nor China has revealed the official itinerary. “WHO continues to contact China and to discuss the international team and the places they visit,” Babatunde Olowokure, the WHO’s regional emergencies director in the Western Pacific, told reporters on Thursday, according to Reuters.

Since the government ended the strict lockdown in Wuhan on April 8, China has seen intermittent outbreaks nationwide. About 15 districts in Heilongjiang, Inner Mongolia, Sichuan and Xinjiang are currently designated as mid-level risk zones due to recent infections.

Beijing and Shanghai have also seen new local cases involving people who came into contact with imported frozen food.


People dance at a Wuhan park on Dec. 11: Life in the city and much of China has returned to normal in many ways, though the country still sees sporadic coronavirus cases.

  © Reuters

Why now?

China is still hounded by questions over how it handled the outbreak in the beginning. Australia and the U.K. are among the countries that want an independent inquiry with access inside China, a request Beijing has rejected.

Australia’s push for an investigation, in particular, is seen as at least one of the reasons its relationship with China has dramatically deteriorated this year.

The WHO, which initially praised Beijing for its handling of the pandemic, also came under attack from U.S. President Donald Trump for being “China-centric.” Trump went so far as to announce a decision to stop funding the organization and formally withdraw — a move U.S. President-elect Joe Biden has vowed to reverse after he takes office in January.

The WHO’s representative in China did concede to the BBC that there were “shortcomings” in handling the pandemic during the early days. Both may be keen to ease the pressure, and perhaps find some vindication. But the biggest reason to probe the origins of COVID-19 is to prevent another global health catastrophe.

“It’s really not about finding a guilty country,” Leendertz was quoted as saying by The Associated Press. “It’s about trying to understand what happened and then see if based on those data, we can try to reduce the risk in the future.”


A packaging facility of China’s Sinovac Biotech: President Xi Jinping has vowed to make Chinese coronavirus vaccines a “global public good.”

  © Reuters

What are the broader implications?

The team of international experts has a rare chance to connect the dots and answer the myriad questions raised by scientists around the world about how this disaster started.

Showing it is open and cooperative could also help China’s credibility at a time when it aims to supply millions — perhaps billions — of coronavirus vaccine doses to the world.

There were 52 COVID-19 vaccine candidates under clinical evaluation as of Dec. 10, with five Chinese options going through late-stage Phase 3 trials.

Three major Chinese drug companies have secured global orders for at least 416.6 million doses, some of which will be designated as aid to developing countries.





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