FIA Middle East Rally Championship – Kuwait

Posted by Mark

rallykuwait

I just found out about this and will be adding it to the list of things to do this weekend. Following the opening round held in Qatar, the FIA Middle East Rally Championship continues this weekend in the Kuwaiti desert. 33 competitors will be fighting for victory in the second round of the FIA Middle East Rally Championship. If you’re interested in checking them out they’ll be starting off today from the SIRBB Circuit. Entry is free but there are limited seats.

Leg 1, Super Special Stage:
Date: Thursday, 20 March 2014
Time: 6PM
Location: SIRBB Circuit [Map]

For the rest of the schedule click [Here]


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I Wing Walked!

Posted by Mark

wingwalk1

This past Saturday, the Breitling Wingwalkers performed a show at Marina Crescent which everyone on the ground got to enjoy. A day earlier though on Friday, the Breitling Wingwalkers invited 6 people to experience wing walking and I was lucky enough to be one of them.

I headed to Sheikh Saad Terminal early Friday morning where the Breitling Wingwalkers were waiting for us. Me and another person were part of the first team that would fly out that day and I was extremely excited. It was a warm morning but we were told to bring a light sweater or jacket since it would be cold up in the air and we were also told not have anything on us, no phones, no wallets not even a watch. After getting a short briefing we headed towards the runway where the two beautiful biplanes were waiting for us.

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A wing walker nicknamed ‘Bird’ was my guide that morning. First thing she had to do was show me how to get on top of the plane which wasn’t as difficult as I was expecting it to be. Once we were on top I had to put goggles on and then get strapped into a standing seat before she proceeded to give a set of instructions like if I wanted the pilot to land what hand signals I needed to give or in case of emergency how to unfasten the strap quickly.

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After waiting on the tarmac around 10 minutes we got the go ahead from the Kuwait Airport control tower to take off and we proceeded to the runway. Being strapped on top of a plane while going down an airport runway is an experience by itself. You really don’t realize how long and wide the runway is when you’re cooped up inside a plane, but when you’re sitting on top of one it’s just mind boggling. It’s why all car shows take the fast cars to airport runways for straight line speed test, it’s kinda like an infinitely straight 12 lane highway and it’s all yours.

The two planes stopped for a bit on the runway before hitting full throttle and and taking off a few seconds right after. First thing I noticed was the amount of wind that started hitting me, it was insane, my cheeks were flapping and if I opened my mouth a bit it would just fill up with air instantly. There was so much wind resistance I have no idea how the girls perform all the stunts on top of the plane. They make it look really easy that’s for sure.

We spent around 10 to 15 minutes circling the airport and the airports vicinity while the two biplanes flew in tandem. I kinda wished I had my phone with me so I could instagram live from the sky like when I went paragliding in Lebanon and powered paragliding here in Kuwait but with the amount of wind hitting me the phone would most likely have flown out of my hand. I didn’t find the experience scary at all and actually wished they had performed some loops with us even though they had told us they wouldn’t.

It all felt very casual as I was experiencing it and it only hit me yesterday when they sent me the photo of me on top of the plane in the sky taken by their photographer did I realize wow, I was on top of a motherfucking plane! Definitely a once in a lifetime experience and I’m so glad and appreciative that I got to experience this.


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UFC Fight Pass now available in Kuwait

Posted by Mark

fightpass

For those of you who are UFC fans, this past Thursday the UFC Fight Pass became available in 178 countries one of which is Kuwait. This means you can now sign up to it and watch some of their live events like the Alexander Gustafsson vs. Jimi Manuwa which takes place later today. Keep in mind not all UFC events will be available on UFC Fight Pass so it’s not an alternative to Abu Dhabi Sports. Here is the link if you want to sign up to Fight Pass [Link]


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Dog Boarding in Kuwait

Posted by Mark


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SPARK Athletic Center

Posted by Mark

spark1

There are new gyms opening all the time in Kuwait and most of them don’t usually interest me but, when Abdulmohsen Al-Babtain (of Sidekick Academy) emailed me about a new gym he was opening called SPARK, I knew there was going to be something different about it. Actually I really shouldn’t be calling it a gym because it’s more than a gym which is why they prefer to use the term athletic center.

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When you first walk into SPARK there’s a small fitness store on the ground floor with stairs on the side leading you up to the main floor of the gym. I met Abdulmohsen on the lower level and followed him up the stairs to the main floor. I was expecting it to be a small specialized gym similar to the two gyms I’m currently enrolled in, Core Fitness and Circuit+ but when I got to the main floor I was shocked. The place was huge, 2,400m2 huge. I got introduced to the head coach right away who took me on a tour of the space. The majority of the space looks very similar to your everyday gym, they had a TRX station right at the start and tons of cardio machines on the far right. Then from one end of the gym to the other they had top of the line Hoist and Bilt fitness equipment followed by a small room at the very end for spinning classes.

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But, where things get more interesting was a space in the back corner that occupied around 25% of the gym floor. The space is surrounded by a high black metal fence with a large sign outside saying no one can enter without a coach. Behind the black fence is over 400 square meters of professional indoor turf, the only indoor training ramp of its kind in the world, two 50-meter sprint lanes, a sand pit for simulating training on the beach and a corner with four Woodway super treadmills, one of which can hit can hit 40 km/h.

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Finally theres a small room also at the back which they call the SPARK LAB. The lab contains a bunch of scientific equipment that can perform functional screening tests, body composition tests, wingate anaerobic capacity tests and full metabolic testing. One of the equipment is called Bod Pod and is used to calculate your body composition. It’s one of the most accurate ways of measuring your body fat percentage, around 8% more accurate than skinfold calipers. I got to try it out during my full physical assessment and after sitting in the pod for a few minutes the machine printed out numbers that included my body fat percentage, my Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) and Total Energy Expenditure (TEE). Turns out if I sit on my computer all day I can burn 2,246 calories or up to 3,649 with very high activity. Pretty cool.

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Now the reason I found the gym interesting is because instead of just focusing on muscle gain or weight loss, they’re focusing on athletic performance. They’ve brought in coaches from around the world (one was a Florida Gator coach) and they want to help improve athletes in Kuwait from runners and basketball players to wannabe Olympians. For example I could go to them and tell them I want to improve my sprinting speed or I want to be able to jump higher and they’ll help me achieve my goal.

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The gym is already open and their prices start at KD70 a month which is very reasonable. They also have personal training but that would cost an additional KD20 per session or as low as KD15 depending on how many sessions you would be taking. It’s a mens only gym but they are opening a women’s gym in the coming month or two and it’s going to be even larger at 3,600m2, have more facilities and will be located in KIPCO Tower in Kuwait City.

SPARK is located in Shuwaikh right on top of where Shuwaikh Market is [Map] and for more information you can call them on 22282058.


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Kuwait welcomes Luiz Felipe Scolari

Posted by Mark

ilovekuwaithismuch

The manager of the Brazilian football team has joked that if Brazil doesn’t win the World Cup this summer he’s going to move to Kuwait and seek political asylum. I think that would be a fantastic idea and while he’s here maybe he could help out the Kuwait football team. [Article]


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How to watch the Sochi Winter Olympics

Posted by Mark

sochi

The Sochi Winter Olympics starts later tonight and if you live in the Middle East then you have two ways of watching it.

OSN
If you’re an OSN subscriber you’ll be glad to know that OSN signed a last minute deal to get the rights to broadcast the games. They’ll be broadcasting them over 4 channels – OSN Sports 1 HD, OSN Sports 2 HD, OSN Sports 3 and OSN Sports 4. They will be in HD and have Dolby Digital sound. [Source]

Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU)
If you don’t have an OSN subscription you should still be able to watch the Winter Olympics although not as conveniently (OSN have a TV Guide). The ASBU also acquired the rights to broadcast the 2014 Winter Olympics. According to the ASBU website, Kuwait Television is part of the ASBU group of channels so although I don’t have the KTV schedule I’m guessing they’ll be broadcasting some of the games on the sports channel. If not there are a host of other countries from the Middle East that are part of the ASBU and they all don’t require any subscription. Get the full list [Here]

I’m personally going to mostly be watching curling and luge but the whole schedule of games is available on the Sochi [Website]

Update: According to a reader you can also watch the games on Abu Dhabi Sports.


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2014 ITTF World Tour Kuwait Open

Posted by Mark


[YouTube]

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Tour Kuwait Open is taking place in just over a week from February 12th to February 16th. Last year I complained on the lack of publicity for this event and if it wasn’t for a reader who emailed me awhile ago I wouldn’t have found out about it this year as well. Last year I actually only found out about the tournament when the video above of the trick shot started making its rounds across the internet after the tournament was over.

This years tournament is supposed to be the biggest ever for Kuwait with a total of 243 players from 33 national associations taking part [Source]. It is the biggest entry ever received for the Kuwait Open which was first staged in February 2006. Yet for some odd reason there isn’t any publicity or at least I haven’t seen or heard anything about it. I couldn’t even find out where the games will be playing, what the schedules are and where we could get tickets from. So if anyone has this information please share it.

Thanks Francis


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Where to watch the Super Bowl?

Posted by Mark

A reader emailed me asking me if there was a place that was showing the Super Bowl and since I don’t know of any I figured I ask my readers. Where can one watch the Super Bowl in Kuwait


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UFC coming back to the region

Posted by Mark

ufcabudhabi

For those of you who are UFC fans you’ll be glad to know that the UFC is planning to come back to Abu Dhabi sometime this year. No exact date has been announced yet but my guess is sometime end of the year. The last UFC fight that was held in the region was back in 2010. [Article]

Since we’re on the subject, in case you missed my old post there’s a Kuwaiti MMA manager that manages a bunch of UFC fighters including Michael Bisping, Matt Mitrione, Uriah Hall, Ross Pearson and Conor McGergor among others. Check out my old post on him [Here]

Update: It’s just been announced, UFC is going back to Abu Dhabi on April 11 and will be headlined by Roy Nelson vs. Antonio Nogueira


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