Column Eight: Getting sick of the sea

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The Independent Online
ROTHMANS is not backing a boat in the Whitbread round-the-world race though it came a creditable fourth in the previous one. The decision to back out was not entirely unconnected, they say down on the Hamble, with the fact that the boss's wife got seasick when she was taken for a sail round Fremantle harbour.

Perhaps that kind of scuttle- butt persuaded Bo Goranson, chairman of the quoted debt collector Intrum Justitia and a keen yachtsman with his own boat, to take pains to prove he wasn't just grinding his own winch when the firm decided to back a pounds 3m challenge in this year's Whitbread.

He stayed away from the meeting that took the decision.

CARLTON, the new London weekday television licensee, is not only advertising itself on London taxis by painting them in its pinkish-red colour but has also kindly installed a copy of the current edition of the Radio Times for the passenger.

By the middle of this week the magazine, which carries a sticker saying 'Please Do Not Remove', was still in place. Is this a new record?

MICHAEL Gifford, chief executive of Rank, was in two minds yesterday. He avowed Rank's film and television sides were not for sale, but admitted he would sell his grandmother at the right price.

'I had two grandmothers, but they are both dead. If anyone here wants to make me an offer, I will tell you where you can start digging.' Spades, we presume, will be provided.

WHILE THE insurance industry's reputation is deeper in the mire than for many a long year, at least someone thinks the Association of British Insurers is doing a good job. London and Manchester, the life and pensions group, has returned to the fold four years after quitting on the grounds that it offered poor value for money.

NEW YORK's commodity futures exchange, the Coffee, Sugar and Cocoa Exchange, is to trade futures and options contracts on cheddar cheese and non-fat dry milk.

The heavily regulated US dairy industry has been clamouring for a risk hedging tool as prices have become more volatile.

The new contracts will mean the exchange's larder will be stocked with nearly all the ingredients for a chocolate cheesecake.