Sailing: Spaniard thrown out of regatta

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The Independent Online
The tangled web of deception and recrimination which has plagued the Glenfiddich Gold Cup in Barcelona has been partly cleared up after a disciplinary hearing threw the Spanish competitor Jordi Blanc out of the regatta and reported him to his national governing body under the rarely used Rule 75 that covers gross misconduct and bad sportsmanship.

Blanc admitted he was responsible for forging a letter and crew signatures from another Spanish competitor, Jose-Martinez Doreste, which accused the international jury of bias against the Spanish boats in the Melges 24 Grand Prix. A further Rule 75 hearing was arranged to investigate the role of one of Doreste's crew, Xavi Cardell, but this was withdrawn. Blanc insisted he was solely responsible for the letter, which the jury found offensive.

The five-man international jury, headed by Spain's Jose-Maria de Bareno, disqualified three Spanish boats in the Melges 24 Grand Prix but they stressed that they also similarly disqualified two British boats and a Norwegian.

John Merricks and Ian Walker, Britain's Olympic silver medallists, were leading the regatta right up to the last race, where they posted an 11th. That handed Italy's Melges 24 European champion Giorgio Zuccoli his second Melges Grand Prix win out of the three qualifiers to find a European representative to take on the Americans at Key West in January.

Ian Renilson and Stuart Robertson won the Endeavour Trophy for national champions of various classes sailed in the RS 400 at Burnham.

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