Tornado Trampoline Trouble

The Australian crew hit a little measurement difficulty, Ed Gorman reports from Sydney

Wednesday September 13th 2000, Author: Ed Gorman, Location: United Kingdom
Measurement at the Olympic yachting venue at Rushcutter's Bay in Sydney has so far gone without a major controversy - at least, nothing to rank with the exclusion of Stig Westergaard's Soling at Savannah four years ago, which effectively scuppered the Dane's regatta.
However, the Australian medal contenders in the Tornado catamaran class, Darren Bundock and John Forbes, have fallen foul of ISAF's chief measurer, Jean-Pierre Marmier. Marmier has said the unusual plastic-coated trampoline between the hulls on their yacht is illegal.

The ruling, which the Australians are appealing, says the Aussies have installed what is effectively a net with holes in it which are too wide. This might make the boat more efficient, allowing water and wind to pass
through the trampoline more easily, making it easier to keep the cat on an even keel.

The Australians won the class world championships two years ago and are strong medal contenders in Sydney. They have pointed out to ISAF in their appeal that rule 10a which relates to the trampoline, is in fact ambiguous and careful reading of it could establish that all the conventional trampolines on Tornadoes are illegal as well.

Forbes, who lists having "sex before sailing" under the category "superstition, ritual or belief" in his official Olympic biography, has said they will appeal to the International Jury on the matter if they do not succeed in persuading ISAF of their case. However, if worse comes to worse, Bundock and Forbes may well have to install a conventional trampoline and re-submit their boat for measurement in time for Sunday's first race.

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