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LITIGATION AVERTED
Collins withdraws libel claim

Bridgton, ME (AP) Speaking at a hastily arranged press conference from the offices of his solicitors, Steele & Lye, Black Fly II Swarm G Champion Steve Collins announced that he will drop his claims for libel, emotional distress and loss of consortium against Black Fly Director Tommy Paul for his omission from the text of the Unauthorized and Unabridged Director's Report ("Fly II Sees Record Turnout").

"It's always the same thing with Tommy Paul," fumed Collins, "you ask for results and all you get are excuses. Does he really expect me to believe that Jayson Blair hacked into his computer and deleted all reference to me?"

"It's true," insisted Paul, counting the Regatta proceeds from the Blackjack Table at Foxwoods Casino. Just look at my hard drive. To prove his point Paul pulled the original text from the vest pocket of his tuxedo:

The star of Fly II, though, was Maine Rowing potentate Steve "Big Inboard" Collins. Sculling swiftly and smoothly in his sturdy Stampfli, Senesca Steve stroked the course in 30:34. With the MRA handicap his adjusted time for the four miles was 3:21. His fellow scullers lavished praise on Collins' cagey watermanship. "Awesome" said the taciturn Igor Miller. "Amazing", echoed Jeff Foltz, "he was sipping Pondicherry Merlot at the three mile mark as he passed me! "I want to have his baby," swooned Krissy Horn.

Paul declined comment on the terms of settlement but reliable sources who refused a breathalyzer test say that Paul has allowed Collins to claim not only the Swarm G prize but also the vacant Swarm A, B and D prizes citing US Rowing Rules of Rowing 4-104(b)(2). "I'd like to put all this behind me and dance with that pretty lady over there," said Paul nodding toward a leggy blond wearing 18 square inches of a Versace dress. "Excuse me."

As for the claim of emotional distress, Collins' solicitor Mr. Steele said, "Let's just say we didn't want to get too far into Steve's mental condition."

As for the loss of consortium claim, Lye said, "Paul was prepared to present witnesses to show Steve spent his evenings in the basement brewing hops and Pondicherry Merlot and his days shearing his neighbor's sheep."

Lest we forget our youth, the Female Pupae division - and the hope of the propagation of the species - was won by Krissy Horn at 35:57; and the Female Larvae Division was won by Sandra LaFlamme, daughter-in-law of the egg producer, who opted for the Maple Crunch in lieu of the eggs.

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