Dammit, have missed a whole bunch of trains and won’t get into paint-fumed Stevenage till 9:45. so let’s use my new phone & type in about that sailing toff who, as wab  pointed out, fell at the first hurdle so avoided the hoodie sharks. Anyway, time for the Government response:

Critic lacks sense of adventurer

I was disappointed to read Terry Goldsmith’s charge that 67-year-old Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who has entered the Velux 5 Oceans solo round-the-world yacht race, is ’some Hooray Henry with more money than sense’ (Metro, Tue).

Robin started life as a deck officer in the Merchant Navy. He built his first boat in Bombay and sailed her back to Britain. He entered the first Golden Globe race, where he was the only person to finish.

Incidentally, he did patch up a hole (well, a seam between planks) using a length of canvas and Stockholm tar. He is heavily involved in the Sail Training Association, which gives opportunities for youths to sail on tall ships.

I suspect that Terry has a problem with sailing and holds the common misconception that it is a sport for posh idiots. In the interests of breaking down this prejudice, I invite him to come for sail on my boat. I point out that she is only 22ft (6.7m) long and cost one-twentieth the price of a Chelsea tractor. It will have to be next spring as she is laid up for the winter.

Roger Kynaston, London SE15

Or how about:

Knox-Johnston is taking on this challenge because he is a man enough to face the dangers of being alone at sea for months on end, unlike many of the excuses for men this country now produces.

No doubt, the only challenges Mr Goldsmith faces in life involves changing the ringtones on his mobile phone.

Graham Painter, London EC2

  1. Huzzar! I was mentioned :D

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