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YOURS truly was invited to join the Gray Page sailing team ( in this year's Fairplay Cup. We had thought we might do quite well this year; improving on 6th place last year was a reasonable prospect; we had an experienced competitive crew and we had not wrecked ourselves (entirely) on the rocks of lady alcohol at our pre-race supper.

Moreover, our one lady sailor, an experienced racer, had brought her own lubricant to ensure a satisfying result. She hopped around the boat squirting anything that moved and loosening anything and anyone who'd listen with a liberal spray of double entendres.

Three things scuppered our dreams. First, our boat had no rudder. Secondly, our boat had no rudder. Thirdly, OUR BOAT HAD NO RUDDER! Lubricant or no lubricant this was going to be a challenge.

Still, once again IHS Fairplay (that's what they're called now) put on a great day followed by dinner on board HMS Warrior

If you don't know this ship, check out the link – it's quite remarkable –

Overall winners on the day were …IHS Fairplay.

Cries of "fix" soon dissipated when the other competitors realised that the legal crew at HFW had finally been knocked off their perch.

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