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Four cheats in the wind

Cowes Week is usually the preserve of well-heeled yachting enthusiasts desperate to show off their skills on the water. But not last weekend, when teams of four from MM and a salmon-coloured down-market rival went head to head in a race arranged by Skandia to see which paper deserved to take the helm of the QE2 and which should skipper the Titanic.

The race began with MM streaking into a commanding lead (over their rival&#39s vessel, that is – there were around 40 other boats in the race). The gap continued to grow until near the end of the race, when it became clear that other competitors were retiring because they thought they would not finish before the six o&#39clock deadline.

MM were delighted to finish soon after but were amazed to see their rivals clutching the trophy like greedy schoolchildren on returning to Skandia&#39s base on Cowes. As they had been miles (and miles) behind, they had decided to retire around an hour before the race finished (just like on press days) and head straight back to base, where they were falsely presented with the winner&#39s prize.

Although the race was eventually declared void, we are expecting the sneaks to send us the trophy in recognition of our moral victory to avoid handbags at 50 paces. Although the Diary is sure we would win that, too.

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