ABERDEEN SETS SAIL FOR COWES IN STYLE

THE RECEIVED wisdom about sailing is that it is equivalent to “standing under a cold shower tearing up £20 notes”.

Make that “standing under a fire hydrant tearing up £50 notes” and the description is spot on, said double gold-winning Olympian Sarah Gosling, as she sheltered from the rain in Bow Churchyard outside Aberdeen Asset Management’s offices.

However, Gosling, brought in to front the fund manager’s three-year sponsorship of Cowes Week as its first ambassador, stressed sailing is “not a gin and tonic sport at all”. “Absolutely,” agreed Chris Ellyatt, the fund’s head of distribution and amateur sailor, who can often be spotted sailing dinghies in the wilds of “somewhere out by Heathrow” at the low-key Queen Mary Sailing Club.

Not quite at the level of super-yacht owners such as Microsoft founder Paul Allen, who owns the eight-level monster Octopus, or even Vincent Tchenguiz, who entertains aboard the 130-foot Veni Vidi Vici. “People think of sailing as a rich man’s sport but there is a broad spectrum,” admitted Ellyatt ahead of his week-long trip to Cowes, where he hopes to catch up with friends from Nomura, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse and Barclays aboard their – no doubt opulent – vessels.

MONEY FOR NOTHING
WHAT HAS Eric Daniels been up to since announcing his retirement as Lloyds Banking Group CEO last September?

Working flat-out in a special advisory role for the bank, which will run until his contract expires on 21 September.

Except, as chairman Sir Win Bischoff revealed at Lloyds’ annual results yesterday: “We have not yet had occasion to call on his advice.” Equally vague is where exactly Daniels is fulfilling this demanding schedule. “He’s in London, in one of our offices,” came Bischoff’s evasive reply.

At least there is a definite figure for how much Daniels (right) is being paid to sit in an unspecified central London location waiting for the phone to ring: £1,035,000. Nice “work” if you can get it.

HEIR TO BLAIR
DAVID Cameron’s yes-men have made much political stock of the Prime Minister’s time in the communications team at Carlton, holding it up as proof he can hack it in the working world.

The reality, says a TV insider, is that Cameron was rather “disconnected” in the role. Peter Rushton ran the PR operations for the front-facing Carlton TV when the PM worked at the broadcaster; Cameron worked on the corporate side handling PR for Carlton plc, where his sole purpose was to say “no comment”.

“That was his stock media response to everything: On Digital, Carlton’s balance sheets and [then executive chairman] Michael Green’s plans for the business,” said the mole, who has the princely wager of £1 riding on a general election being called by 2013. “He is a true heir to Blair.”

BUYERS AND CELLARS
DO YOU know your Chassagne Montrachet from your Chateau Leoville Barton? The Capitalist is pleased to offer readers the chance to win dinner for two at the next Wine Society dinner at 1 Lombard Street (above) on Monday 8 August, where sommelier Matthew Mawtus will open up the cellar he claims is “one of the largest in the City”.

All you have to do is to answer three questions, so here goes: “Mas de Daumas Gassac was established in the 1970s, and since then has come to be described by some as the Grand Cru of Languedoc. Where is Mas de Daumas Gassac?”

Question two: “What is the grape/grapes in a Blanc de Blancs Champagne?” And finally: “What does the term ‘cru’ relate to?”

The winner will also be invited with a guest to the next Wine Dinner on 19 September. Email entries by midday on Monday 8 August to el@jessen.co.uk