THE emails are starting to come in thick and fast, peddling weird and wonderful offers for the annual Cowes week sailing regatta in August.<br /><br />Given the fact that a headline sponsor has yet to be found to replace Skandia, which pulled out last year, you get the distinct feeling that this year’s Cowes will be a bit of a threadbare affair – from £10 sailing packages to an online petition for cash donations to rescue the regatta’s traditional firework display from oblivion.<br /><br />And if any perky seamen thought they’d be in for some adult entertainment to dull the pain, they’ve got another thing coming. Last year, Adam Gosling, the son of NCP car parks tycoon Sir Donald Gosling, put on a special evening at his Waterside Pub, where a troupe of gorgeous girls from a local lap dancing club turned up to entertain the lucky guests.<br /><br />But I hear that Gosling Jnr has recently tied the knot with Olympic sailing gold medallist Sarah Webb, casting doubt on the chances of a repeat performance this time around.<br /><br />“I’m really not sure,” sniffs a spokeswoman, “but it was initially supposed to be a one-off project for Cowes last year, and I suspect that will turn out to be the case.”<br /><br />Spoilsports.<br /><br /><strong>CITY TALENT</strong><br />The spring certainly returned to the City’s step yesterday morning as swooning businessmen pored over our rundown of the ten loveliest ladies the business world has to offer.<br /><br />As with the list of the City’s hunkiest gentlemen last week, the emails flooded in with messages of thanks and requests for The Capitalist to start up a dating service (duly noted, in case of a dearth of career opportunities in the future).<br /><br />Luckily, consensus went with the City A.M. judging panel on the verdict, which placed the beautiful Sarah Davison from RBS Sempra Metals in the top spot.<br /><br />“The ladies are all lovely,” wrote in one smitten reader, “but Sarah Davison must have been a pretty tough act to follow!”<br /><br />We rest our case.<br /><br /><strong>ROAD WARS</strong><br />Stop press; there’s a good old-fashioned activist in the City’s midst.<br /><br />Ted Reilly, an unknown figure until now, has been lobbying the City of London’s Streets and Walkways Sub Committee for some time now, and finally submitted an official report about his chosen bugbear at a meeting last week. Apparently, the City’s tally of road casualties is rising uncontrollably and has overtaken Westminster as having the most dangerous roads in the country, particularly for pedestrians and cyclists – though whether it’s the result of stress-related road rage or the flood of disgraced ex-bankers rushing to leave the Square Mile, The Capitalist really couldn’t say. Thank goodness dear Reilly is fighting the corner on our behalf.<br /><br /><strong>SPITTING IMAGE</strong><br />Oh, to be a fly on the wall today inside the offices of the most powerful men in the City, where several surfaces might well be sporting a new adornment.<br /><br />Those kind folk at the British Bankers Association thought it would be a good idea to pander to the vanity of their distinguished conference speakers yesterday by giving them all personalised presents. (Hence the caricaturist seated in the front row, scribbling away furiously in order to present Stephen Green, Paul Tucker, Adair Turner, Peter Sands and co. with their likenesses after the speeches.)<br /><br />But though most were happy to laugh off the exaggerated resemblances, a few broke out into a thinly-veiled cold sweat.<br /><br />“If I’d have known, I’d have got a haircut,” muttered Peter Sands, the chief executive of Standard Chartered, while the FSA’s Adair Turner remarked drily: “I hope it’ll be pretty.” I’m sticking to a diplomatic no comment.<br /><br /><strong>IDENTITY CRISIS</strong><br />Has Ian Pegler, the jovial boss of newly-revamped trucker breakfast chain Little Chef, found his true calling in life?<br /><br />Pegler recently turned heads with his performance on Channel 4 documentary “Big Chef, Little Chef”, where he worked alongside Heston Blumenthal on an overhaul of the chain’s menu. Fast forward a couple of months, and he’s now working on a spin-off programme from the show, to be named something utterly mundane like “Big Boss” or “Pegler’s About”.<br /><br />Unfortunate, then, that the first round of publicity for the show is accompanied by an untimely blooper.<br /><br />“Ian Pegler doing his own thing is a bit like Kramer becoming a massive standalone success after Cheers,” a spokesperson is quoted as saying. “It will be less emphasis on the food, and more about how to make your business a success.”<br /><br />Kramer? Shouldn’t that be Frasier?<br /><br /><strong>LIGHT RELIEF</strong><br />Browsing the shelves looking for relaxing beach reads yesterday, The Capitalist couldn’t help but recall some well-meaning recent advice published in Financial News’ Fund Management Quarterly report. In it, a number of investment chiefs were asked to reveal their summer reading tips, though exactly how beach-worthy much of it was is subject to debate.<br /><br />Take Helena Morrissey, the chief executive of Newton Capital Management, for example, whose top picks were “Lecturing Birds on Flying: Can Mathematical Theories Destroy the Financial Markets?” and “Transcendental Realism: The Image-Art of Egoless Coincidence with Reality Itself”. Someone bring that lady a sun lounger, sharpish.