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SALTY OLD SEADOG OF PROPERTY TAKES TO HIGH SEAS ONCE AGAIN

PROPERTY guru Mike Slade&rsquo;s firm Helical Bar might have crashed further into the red over the past year as its annual losses tripled, but it hasn&rsquo;t stopped the salty old seadog getting up to his usual tricks.<br /><br />Outside of the property world, the 61-year-old is best known for his passion for sailing, having racked up 12 world records so far with his 100ft super-maxi yacht ICAP Leopard, sponsored by billionaire Michael Spencer.<br /><br />Despite tough conditions over the weekend in the Isle of Wight, the yacht sped to victory yet again on Saturday in the JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, traditionally seen as the precursor to the Cowes week extravaganza in August, the biggest and best social event in the sailing calendar.<br /><br />&ldquo;Another year in the Round the Island Race, and another cracking race,&rdquo; says Slade. &ldquo;Obviously we would have preferred more breeze, to give us a chance of breaking our record from last year, but we had a great time and that&rsquo;s what counts.&rdquo;<br /><br />Nothing if not ambitious, is our veteran mariner &ndash; who&rsquo;ll be back down in Cowes in August for the Rolex Fastnet race and will then travel down to Australia to try and secure victory in the Sydney Hobart Race. <br /><br />His poor BlackBerry must be positively worn out with all this time out of the office.<br /><br /><strong>SPITTING IMAGE</strong><br />Here&rsquo;s a late entry for Sir Richard Branson&rsquo;s recent lookalike contest, which the Virgin tycoon set up to mark his airline&rsquo;s 25th birthday.<br /><br />Patrick O&rsquo;Hara, the proprietor of the Coral Reef Club in Barbados, was nominated in the competition by a group of his high-flying patrons from the business world, who urged him to grow a fetching goatee simply for the occasion.<br /><br />&ldquo;He&rsquo;s the spitting image &ndash; you&rsquo;d have thought Branson would have jumped to include him,&rdquo; one disgruntled pot-stirrer tells The Capitalist. &ldquo;But there&rsquo;s been no reply from the Virgin team and I&rsquo;m most put out.&rdquo;<br /><br />Any chance of a second round of prize-giving?<br /><br /><strong>KEEPING TRIM</strong><br />The Capitalist is sure City law firms can be stressful environments to work in at times, but do they really have to crack down on employees&rsquo; eating habits? Law funnies website RollonFriday has got hold of a copy of an email sent to staff at McGrigors on Thursday from one of the senior partners, in which the top dog in question is having a bit of a rant about making a good impression.<br /><br />But nestled in among the usual yak about dressing smartly is a bit of a surprise: a ban on &ldquo;grazing&rdquo; around the office, as well as on the surrounding streets.<br /><br />&ldquo;I have, in the last few days, seen staff walking into our building whilst actually eating!&rdquo; exclaims the nattily-dressed partner, in astonishment.<br /><br />At least the draconian measures should be good for keeping all those legal eagles in shape.