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Nicky Haslam's 6 favourite sailing memories

Nicky Haslam's 6 favourite sailing memories

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Sailing the Med on board Tartar

My first experiences of actual grand seafaring were summer weeks spent on newspaper proprietor Seymour Camrose and Joan Aly Khan’s twin-screw ketch, Tartar; loftily flying the White Ensign guaranteed a masthead ballet of dipped burgees, and possibly a welcoming gun-salute, in every port from Salonica to the Costa Smeralda, where Joan’s son, the Aga Kahn, had just unleashed his ocean-going Kalamoun, arrow-sleek and faster than the wind, on unsuspecting co-racers, while his torpedo-slim Shergar gurgled alongside.

And moored mountain-like nearby was Adnan Khashoggi’s Nabila (now Kingdom 5KR - pictured), the original superyacht, riveting for having an “auxiliary potato-peeler” button in the vast galley and a handful of yawning young, hired to get up and dance when anyone entered the strobe-pulsing onboard nightclub, whether at 9pm or 5am; to say nothing of a bizarre couple named Ricky and Sandra Portanova, who were docked – “parked up” would better indicate their gaudy galleon’s girth – in Monaco. Ricky, no stranger to a tot or two of rum, aroused the ire of Prince Rainier by frequently relieving himself on the steps of the Hotel de Paris, and the banished Portanovas had to high-sail it away to Morocco – “after all, that king lets you pee anywhere”, as Princesse de Polignac astutely commented.

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