Richard Matthews is an iconic figure in British yachting circles. A competitive sailor at heart, he has won the East coast offshore championship six times, the inshore championship for the last three years, participated in 21 Fastnet races and spearheaded a British Ac syndicate. His first cruising yacht was a 39-foot ketch and at some stage he has owned every model in the Oyster range. He currently has a stable of around 15 yachts – although he regards it as vulgar to count – including kismit (a 50-foot Fife from 1898), Stella (a folkboat lookalike that has been in his family since 1965) and a 42-foot Irc carbon racer. He describes himself as a “roughty- toughty” sailor and his only concession to motorised propulsion is a 40-foot runabout, which he uses to zip around the waters near his home on Mersea Island in the Thames Estuary.

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