Editor's letter January 2000

I must confess to being a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to counting up to a thousand, so although I’m almost certainly the only editor on the planet not taking this opportunity to hail the dawn of the new millennium, it nevertheless gives me great pleasure to welcome you to this first issue of the last year of the old one.

It’s January, obviously, or it will be soon, and that means just one thing: the corridors and escalators of the London Underground choked with garish oilskins. For those of us old enough to remember flares the first time round it can come as a surprise to find that youthful trend-setters have co-opted the Helly Hansen look and turned it into sharp streetwear, but that’s what they’ve done. So the sight of thousands of grizzled, yet strangely fashionable carbon-based life-forms blundering about on the Piccadilly Line can send even the hippest of the capital’s youth into paroxysms of confusion and self-doubt. It’s not often that you can get one over on a know-all 19-year-old, even by accident – so wear your oilies with pride. Check out our Earls Court – it promises to be a memorable boat show.

The biggest boat there, as it happens, will be Sunseeker’s state-of-the-art Predator: 75ft, triple 1,300hp V12s, 40 tons and 40 knots. Nearly 60 years ago the state of the art in British boatbuilding had reached a remarkably similar point. At 71ft 6in, triple 1,250hp V12s, 40 tons and 40 knots MGB 81 is the prime example, and you can read all about her past, present and future.