Oh no it's not


Earlier this month I wrote a story about the recently-restored Elf, pictured here, launched in 1888 and, according to her owner, the oldest existing racing boat in the world. Unless, that is, I wrote, you know better.

Reader Mark Thirkettle wrote in.
“Regarding oldest racing boat, I would think that the vintage gaff cutter “Partridge” from 1885 claims that by at least three years, unless they say, you know differently. She was designed by British civil engineer and marine architect, John Beavor-Webb (1849-1927).

“Maybe this will stir some more memories of older vessels built for racing. I do believe there will be much older craft which names’ surface, as if I recall correctly, there are Polynesian craft which were built for speed rather than trade a long time before this.”

Any higher bids?