Sailing Scenes is essentially me – David Harding. I'm a sailor, a journalist and a boat boat-tester for the yachting press. I'm also a photographer.
I have been kicking around in the boating world for a long time, doing various things including running a dinghy-sailing school, selling yachts and sailing across oceans before concentrating on yachting journalism and photography. That means I'm generally interested in the boats I'm photographing: they're more than just picture subjects. I might know something about them; I might have sailed one, know someone who owns one, or have a particular boat on my 'to be tested' list for forthcoming features. My journalistic work means I often photograph things that might not seem obvious (not all of which will end up on this site!).
Photographically I supply the yachting press and marine industry, through commissioned photo shoots and an extensive library. My photos have appeared on the covers of Yachting Monthly, Practical Boat Owner, Yachts and Yachting, Classic Sailor and Watercraft and inside others from Yachting World in the UK to Segeln in Germany and Sail in the USA. I have had photos in or on the covers of over 20 books.
Journalistically I have been writing for Practical Boat Owner (PBO) for over 25 years, 10 of them as Technical Editor. More recently I have also written for Yachting Monthly and Yachting World, testing a range of larger yachts up to 85ft. During this time I have built up an extensive network of contacts within the marine media and the industry as a whole. Although I can and do write about almost anything, my mainstay is boat testing – principally sail, but power too. At the latest count I've tested or sailed over 500 types of boat, from dinghies and dayboats to fast multihulls and offshore cruisers. A life-long tweaker of rigs and sails, I also write about boat-handling, rig tuning and sail trim.
You couldn't do this sort of work without being a sailor. That's how I started and I used to take it quite seriously, winning the odd national championship in dinghy classes and helming yachts to podium places in events such as the Round the Island Race. I was also persuaded to skipper and helm the PBO entry in the Marine Industry Regatta a few times. We even came out on top on one occasion, in a fleet of 40-odd Sunsail 37s featuring plenty of rock stars. I still race at both club and championship level when time allows, and was part of the crew that won IRC Class 5 in Cowes Week 2016.
Outside the boating world, I photograph social events, weddings (by arrangement), landscapes and animals.
Publications: Yachting Monthly, Yachts and Yachting, PBO, Classic Sailor, Water Craft, Yachting World, Boat International, Classic Boat, Dorset Life.
Marine industry: UK Hydrographic Office, Royal Yachting Association, Royal Offshore Racing Club, British Marine, RNLI, National Maritime Museum, Rockley Watersports, Artemis Offshore Academy, Adlard Coles, Axa, Zurich, Lombard, Laser, J Boats, Rustler Yachts, Luhrs Marine, Cornish Crabbers, Hartley Laminates, Tohatsu, Beta Marine, Seldén, Haven Knox-Johnston, MS Amlin, Coleman Insurance, Poole Sailing, Swallow Yachts.
Sailmakers: Hyde, North, Kemp, Crusader, Sanders, Banks, P&B, Speed, Ultimate.