The America’s Cup Finals: Who’ll Claim the Auld Mug?
The Mall Galleries, London. The meeting of two formidable nautical legends.
The first time in so many years, the America’s Cup and the Louis Vuitton Cup were side by side, a dazzling reunion. And here was I, smokey Macallan in one hand, Gran Habano in the other, admiring those devilish silver curves. A revered trophy, The America’s Cup (known to many as the Auld Mug), since 1851 she’s presided over the world’s greatest sailing talents as they pit themselves against each other in a global circuit of fearsome races. Her companion, the Louis Vuitton Cup, has become her ultimate challenger: the selection series that determines who will race the Defender in the America’s Cup Finals.
Stand aside now old boy, let an old sea dog through. Of course, high performance, wing-sailed AC72 catamarans are the weapons of choice these days. Oracle Team USA won last year’s title and is ready to defend it to the bitter end. Before the first Louis Vuitton Cup in 1983, no challenger had ever found success in the America’s. Nowadays, including that first win by Australia II, the winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup has gone on to claim the Auld Mug a thrilling four out of seven times. And in the America’s, old bean, there is no second.
Tonight’s excellent jolly was being hosted by yacht brokerage Ocean Independence, fast establishing itself as one of the world’s largest and most successful yacht management firms. I liked the cut of their jib. Last year they boasted the most yachts for sale on display at Monaco. They keep on expanding their fleet of crewed ocean-going masterpieces, and picking themselves up first-rate accolades in the process. (Where’s that waitress with the oysters? They’d looked delectable). Red Bull America’s Cup youth team were also out in force, showcasing what they’ve been up to. Despicably young, uncommonly talented chaps with lifetime of nautical successes ahead of them (jealous? Pah!).
Ready about, old boy. I want to take a look at Stratstone of Mayfair’s selection of lascivious Aston Martin’s outside. I’m sure I locked eyes with a vintage DB4 on my way in. There’s lots more mischief to be made.
The 34th America’s Cup regatta will take place in September 7-13, 2013, San Francisco. Ocean Independence’s portfolio, and all the sailing action can be found at legendsinlondon.com.