Tuesday, July 24, 2012

"Invasion Of The Super Yachts"

The UK's Daily Mail has published a  feature on the many fabulous gin palaces that have invaded the Thames & London for the Olympics. It's deja vu time and just like a re-run of the Sydney 2000 Olympics when basically the same boats arrived in Sydney and lined up at the wharf in Blackwattle Bay, the only place large enough to host a billion dollars worth of luxury boating.

Hopefully those flogging luxury goods in London will not make the same mistake as several did at Blackwattle and set up stores nearby. A 3 star restaurant opened hoping to cater to yacht owners and several luxury goods purveyors like the South Australian Pearl jeweler who flew in a million dollars worth of gems and built a small boutique from the ground up for the  2 weeks of games. All went broke after the fortnight. Most of the boat owners flew in and stayed at hotels while the only people onboard their boats were staff.
Illona at Canary Wharf
the Murdochs at the Lowy dinner
Frank Lowy
One luxury ship in London is Frank Lowy's  Ilona that is moored at Canary Wharf, not far from his good friend Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.HQ. Lowy owns the giant Westfield Shopping Centres. Rupert & Wendi Murdoch flew to Sydney from New York in 2008 to attend a dinner in honour of Lowy at the Royal Randwick Racecourse as the Shuttle's exclusive pic shows.

Lowy fled Czechoslavakia to France in 1946 but was arrested by British troops and incarcerated at a detention camp in Cyprus, eventually making it to Israel and joining the Haganah. He arrived in Australia in 1953 and partnered with Hungarian immigrant John Saunders to create Westfield, now the largest shopping centre owners in the world. The Shuttle attended a breakfast at the Regent Hotel in Sydney for Henry Kissinger (see pic below with Ros Packer) in 1998. When Kissinger left the stage he was mobbed by the many politicians there but brushed them aside, making his way to Lowy's table where the 2 remained in deep conversation.