YACHT’S UP, DOC?

Last year in Monaco, I was held hostage on a yacht. Kind of.

TAG Heuer were throwing a press conference that was also a party, and they made the rookie mistake of handing out the champagne and canapes before starting the presser. And what canapes! But thanks to the beloved French train strikes (oh, how sympathetic I am to your cause), I had but one option if I wanted to get back to Nice that night – a lift with a friend who was leaving at 7pm sharp.

So at around 6.30 I attempted to make my way off the (docked) yacht and back to the press room, only to be told I wasn’t allowed to leave until after the press conference had finished. Apparently it’s not the done thing to stuff one’s face with canapes and champagne and then leave before the talky bit. Despite explaining my transport predicament, I was barred from returning to dry land.

There was only one thing for it. I had to break free. My companion and I returned to the scene of the party, and departed through a different set of doors. Making loud noises about trying to find the loos, we went out on deck, snuck around to a flight of stairs, and went up a couple of levels. Humming the Mission Impossible theme, we crossed the yacht, hiding behind stacks of deck chairs whenever we heard footsteps. We found another flight of stairs that went to shore, this time unguarded by bouncers. Freedom!

It wasn’t how I’d expected to leave my first Monaco yacht party, that’s for sure.

I’ve got yachts on the brain this week, as the first of the F1 party invites have started rolling in. First up is a cocktail party care of new sport sponsors Rolex, but that’s taking place on the relative safety of dry land. Emails about the likelihood of free Rolexes in the goody-bags have been winging their way around the F1 media this week. Our hopes aren’t overly high, but there is a slim chance. Maybe.

But the big event of the weekend is the Red Bull season opener. Last year we had a beach party with kangaroo pizza and emu satay (both delicious), but this year new title sponsors Infiniti have pulled out all the stops. Saturday night will see the paddock decamp to Melbourne marina in a series of top of the line Infinitis, where we will be transferred to a yacht and sent out to sea for the duration of the evening.

Or maybe, depending on the results of qualifying, the duration of the season? No F1 media means no articles, after all.

I’ll admit to being concerned. When a yacht is out to sea there’s no means of escape, unless you plan on making a swim for it. But my biggest worry is far more pressing. What shoes to wear? I wasn’t expecting a yacht party this early in the season, and I’ve only got stilettos with me. And as every good party girl knows, spiked heels are not welcome on deck.

Guess I’ll just have to go shopping…

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