As the polar vortex swirls, Eddie Jordan is wistful for a season in which, between the regattas, the races and the Ryder Cup, his Robbers made sweet(ish) music all summer long...
What a summer – just exceptional. I can’t remember a period of better continuous weather. And the events that rounded it off were incredible, from the Cannes Yachting Festival, the Perini Navi Cup, then the Monaco Yacht Show and the Ryder Cup, and ending with the Oyster Regatta in Palma. The best bit was that my band was playing at most of the events, mixing my two favourite things: sailing and music.
The Cannes Yachting Festival seems to be going from strength to strength and it’s a good sign for the yachting industry. As soon as that show finished, it was over to Porto Cervo for the Perini Navi Cup. To be able to take part with my own boat was really special – and it was an absolute priority when I was buying Blush. Previously the company had invited Andrea Bocelli to perform at the event, so I can’t imagine why the new management thought Eddie & the Robbers could follow that, but the usual chaos ensued when we played on the final night of the regatta. At one point the entire Perini staff were up on stage singing an old Italian song, which was a highlight.
The sailing was very good, too. Day two was a bit light, but I learned how to play backgammon, so all wasn’t lost. On the final day it was really breezy and we came second, finishing just behind Maltese Falcon. I’ll remember that for a long time. I must admit to shaking my fist at them a few times during a couple of manoeuvres! As soon as that finished, we got a helicopter across to Monaco because we were playing at the season-closing party at Anjuna Beach, where even more chaos ensued.
The Monaco Yacht Show really impressed me. I spent a bit of time with the Prince checking out a few boats, but we both made our excuses to head up to Paris for the Ryder Cup. To see the prize coming back to its rightful home in Europe was amazing. The Americans, despite being favourites, didn’t live up to expectations, but that’s taking nothing away from Europe – they dominated the whole weekend. The band played in the “fan zone” and the players came over for a few pints and mixed in with the crowd. The booze did take its toll because for the first time ever we needed security around the stage, but that’s kind of flattering in a way.
As soon as we finished up there, we got a plane down to Palma for the Oyster Regatta, where we played again. We were like wandering minstrels for the whole of September and early October.
I’m on the board at Oyster and we were a little apprehensive ahead of the event because it was the first one since Richard Hadida bought the company, but the regatta was an unbelievable success with 31 boats taking part. If I had a message to any current or future Oyster owner, I would say you’re in incredibly good hands with Richard, who is determined to make the brand, as he says, the Bentley of the seas.
So overall it was a pretty mad few weeks for this 70-year-old! Taking helicopters and planes in the middle of the night to get to different gigs one after the other… it was almost proper rock ‘n’ roll. The only slight dampener was the fact our boom vang bent in half on the last day of the Perini Cup. We were very lucky the boom didn’t come down on everybody. Maybe the gods were getting me back for being rude to Maltese Falcon.
Eddie Jordan’s fee for this column has been donated to charity.