Once a year, Monaco is transformed into a race track. Everything in the little principality on the Côte d’Azur then revolves around cars and engines for a whole weekend. Which driver will be fastest around the tight city circuit? But the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix is much more than a car race. Everyone who is or aspires to be anyone in the world of A-list celebrities is in Monaco for the occasion. The many motor yachts moored in the marina host the wildest parties. This year there is a new addition among them as one-time Formula 1 team boss Eddie Jordan is unveiling his new luxury craft. The Blush is the largest vessel so far built by British yacht maker Sunseeker.
Significant events are foreshadowed by particular signs. At the Sunseeker shipyard in the southern English port of Poole, such signs are staff in high-viz jackets running around a new ship like so many ants. They clean, dust and sweep, arrange cushions on the sofas and place glasses and crockery in the cupboards. Everything has to sparkle and gleam when Eddie Jordan arrives. After all, it is not just any yacht he will be officially naming in Poole – it is his tenth Sunseeker yacht and, on top of that, the biggest Sunseeker ever made.
Help from Formula 1
The yacht-maker’s new flagship measures 155 feet in length (over 47 meters). “With this yacht we have entered a new dimension and I am immensely proud that we have achieved it together,” says Sunseeker President, Robert Braithwaite. His team worked on the design and construction of the vessel for almost four years. In the process, they even had help from engineers who had previously been involved in designing cars for the McLaren Formula 1 racing team. “With their experience, they helped us to build a yacht that is as light and fuel-efficient as possible,” explains Jonathan Goldie, Director of Engineering at Sunseeker. The result is Sunseeker's first semi-planing yacht with a round-bilge hull. Large parts of the yacht are made of composite materials such as carbon fiber. They are light, but still give the yacht the required structural rigidity.
Airs and graces? Not a bit.
Throughout the building process, the team was regularly visited by Eddie Jordan himself. He would drop by the shipyard to check on progress and offer his ideas. “In particular, Eddie wanted large windows for his guests and a relaxation area close to the water,“ relates Jonathan Goldie. ”It had to be a yacht on which he and his guests would feel at home.“ The Sunseeker team was able to make that possible by means of a modular composite design that allows the buyer free rein in the choice of yacht interior and superstructure. The proof that Eddie Jordan feels at home at the shipyard is evident from his manner at the naming ceremony. Airs and graces? Not a bit of it. On the contrary, he chats with the staff and presents a T-shirt to everyone who helped in the making of the yacht. “You have made my dream come true,” he calls out to the Sunseeker staff standing in front of the yacht, while he and his wife and daughter board the vessel.
Complete package from MTU
He was not to be shaken in the decision to fit MTU engines. “My last five yachts had MTU engines. They run really well, so why change them?” he asks. For this yacht, MTU has supplied the complete package consisting of propulsion engines, gearbox, automation system, fuel conditioning system, onboard emergency generator with an output of 55 kW and two 155 kW onboard gensets for ship's services. The latter have double-resilient mountings and an acoustic enclosure to cut out noise and vibrations. Two uprated 12-cylinder Series 4000 engines each provide 2,160 kW of power, which is needed to propel the craft over the water at speeds up to 22 knots (41 kph). Apart from their clean combustion they are also distinguished by their combination of enormous power and compact dimensions – an extremely important factor for yachts, which have to be able to accelerate quickly to maximum speed but only have limited space for very powerful propulsion systems.
“We are more than convinced by the performance of the engines,” declares Sean Read. He is the captain of the yacht and will be responsible for ferrying Eddie Jordan and his guests around the world on his floating palace. “The order specified a yacht with a range of at least 4,000 miles. However, the initial trials showed that we can keep going for nearly 5,000 miles,” he reports with obvious pleasure. Eddie Jordan and his family and friends will not be the only people to use the Blush either. The yacht is already available to charter – for a million pounds sterling a month.
Eddie Jordan names MY Blush
But for that you will be getting a yacht that was not only collected in Poole by Eddie Jordan himself but also fitted out according to his personal taste and officially named by him in person. Together with Robert Braithwaite he breaks a bottle of the finest Laurent Perrier champagne against the bow. It shatters to the applause of the Sunseeker staff and the customary blessing for the ship and all who sail in her.
“The best yachts are made in Britain”
“This is a British yacht – designed, built, tested, unveiled and launched in Poole,” delights Sunseeker President, Robert Braithwaite after the naming ceremony. Eddie Jordan goes one step further; “We Brits build not only the best yachts, but also the best Formula 1 cars.” At the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Monaco in May 2014, he will be able to see whether he is right from on board his yacht. That would mean a victory for Williams, Lotus or McLaren as the British teams.
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