Owner of both a Sunseeker 155 and an Oyster 885, Eddie Jordan talks ships and sailing wax with Frances and Michael Howorth…
Former Formula 1 Racing Car Team Owner now a TV commentator on the sport Eddie Jordan is a long-term admirer of the British brand of Sunseeker having owned 7 before, his latest, called Blush. Having taken yachting journalists Frances and Michael Howorth around his new pride and joy he sat down in the main saloon to talk about what makes him so keen on yachting…
Marina You have always been a great support to Sunseeker. Why do you do that?
EJ I have always liked building race cars and buying boats. This is my 8th Sunseeker and I call her Blush. I really believe this is the first of an exciting and successful line for Sunseeker. They are building bigger and bigger all the time even if the first of the line is always for me, but I do not buy them for any other reason than I like them. I like Robert Braithwaite the founder and I like what the company does, how they work and how they treat customers like me.
Marina What is it that draws you towards this type of boat?
EJ “I like ‘em lightweight because that keeps them more efficient to run more economical when it comes to filling the tank and globally a composite boat is, to my mind, infinitely more environmentally friendly over one built more traditionally of steel and aluminium.”
Marina Tell us about your earlier Sunseekers
My first yacht was a Mohawk, which I bought as a ski boat. I sold that 29 footer to make way for a series of boats that began with a 40 footer and progressed to today’s 155 through stages that included 40, 64, 80, 105. I was the first to buy into the 121 foot Sunseeker 37, which was considered by the company to have been their first ever real superyacht.
Marina Your boats have always been popular on the charter market, why do you think that is?
EJ Owners of boats need to make them available to the market when people want to charter not just on those occasions when she is not required for owner use. I am busy with my Formula 1 work during what are the busiest times of the year for a charter yacht so I get to make a lot of money from the boat when I am not using it. It works well for me and allows me to enjoy my boat all the more for it. The crew enjoy it, too, and I like to look after my crew.
Marina What is it that appeals to you about boats like Blush?
EJ I like lightweight things and invest in them because I believe they work. I have been involved in the motor car racing business for so long now that I know what is good and what works when it comes to lightweight engineering This boat is 100 tons lighter than her competition. Ask yourself if you were a racing car driver which would impress you the most – this or the competition?
Marina Is there anything on this yacht that is to your mind especially remarkable?
EJ I am somewhat of a technical guru and I have a wealth of knowledge garnered from Formula 1 racing so I quite like the new Dyena motion recorder we have fitted. I believe recording speed, roll, pitch and G forces gives the crew visibility of the sea and ensures that safety and comfort are always paramount.
Marina Given you are so busy, do you ever get to enjoy your boats?
EJ I have just spent 15 months sailing around the world in Lush my Oyster 885. It’s the most perfect of sailing yachts and I loved the trip. Panama, the San Blas Islands the Galapagos were all great favourites. Of course there were places that I thought were horrid and I will not be going back to them but you can hardly expect me to tell you, a journalist, which places those might be, can you?!
Marina What was the weather like on your round the world sojourn?
EJ We were so lucky with the weather on our trip and were never caught out in a nasty blow. It pays to get expert weather routing advice, which of course we did, but I must be a lucky guy I just fall nicely into things. We were in Capetown, for example, when the Monaco Royals arrived for a visit. I invited them on board and they came out sailing with us.
Marina How do you describe your involvement with boats?
EJ I am a visionary not a historian so I am staggered to learn that there have been 29 hulls from the same mould that was used for The Snapper. But that fact alone does prove what a good visionary I truly am. That first ever Sunseeker 37 was a wonderful boat to me and continues to be so for my friend Chris Evans (the BBC radio presenter). In all the miles she has done since she was launched, she has never given either him or me any problems at all. Quite remarkable.
Marina If you could only take one thing with you when you went to sea in your yacht what would it be?
EJ I would take my mask and snorkel set. What is underwater is every bit as fascinating as what is on the surface. I could not believe the beauty and the numbers of the fish in the Galapagos Islands. The wildlife you see underwater is equally fascinating to what you see on land. Watching penguins for example is hilariously funny yet quite remarkable when you look at their shape and think about the speed they can achieve as they chase after fish.
Marina Your boats feature a lot of artwork, do you collect?
EJ I like buying work from new and up-coming artists and recently bought paintings by Olivia Moullaali and Elysia Byrd who are both alumnae of Wimbledon College of Art and Design. Elysia was one of just 20 artists chosen from all art graduate students in the country to exhibit work at the Graduates Exhibition for an exhibition at The Mall Gallery. I also collect the works of the Chinese born painter, Mao Wen Biao. He excels at explosions of speed, especially horse racing, sailing, cycling, polo and Formula One. I love his stuff, love the sailing and the boats. I enjoy sailing so much and his colourings and style caught my imagination. Great work.