News

Super yachts create buzz in booming London

BY NOVIA MCDONALD-WHYTE Senior associate editor whyten@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, July 25, 2012    

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LONDON, England — Accommodation at Canary Wharf, the United Kingdom’s second financial district, has been in obsessive demand since the East End was designated home to the 2012 Olympics.

Those completely oblivious to the gentrification that has taken place over the years... eschew all thoughts of the East Enders and wrap your head instead around luxe high rises for financiers, members of West Ham football team, and let’s not forget the WAGS, for starters, might have found the asking rates pretty alarming. And yes, there were tales of Council Flats being thrown into the rental pool too.

That said, London is booming, and with the Olympic opening ceremony just over 24 hours away, the city is the veritable social epicentre.

The buzz is tangible, rides are being taken over the O2 Centre, security is tight, everything costs a fortune, lanes are closed, traffic is horrific, and the place is teeming with visitors.

The East End also recorded its hottest day yesterday, too, with temperatures soaring to the high 70s. And if you reckon it couldn’t get better, think again. The super yachts dropped anchor and the buzz became palpable.

Naturally, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s mega yacht Octopus is generating the most buzz, but the others, albeit not as large, have Canary Wharf residents trekking in droves down to the docks.

Not all residents were impressed, however. Leslie William-Linford and his wife Erica, both members of the Millwall Consortium who’ve been fishing for 22 years and residents for 27, told the Jamaica Observer that the big vessels were an eye sore and were polluting the waters.

That might very well be true. However, the scores of onlookers were too busy picking their jaws off the dock to heed their words. Let the Games begin.

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