Blog: Chris MercerA trip to Cowes with Mumm

Chris Mercer | 8 August 2008

The following is a postcard from our recently-appointed news editor, Chris Mercer. I was VERY busy that day.

There is a fine line between bravery and lunacy, so the saying goes, and I have yet to decide on which side of it Sebastien Josse is standing.

Seb, as he is known by those who know him better than me, is preparing to sail solo around the world in a race this November with nothing but his own thoughts and a satellite navigation system for company.

Yesterday, just-drinks was invited onto his eight-tonne, 60-metre long yacht as part of Mumm Champagne's sponsorship of Cowes Week on the Isle of Wight. Thankfully, we didn't break anything.

Interesting things we learned include: that the launch of a publication is beyond our expertise; that whales are one of the biggest hazards for racing yachts on the open waves; and that the last time Seb competed in the forthcoming competition he smashed into another of the biggest hazards - an iceberg. He was lucky to survive.

After a stay on the boat, and after chasing sailing genius Dame Ellen Macarthur on a rib powerboat, just-drinks had to endure (ahem) a hard-earned Champagne and BBQ party back at Mumm's Cowes HQ.

No wonder there is talk of a Champagne shortage across the Channel, judging by the number of bottles emerging from the depths of Mumm house last night. Mumm is looking to raise its profile in the on-trade and wants to be associated with explorers and outdoors types, such as Bear Grylls and Tom Avery, who were both present as guests. And they're explorers, NOT adventurers, by the way. 

A few flutes and some dodgy singing on a ferry later, and just-drinks was snugly holed up in a fancy hotel in Southampton for the night.


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