November 15, 2011
The NBA lockout in many ways still exists because of the demands of hardline owners, some of whom have enough money to fund intergalactic space exploration. One of those men is Portland Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft and current overseer of an investment and project management group called Vulcan.
Despite (or perhaps especially due to) his propensity for naming companies as if he were a Bond villain, Allen enjoys the finer things in life, one of which happens to be owning a megayacht he has christened "Octopus." And while most people would imagine that being the owner of a megayacht is awesome, there are many unforeseen issues you don't really learn about until they pop up like bubbles in a glass of champagne. For instance, did you know that there's only one megayacht parking spot for the Olympics? Of course you didn't, because you can barely pay your credit card bill(s) every month. Don't be silly!
Luckily, Allen is a veteran billionaire who knows how to plan ahead. In fact, he managed to nab the only megayacht spot for next summer's Olympiad in London. Here's a report from the website of the magazine Haute Living, which presumably boasts 1 percent of the nation's population as subscribers (via Ben Golliver):
With the 2012 Olympics in London just around the corner, the race for position among megayacht owners is well underway. Berths for about 30 yachts are being prepared around London's waterways for the big event, but most of them will only accommodate smaller vessels. Several more are expected to visit though they won't all be in town at the same time. Only one of moorings will be able to accommodate a truly enormous yacht — and word is Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen has already snagged it for his 414 ft. Octopus, the world's 12th largest, the Australian reports. [...]
Mark Upton of superyacht advisory service MGMT is marketing packages for superyacht owners that include tickets for the top Olympic events as well as a concierge service featuring everything from tailors and hairdressers to sommeliers in addition to the dockage. "I am confident that we will see between 30 and 50 very large yachts in London next summer," Upton tells the paper.
It's a wonder how Allen could afford to get this spot for his megayacht, what with his need to extract gigantic concessions from the players' union during the NBA lockout. If he has enough money to throw around to own a megayacht and rent the only suitable docking spot for it in London, then surely he can afford to put a little of his own money into the NBA franchise he claims needs to be saved. Why, it's almost enough to make you believe that he has a pathological need to treat his employees like his own personal playthings. But that's impossible, right?
Octopus, by the way, has two helicopters, two submarines, a 63-foot service ship, a pool, and its own Wikipedia page. Yet, while it was the biggest megayacht in the world when it was built, its current position in 12th makes it a better fit for someone who belongs to only 10 country clubs instead of the customary 15 or 20. Is it any surprise that Allen acted so quickly to secure this dockage? How else was he going to look his fellow megayacht owners in the face? (Note: Reports suggest Paul Allen has not looked anyone in the face in six years.)
Rest assured, BDL will keep you apprised of any changes in Allen's megayacht status. In the meantime, stay tuned to the noted megayacht experts at SuperYachtTimes.com. They get scoops no other sites even sniff, probably because no one else can afford to care.