Mallya hosts spectacular yacht party in Istanbul 10 May 2008
Last year, ahead of the 2007 Turkish Grand Prix, Dr Vijay Mallya hosted one of the most memorable parties of the season onboard his jaw-droppingly magnificent super yacht, the Indian Empress. And on Friday, in the same spot in the middle of the Bosphorus, Mallya tried to top that experience with an even bigger bash. Did he succeed?
Quite simply - yes. With the Force India co-owner pulling out all the stops to impress the Formula One fraternity once again, everything seemed even more spectacular than last season's party. Instead of one belly-dancing ensemble, there was also a troupe of Turkish go-go dancers and as for guests, alongside the paddocks glitterati were a host of team principals.
Indeed the first guests onboard the Indian Empress were Formula One Management CEO Bernie Ecclestone and Renault team principal Flavio Briatore, while hot on their heels were BMW Saubers Dr Mario Theissen, Ferraris Stefano Domenicali, Red Bull Racings Christian Horner, Williams Adam Parr and, of course, Force Indias Dr Colin Kolles.
Each was welcomed personally by Mallya before they all retreated into a salon for an informal chat. And as the other guests arrived and the party got underway, those dancing had the unusual experience of watching Formula One racings decision makers deep in conversation.
Back up on deck, even the weather played its part in making this a night to remember with the recent rain holding off throughout the night. Alhough the temperatures were much cooler than 2007s party, which was held in August, the 200 handpicked guests were supplied with Kingfisher-branded socks and jumpers on their arrival, just in case they were left chilled by the May evening air.
For entertainment, Indias star DJ Aqeel had been flown in especially to set the mood but the real draw of the night was Sakon Yamamoto, Renaults test driver. Yamamoto, who DJs in his spare time, wowed the crowd with his talent on the decks, while a spectacular fireworks display added further excitement.
And if further proof of the events success were needed, Ecclestones parting comment was more than enough: A fantastic evening! Last year I said that we should have these kind of events more frequently - and thanks to Vijay we do. I have already heard the rumours that Monaco will see a sequel of tonight.
So stay tuned for a repeat performance in Monte Carlo later this month.