Whisky Magazine Issue 64
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Valencia is currently hosting sailing's weirdest event. So what is Chivas Regal doing there? Our man went to find out
It's like waking up in the middle of a surreal psychedelic nightmare, a strange blend of Teletubbies, Captain Pugwash and a United Nations summit set by the seaside.
In front of me a small army swathed head to toe in orange is waddling through the squally rain towards a boat decorated with a dragon and peopled by Chinese sailors dressed in red.
And to my right a man with a very strong French accent is trying to explain why the whole scenario makes sense.
It gets stranger still when you find out why we are battling a gale in the harbour of the Spanish city of Valencia. We're here to witness China's challenge in the America's Cup, against a Swiss team made up of New Zealanders who have had to ‘borrow' Spain's sea to defend their title because they haven't got one of their own. One of their main challengers is Team New Zealand, from which many of them defected some years ago and from whom they took the America's Cup four years ago.
Following any of this? Thought not.
Welcome to the Chivas Life.
They don't do things by half at Chivas. Not content to sponsor snow golf, indoor office golf and elephant polo, they have quite literally pinned their colours to the America's Cup, sailing's weirdest event in which millions are spent first designing racing boats and then protecting them from spies hired by the rival teams.
Chivas hasn't gone for any obvious sponsorship and backed the New Zealanders, the Americans or the Italians. Nope. Instead, with a sense of logic border...