On May 6, near twilight, two vessels passed one another along their
respective port sides. Ghost, a 37-meter sailing yacht by legendary naval
architect Luca Brenta, was approaching North Cove, while the 265-foot motor yacht Air was outbound from her berth in Chelsea Piers. A day earlier, Ghosthad arrived from Newport. A day later, Air departed for Nantucket.
Ghost is owned by millionaire-polymath Arne Glimcher, founder of the Pace Gallery (which Forbes estimates has annual revenues of $450 million), who also directed critically acclaimed films such as 1992’s Mambo Kings, and the 2008 documentary, Picasso and Braque Go to the Movies.
He also garnered an Oscar nomination for writing the lyrics to Beautiful Maria of My Soul, a song from the Mambo Kings. Mr. Brenta’s design fused the utilitarian aspects of racing boats with the aesthetics of pleasure
cruisers built in the early 1900s.
Air was built for Augusto Perfetti, owner (along with his brother, Giorgio), of Perfetti Van Melle, the third-largest candy maker in the world. Their father, Ambrosia, started a chewing gum business in Italy after World War II, which eventually grew into one of Europe’s most prosperous conglomerates, known to Americans chiefly as the owner of Mentos.
This is Mr. Perfetti’s second Air. The first was built in 2005, but was sold to Russian billionaire and politician Suleyman Abusaidovich Kerimov (who has made successive fortunes in oil and gold) after the oligarch — who was targeted by U.S. sanctions in April of this year — made the candy maker, “an offer I couldn’t refuse.” Mr. Kerimov quickly renamed his new boat Ice, and Mr. Perfetti promptly commissioned another Air, shown here.
Watching these vessels, with their turbulent pedigrees, glide serenely
by one another brought to mind these lines from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:
Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing,
Only a signal shown and a distant voice in the darkness;
So on the ocean of life we pass and speak one another,
Only a look and a voice, then darkness again and a silence.
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