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T h e e x c l u s i v e m o nt h ly p u b l i c ati o n a b o u t t h e g o o d l i f e in g s taa d
Friday 13 July 2012 - Issue 4 - CHF 3.50 excl VAT
IN THIS ISSUE
· Authority to fight preservation of hospital and flat tax · Gstaad Yacht Club · 2012 FIVB Beach Volleyball results
· Emergency drill at airport Saanen · Le Rosey remains in Saanenland · Baroque splendor in Venice · The Alpina Gstaad getting ready to open this winter
· Varroa mites pose a threat to bees COLUMN
· A Pugs life
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Friday 13 July 2012 Page 3
Contents Letter from the Editor������������������������������������������������������� 3 Local News Authority to fight for the preservation of a hospital and the flat tax������������ 4 Gstaad Yacht Club������������������������� 5 Another successful year for the John F. Kennedy school ���������������� 5 FIVB Beach Volleyball results������� 6 Emergency drill at the airport Saanen ������������������������������� 7 5th Glacier 3000 Run with Nordic walking����������������������� 7 Official opening of the "Bergpraxis Animal" in Saanen������������������������������ 7 Chalberhönibach���������������������������� 8 The Institute Le Rosey:
"We remain in Saanenland!"�������� 9 Baroque splendor in Venice by Carol Asscher ������������������������������� 10 The Alpina Gstaad, getting ready to open this winter!����������������������11 Varroa mites pose a threat to bees ��������������������������� 13 Looking forward to top class tennis in Gstaad��������������������������� 13 Alcohol test purchases still carried out������������������������������������� 14 Walter Egger took over from Benno Lüthi ���������������������������������� 14 Events calendar����������������������������� 14 A Pugs life������������������������������������� 15
Letter from the Editor - Gstaad like! Gstaad 2020 is an initiative rooted with Gstaad Saanenland Tourism, the Hotel Association Gstaad Saanenland and a number of prominent local organizations, all who drive towards reaching a comprehensive and common approach to the understanding of the image and reputation of the region. The aim of the 2020 initiative is not to be a debate club, but an organization able to bring about the right level of action and cohesion between the functioning cornerstones of the Gstaad destination being agriculture, tourism, gastronomy and trade. The collaboration and coordinated vision of these cornerstones will lead to strength with the potential to have a voice and opinion in political decisions. The motto ‘GSTAAD like’ is in topic within Gstaad 2020. This term is being described as being the highest quality in any form.
‘GSTAAD like’ is explained as such: Local business and industry is faced with the customer; it is important that expectations are surpassed particularly in economically challenging times. Each of us should work, even without the support of an association, to critically examine what can be done even better. Not to be a perfectionist, but to consistently bring about an experience of the highest quality, with the customer of course always in the foreground. Be it on arrival on the train, check-in at a hotel or at the application to the municipality for future community citizens, the feeling of ‘GSTAAD Like’ is what the delegates of 2020 have defined.
make the difference if we are a reputation contributor. Recently I put it to test whilst ordering a simple cup of coffee and a glass of water. The cup was perfectly clean, it arrived with a serviette underneath it, and a small sweet accompanying it, the water was crystal clear mountain water, poured for me from a jug. The service was swift and efficient and the ambiance of where I was taking the coffee, really good. Was it a ‘GSTAAD like’ coffee? Allin-all it certainly was, maybe a little more expensive than what I would get somewhere else, but with the care and consideration that it was all put together with, well worth the premium.
The idea of ‘GSTAAD like’ is surely a good place to start when broadcasting a mantra for the regions reputation. It is for all of us to consider what it means in our lives and experiences and see where we can
Peter Sonnekus-Williams Editor in Chief
also on www.gstaadlife.com
Gstaad LIFE, Anzeiger von Saanen, Kirchstrasse, P.O. Box 201, 3780 Gstaad, Phone: 033 748 88 74, Fax: 033 748 88 84, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Website: www.gstaadlife.ch Management Board: Frank Müller, Peter Sonnekus-Williams Publisher: Frank Müller email@example.com; Editor in Chief: Peter Sonnekus-Williams firstname.lastname@example.org; Project Management and content coordination: Sanet Sonnekus-Williams Columnist: Mandolyna Theodoracopulos Translations: Christine von Siebenthal Editorial: Anita Moser, Peter Sonnekus-Williams, Januaria Piromallo, Leonie Muller, Christine Eisenbeis, Fritz Wampfler Polygraph Team: Jonas Bach Printing: Müller Marketing & Druck AG, Gstaad Advertising: Peter Kuntze-Schneider email@example.com, phone 033 744 46 64 Subscriptions: Fabienne Koitka tel. 033 748 88 74
UPFRONT Gstaadlife is available in these Hotels ***** Gstaad PALACE: +41 (0)33 748 50 00, firstname.lastname@example.org ***** GRAND HOTEL PARK: +41 (0)33 748 98 00, email@example.com ***** GRAND HOTEL BELLEVUE: +41 (0)33 748 00 00, firstname.lastname@example.org ***** The Alpina Gstaad (opening 1.12.12): +41 (0)33 888 98 88, email@example.com ***** WELLNESS & SPA HOTEL ERMITAGE: +41 (0)33 748 04 30, firstname.lastname@example.org **** Hotel Alpenrose: +41 (0)33 748 91 91, email@example.com **** Golfhotel Les hauts de gstaad: +41 (0)33 748 68 68, firstname.lastname@example.org **** Grand Chalet: +41 (0)33 748 76 76, email@example.com **** HOTEL ARC-EN-CIEL: +41 (0)33 748 43 43, firstname.lastname@example.org **** Hotel BERNERHOF: +41 (0)33 748 88 44, email@example.com **** Hotel Christiania: +41 (0)33 744 51 21, firstname.lastname@example.org **** Hotel GstaadERHOF: +41 (0)33 748 63 63, email@example.com **** HOTEL OLDEN: +41 (0)33 748 49 50, firstname.lastname@example.org **** Romantik HOTEL HORNBERG: +41 (0)33 748 66 88, email@example.com **** Hotel Steigenberger: +41 (0)33 748 64 64, firstname.lastname@example.org *** Hotel Alpine lodge: +41 (0)33 748 41 51, email@example.com *** Hotel des Alpes by Bruno Kernen: +41 (0)33 748 04 50, firstname.lastname@example.org *** Hotel Bellerive: +41 (0)33 748 88 33, email@example.com *** Hotel Alpenland: +41 (0)33 765 91 34, firstname.lastname@example.org *** Hotel Alphorn: +41 (0)33 748 45 45, email@example.com *** Hotel Kernen: +41 (0)33 748 40 20, firstname.lastname@example.org *** Hotel Landhaus: +41 (0)33 748 40 40, email@example.com *** Hotel Saanerhof: +41 (0)33 744 15 15, firstname.lastname@example.org *** Hotel Solsana: +41 (0)33 748 94 94, email@example.com *** Posthotel Rössli: +41 (0)33 748 42 42, firstname.lastname@example.org *** SPORTHOTEL VICTORIA: +41 (0)33 748 44 22, email@example.com *** Z'loft Hotel: +41 (0)33 744 69 69, firstname.lastname@example.org Hotel Bären: +41 (0)33 755 10 33, email@example.com Gasthof Geltenhorn: +41 (0)33 765 30 22, firstname.lastname@example.org Hotel Sanetsch: +41 (0)33 755 10 10, email@example.com Hotel Viktoria: +41 (0)33 755 10 34, firstname.lastname@example.org Hotel Wildhorn: +41 (0)33 765 30 12, email@example.com
Picture on the Front Cover by:
Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus www.gstaad.ch
Friday 13 July 2012 Page 4
Authority to fight for the preservation of a hospital and the flat tax The annual accounts of the community Saanen closed with revenue of SFr 79 399 998.97 and an expense of SFr 73 560 509.44, which leaves a surplus of SFr 5 839 489.53. The new accumulated capital surplus at disposal to the community is SFr 220 042 727.81. The voters accepted the annual accounts without discussions. The total amount of SFr 8 833 496.26 of the after credits consist in SFr 41 909 939.38 of tied ex-
penses, SFr 950 164.93 which could be permitted by the community out of their own financial competence and the rest of SFr 3 692 391.95 had to be declared of the sovereign. The requested after credit of SFr 3 692 391.95 for the increase of the account “additional deduction of the administration asset” was also concordantly and without further discussions accepted. Hospital & emergency care “Marcel Bach’s application regarding a hospital and emergency care is exactly what we aim for,” says Aldo Kropf, president of the local council. The three communities of Saanenland agree that a hospital in the region is vital and that
they will fight for the continuation of Zweisimmen hospital even after 2014 when it is proposed to stop. A public demonstration such as planned by the Obersimmental community is out of the question for Aldo Kropf. He is rather looking for constructive discussions. The community will also get involved with an emergency care ideal. In which form such ideas will actualize in terms of finance and infrastructure, is still open. “It is certainly possible that there will be accommodation for a health net or that the local council will come up with credit requests to the community,” says Kropf. To ensure an ideal emergency care facility, everybody involved has to work together.
Flat tax topic In a further application Walter Egger requests that the community financially supports the “IG Arbeitsplätze im Bergggebiet” with their campaign and hence against the public initiative “faire Steuern - für familien” and therefore against the abolishment of the flat rate taxation. Aldo Kropf informs that they will discuss the topic at the local council and they will clarify with the IG, how much money it needs and how it should be applied. With the help of these clarifications the local council should grant a maximum amount of SFr 100’000.00. TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE ARTICLE BY ANITA MOSER AVS 12/06/2012
ANTIQUA M E N US PLAISIRS Promenade 6 · 3780 Gstaad · Tél. 033 744 92 42 · www.menusplaisirs.ch
THOMAS FOUGEIROL HERBIER
YVES PAGART SCULPTURES EN ZINC
Le 1er août, dès 14.00, Thomas Fougeirol et Alexandra Carron, à l’initiative de Caroline Freymond, seront heureux de rencontrer les visiteurs au petit chalet de Farb pour une petite promenade commentée parmi leurs oeuvres. Ces dernières demeureront sur place jusqu’à la fin du mois d’août. Du 2 au 31 août, merci de bien vouloir anticiper votre passage auprès de: Caroline Freymond: +41 (0)79 456 9181 ou Antiqua Menus Plaisirs: +41 (0)33 744 9242 Chantal Valadares Barreau: +41 (0)78 670 2380
Liane Turquoise hauteur 235cm
«Crotte de sorcière» 95x70cm
Dès le mois de juillet, les vitrines de la galerie Antiqua Menus Plaisirs à Gstaad donneront le ton de cette exposition d’«Herbes à foison» et vous pourrez y prendre rendez-vous pour la découvrir in situ à Farb.
ALEXANDRA CARRON HERBES FOLLES
Gstaad Yacht Club by Gstaad Yacht Club
Picture: Anita Moser
Friday 13 July 2012 Page 5
SFr 400‘000 for the Swiss top sailors, thanks to the generosity of the Gstaad Yacht club members. Founded in 1998 the Gstaad Yacht Club was a bit of a joke in the beginning as a club in the mountains without water. However since then it has become a solid force on the Swiss sailing scene. Two and a half years ago its members decided to support the best Swiss sailors in their attempt for the 2012 Olympic Games. Since then roughly SFr 400’000 has been collected to support them, something it is not well known to the public. The idea was born in 2009 and in early 2010 was officially announced. In a private campaign the members of the Gstaad Yacht Club started supporting top sailors on their way to the 2012 Olympics. The Star boat with Flavio Marazzi/ Enrico De Maria has already been previously supported. In mid 2010 Nathalie Brugger sailing on a La-
ser Radial joined the team, and in 2011 the wind surfer Richard Stauffacher. George Nicholson and Peter Erzberger, the initiators of the campaign, are hopeful that until the start of the Olympic Games about SFr 500’000 may be reached. With these donations the athletes are able to pay the high travel, transport, training and hotel costs as well as part of the investments into their sailing materials. Richard Stauffacher, who was placed 8th in the Olympic rehearsal says,“This support helps me so much to focus on the performance of my maximum level.” Marazzi crew Enrico De Maria emphasizes: “The club does not only support us financially but also with know-how. We greatly appreciate having such a strong partner at our side.”
From left: Nathalie Brugger, Richard Stauffacher, Enrico De Maria, Flavio Marazzi and President of the GYC Peter Erzberger. Particular to the topic of the Olympics, and the challenging sailing areas already tested two years ago, the Gstaad Yacht Club helped to develop a weather & wind observation system, knowing that the weather, wind and current conditions in the Olympic area will be extremely difficult. Who knows, maybe this preparation may be worth its weight in Gold?
The 2012 Summer Olympic Games, officially the Games of the XXX Olympiad, are scheduled to take place in London, United Kingdom from July 27 to August 12 2012. The sailing competitions will take place outside of London, in Weymouth at the Portland National Sailing Academy in the attractive south west of England.
Another successful year for the John F. Kennedy School By Januaria Piromallo This special award was mounted on an original piece of wood, taken from the old schoolhouse. The ‘School Rock band’ surprised everyone with their amazing renditions of popular songs from the 70’s and 80’s. The last performance was given by an outstanding Geoffrey Moore and daughter Ambra, playing American rock stars. The BBQ was prolonged by the “Flower PoWer Party” held the day before by Tiarè von Meister, to show the new collection of lamps made
by her and other students for the charity, a “Light for Africa”. Thanks to this money some Ethiopian chil-
dren of the Lisa WoodWard Foundation will go to a summer camp this year for the very first time.
Picture: Anita Moser
Rock music filled the air in Saanen as the John F. Kennedy School said goodbye to another successful year. Peter Livanos, the chairman of the foundation, announced the start of the renovation for the new building project. The annual BBQ with an assortment of Greek dishes and awards ceremony took place on the grass at the boarding house. Many awards and certificates of achievement were given out to those who excelled in academics, music, sports and art. A new tradition started with the ‘Lovell Award’ for the most caring and considerate student.
Flower Party for charity “Light for Africa”: Sabrina Scherz, Allegra Simoni, Tiare and Kamalei von Meister.
Friday 13 July 2012 Page 6
2012 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour – 1to1energy Grand Slam Gstaad – was part of the fabric of the 2012 FIVB Beach Volleyball 1to1 Energy Grand Slam Gstaad.
ing style to complete a stirring run of seven consecutive victories through a world-class field at the double-gender $600,000 1to1 energy Grand Slam.
In a grand performance, USA’s twotime Olympic Gold medalists Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh won the women’s gold medal in convinc-
In a sold-out Gstaad center court, USA’s Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal captured their fourth gold medal, de-
feating Brazilians Alison Cerutti and Emanuel Rego, 21-17 and 21-17. The tour continues with two more double gender Grand Slams in Berlin from July 10-15 and Klagenfurt in Austria from July 16-22 before the Olympic Games in London from July 28-August 9.
Picture: Marco Felix
All Pictures: Jonas Bach
The extremely popular doublegender event marked the 13th consecutive visit by the FIVB world tour recently with Gstaad hosting 11 men’s and 12 previous women’s events. Emotional farewells, unsettled weather, and a medal for Switzerland
Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh won the women’s gold medals in convincing style.
Winners for the 4th time on the World Tour, but 1st time in Gstaad: Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal (USA) win the Beach Volleyball Grand Slam ahead of Alison/Emanuel (Brazil) and Nicolai/Lupo (Italy).
Friday 13 July 2012 Page 7
Emergency drill at the airport Saanen
Recently an emergency drill took place at the airport in Saanen. The mock scenario was made up of a Falcon 900 jet making an emergency landing due to mechanical problems. At the same time a smaller plane leaves the parking and was rolling
onto the runway for take-off. The pilot overlooks the landing plane, which results in a crash of the two. The pilot of the small planes dies and its passengers are badly injured. There is a significant fire on the Falcon, its two pilots and two passengers are not injured, but can’t leave the jet because of heavy smoke. Two persons, arriving to pick up their relatives, are trying to get to the burning jet to help. This was what made up the initial position for the emergency drill under the attendance of the “Bundesamt für Zivilluftraumfahrt BAZL.” Toni Marti, squad leader at Saanen Airport, and the leader of the fire brigade, began their exercise with the removal of the people trapped in the Falcon. The injured people from the smaller plane are taken into the hands of the ambulance crew from Chateau d’Oex, with the help of hands from
5th Glacier 3000 Run with Nordic Walking The 5th edition of Glacier 3000 Run will take place on August 04 2012. Starting at the Promenade in Gstaad on 1’050 meters altitude, the challenging route runs through beautiful scenery to the Glacier 3000 on 2’950 meters (26 kilometers long). This year the category “Nordic Walking” has been added to celebrate the fifth anniversary. The route starts at Cabane des Diablerets at 2’485 meters and finishes at Scex Rouge. Although a short distance, the 3-kilometer run remains challenging as it gains 465 meters in altitude, but the effort will be rewarded with a breathtaking panorama. The registration fee of SFr 70 includes transport, certificate of completion, free
pasta on the Promenade in Gstaad and entrance to the indoor pool at the Sportzentrum Gstaad. On Sunday July 22 2012, a training session on the original route is to be organised by the Race Director and mountain race specialist, Helmut Perreten. Last year, many participants used this opportunity to explore the terrain. At least two groups of different ability will be formed and accompanied by professional runners. During the tour, the participants will get advice on nutrition, as well as on particular sections of the route. For more information: www.glacier3000run.ch
the police. A Rega helicopter lands in order to take the injured to a central hospital. The experts viewing the exercise from “Bundesamt für Zivilluftfahrt “were Dr. Jan Bauke, leader of the fire brigade at Zürich airport, as well as professor Dr. Lukas Kappenberger, former head of department of the hospital Lausanne (CHUV). The judgment of the teams involved in the exercise at Saanen airport
was thoroughly positive. This excellent result was complimented by the quick arrival of the emergency rescue service in the process. Everyone involved put 100% effort in this exercise and their commander, Toni Marti, points out that he can count on his team which is well trained. Every year he requires from his team to undergo 8 exercises of 2 hours each, which is more than the BAZL requirement. TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE ARTICLE BY ANITA MOSER AVS 30.05.2012
Picture: Nicolas Marti
Every third year an emergency drill takes place at the Saanen airport. In essence, airports and aircraft are categorized on a measure of 1 - 10. Zürich airport for instance is a 10, Saanen a 1 - 4. For instance, if an aircraft of category 2-4 intends to take off or land, it has to be reported at least one day in advance, as a ground and office crew of an airport have to be formed each time to take the appropriate measures in case of an emergency. Also the plane can only land or start if a suitable fire brigade is present at the airport. All of this needs to be tested from time to time.
Official opening of the “Bergpraxis Animal” in Saanen The official opening of the “Bergpraxis Animal” in Saanen at Spitzhornweg was well-attended. Visitors were guided through the several doctors’ offices, laboratory as well as the operating room. A pet shop is also integrated. Four veterinaries are alternately available 24-hours a day. In case of difficult diagnostics the nearby animal clinics in Thun, Interlaken and small animal clinic of the university Bern are being called upon. The practice is open from Monday to Friday 8h00 to 12h00 and 14h00 to 18h00. On Saturdays and Sundays, as well as after hours, an emergency medical service is available. Animals up to the size of a
calf can be operated on in the practice. Bigger animals will be treated in the barns or in a clinic. For the veterinaries winter time means more work than in summer. Treatment for bigger animals is less frequent in summer, although we have more people visiting with small animals. A dream was fulfilled for Simona Sieber, an accomplished dog hair dresser, who has now opened the dog salon “JEBA” in the same building as the “Bergpraxis”. Simona takes appointments on request and is very happy to welcome little guests in her new salon. TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE TRANSLATION BY LÉONIE MÜLLER AVS 12.06.2012
Friday 13 July 2012 Page 8
Crêperie de Gstaad At the end of December 2011, after extensive renovation, Crêperie de Gstaad opened its doors at Promenade 19, across from Posthotel Rössli. The new crêperie has a contemporary city feeling, combined with a mountain resort influence. Its warm wooden interior blends in perfectly well with the modern furniture and lighting. The menu offers much more than the classic
crêpes. A wide and exotic variety of both savory and sweet crêpes are to choose from, as well as classic French brasserie dishes, such as quiches and flammkuchen. A great selection of salads as well as icecream from Mountain Glace complements the summer months. We met with the Crêperie de Gstaad restaurant manager, Emaan de
Jung who has several years working experience in Gstaad and asked him about the first six months of operating. Emaan, how have the reactions among visitors and locals been to this new concept? We have had a fantastic response from everyone visiting the crêperie; they love our contemporary style, and the food selection of course. Do you believe that your new styles of crêpes will be popular in the future? The response from guests clearly shows us that today’s restaurant guests are willing to try new foods,
and they love it, like the Gstaader crêpe on our menu. What can you recommend to a first-time visitor in your restaurant? I would recommend them to start with either a savory crêpe like the popular “I’Orientale” which is a buckwheat crêpe filled with cheese flavored Raz-el-hanout spices, and merguez sausage, peppers and egg or perhaps a quiche filled with cheese, salmon and broccoli. Thereafter, follow up with a sweet crêpe like “la caraibe”, pineapple and coconut ice-cream, flambéed with rum. Bon Appetit.
Open daily from 11am – 11pm All year Weekdays “Plat du Jour” Only SFr 19, incl. salad
CRÊPERIE DE GSTAAD Promenade 19, 3780 Gstaad +41 744 38 81
Picture: Fritz Wampfler
The catchment dam in Chalberhöni is taking shape. The foundations for the main dam are in place and being worked on as well as the necessary upstream temporary dam which is also formed. Concreting is next.
From the upstream temporary dam a large diversion pipe leads the river water away in order to facilitate a dry working place and the security that no cement gets mixed in to the river water. The
dimension of the project is sufficient for now despite the season’s snow melt and relatively warm weather conditions. Workers and Chalberhöni residents are now hoping that no major storm is going to arrive during the summer season prior to the dam project being in the sufficient condition to perform its task. TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE ARTICLE BY FRITZ WAMPFLER AVS 30.05.2012
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Friday 13 July 2012 Page 9
The Institute Le Rosey: “We remain in Saanenland!” In May 2011 the building order for “development Hubelstrasse” and Nr. 75 “Erli” was open for public view at the community Saanen. The local council in charge presented the construction concept as a public information presentation for the planned Le Rosey campus. Since then the school has battled for their plans to be carried out.
At present the project is at the department of community and regional policy (AGR) for inspection. “Such a project needs time,” says Aldo Kropf, council leader of Saanen. Only when the department has pretested, can the community assembly decide. For Saanenland it’s very important to keep Le Rosey institute in the Saanenland. “Le Rosey is a vital economic factor,” says Kropf. The public authorities of the Canton are also well aware of this. The communities as well as the Canton are collaborating in order to find an appropriate solution. Mr Gudin is pleased about the support of the Canton as he wasn’t aware of their knowledge of the importance of Le Rosey in Gstaad.
“We want to stay in the Saanenland,” says Philippe Gudin, director of the institute Le Rosey and confirms - “we will stay in Saanenland.” The director and his wife, who are the owners of the private school in Rolle on the Lake Geneva since 1980, puts relocation to St. Moritz, Verbier or Arosa out of the question. He says that for all of them, teachers and students, it’s a dream to spend three months of the year
in the Saanenland. “And this shall remain,” says Gudin.
Cautiously optimistic: Philippe Gudin.
Some of the classes, which were taking place until last March, had to be moved to containers due to the needed space. This situation was rather difficult. The 7’000m2 property that is presently used has become too small. The location was perfect in the 1990’s, but the school as well as the requirements has grown since then. First Le Rosey had the idea to buy land around the existing school in order to expand, but this wasn’t possible. They were looking for a solution over the past ten years, coming to the result that the location in Schönried would be the most suitable one, Gudin says. It is not only about finding an area which is vast enough, but also one that is close enough to public transport for the students to access. The parents and students do accept the difficult situation out of love for the Saanenland. In 2009 Le Rosey was able to buy the 40’000m2 property from ‘Ferienheim Amt Fraubrunnen,’ though the sale will only be valid if the private school gets the building permit. Meanwhile Gudin has lost his optimism for being able to start building in the next few years. He expects to move only between 2018 and 2020, therefore the school is now looking for temporary solutions. To-date there has been rented rooms in nearby chalets at Ried, but still the space is not sufficient. Gudin now is trying to find solutions with the AGR and community of Saanen in order to actualize the building project. He says that he thinks all the people involved have the same aim, which is to keep Le Rosey in Saanenland. As architects he could win over Benz Hauswirth and Jaggi & Partner. He mentions that a school
is not built every day and that he wants the SFr 80 million project to be carried out exactly as presented. The property in Ried will only be sold when the building permit is handed over by the authorities. That Le Rosey spends its winters in Gstaad does not mean that 600 more people activate the economy, but these 600 guests bring more people up and it’s also about the publicity they make for the region. Gudin has been told many times from locals that the winters in Saanenland without Le Rosey would be rather tedious. But he also knows how difficult it is to do construction in Saanenland. For every enterprise or family it is a challenge, he was well aware of this. Ten years of searching for a suitable location, was very exhausting for him. Every year the school gets 400 applications, but only 80 can be accepted, as the scholarships are limited. But this is not the reason for expanding the campus. The requirements for infrastructure have changed in the last 20 years, therefore the plan for new construction. Philippe Gudin comes to Gstaad two days a week in winter. He says every time he comes back to Saanenland it feels like coming to paradise. He considers spending three months a year in Gstaad as a privilege and he says that the Saanenland is a special place with a healthy balance between exclusivity and normal life - it’s a very human place. Gstaad is enchanting, and Gudin wants his students to have some of this enchantment. TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE ARTICLE BY CHRISTINE EISENBEIS AVS 17.02.2012
Friday 13 July 2012 Page 10
Baroque splendor at the amazing masked ball hosted in Venice by Carol Asscher by Januaria Piromallo A gathering of Gstaad aficionados (among John Sutin, Lisa WoodWord, Riccardo Tattoni, Brigitta Notz, Patricia Low, Roberta Sandman, prince Pierre d’Arenberg) dressed in the finest XVIIIth century attire, gave life at one of the most splendid evenings imaginable. Carol was celebrating her 45th birthday in Venice covering three days of events. French heiress of a diamond fortune (the famous Royal Asscher cut was invented by her grandfather) inherited from her father not only the family business, but also adhered to the tradition of commitment and professionalism. The invitation - a dimensional double card pop up that materialized opening into an elaborate birthday cake, was sent to guests three months in advance.
Each event had its location: in the lounge of the luxurious Bauer hotel, in the background, the lagoon acrobatic dancers hurled themselves into a huge crystal bowl. While in the art deco halls ‘two young ladies habilleès’ handed out intricate feathered masks to guests. The day after the masked ball in the converted church of La Misericordia. The party recreated the magic of the eighteenth century Venice of Casanova. A riot of costumes: trinoline and lace, wigs and black domino. Performances by Cirque du Soleil dancers, bodybuilders, fire eaters, stilt walkers, belly dancers, appearing in every genre and style. There was a violinist playing to the tune of “The Four Seasons” by Vivaldi and the Harlequin who was “vibrat-
ing” glasses. The high notes of a soprano / rap and burlesque shows. The master of ceremonies who was dressed as a sparkling storyteller, accompanied the guests on this magical journey. The dinner for 560 guests placeè, was staged in the former convent refrettorio, with massive chandeliers and bouquet of roses in shades of pink and purple. The gourmet menu was based on tuna tartare, a risotto of wild strawberries and prawns. The dessert table looked like a fairytale, with pyramids of macaroons, chocolates, tarts, sorbets, candies and bon-bons. The last appointment was a brunch on the top roof of the terrace of Hotel Danieli’. The dream is over, back to reality, crisis and spread!
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The Alpina Gstaad, getting ready to open! BY PETER SONNEKUS-WILLIAMS With five months to go before the grand opening, “The Alpina Gstaad” has 400 people on site at present, all making sure that the task is completed within the target time. “This coming October we want to be in and making finishing touches for the season,” says Niklaus Leuenberger, Managing Director. “Over Christmas and New Year the hotel has already accepted bookings,” he adds. In the spring of 2009, the first ground was broken for this new five star hotel. Since then 165’000 m3 of earth has been dug out. 35’000 m3 of cement has been poured. 3’700 tons of iron put in place. 160 kilometers of electrical cable laid and 1’700m2 of ‘Ringgenberg Alpenkalk‘ installed. Wherever possible Swiss materials have been used. In the 2’000m2 spa and swimming pool area Swiss Laufener limestone has been used. In one of the underground parking areas local company Chaletbau Matti set up a workshop for the ongoing task of the processing of all wood. Since the autumn of 2011 the main focus of the construction work has been the inside of the hotel. Now with the interior taking its final form, some of the hotels unique features are visible, such as the two impressive staircases, which lead from the lobby to the restaurant area on the ground floor where one finds the hotels main restaurant which seats 65, a traditional Swiss restaurant which seats 30 and the Japanese restaurant, MEGU, which seats 40. The Alpina Gstaad will house the first ever MEGU restaurant on the European continent. All three restaurants have terraces and thanks to the ingenious utilization of fireplace, it will be possible to sit outside even on a cool evening and stay warm.
In the construction of the 56 rooms and suites only unique and beautiful materials have been chosen and used in conjunction with and a lot of old wood. Each of the 31 suites has a fireplace and the Panorama suite, the largest in the hotel, has a private spa and a whirlpool on an open balcony with views to the south. High standards in environmental protection “A high standard of environment protection is a priority for The Alpina Gstaad,” Niklaus Leuenberger points out. “Ecological protection is vital and The Alpina Gstaad aims to be awarded an ISO-certification for our efforts in this direction,” he adds. The hotel is connected to the district heating system of SaanenGstaad and the hotel swimming pools are heated by systems that facilitate heating reclamation. No invasive chemicals are used in the effluents processing at the hotel. A biological based process was chosen as a more suitable option. Further LED-lamps are installed throughout the hotel to minimize power usage. Fire protection of the hotel is characterized by a high pressure water mist system known as HI-Fog, which is installed throughout the hotel. This sprinkler system uses only a fraction of the water needed by traditional systems resulting in an overall more efficient system, and also one that minimizes water damage in the event of the sprinklers being activated. The Alpina Gstaad is the first hotel in Switzerland to install such a fire protection system. Staff to appoint From July 2012 the office of the Director and entire team is moving to its permanent position in the hotel
and from October the management will take over the hotel from the developers, architects and builders. From that time on there will be 8 weeks left for cleaning, familiarization and hands on training. Niklaus Leuenberger will then take on the executive responsibility of 100 to 110 staff, including the 23-head kitchen crew. The recruiting of staff has begun and many applications have come in so far. By the end of August, Leuenberger wishes to have all of the staff appointed. So far all the specialized personnel appointments have been finalized, such as Marcus G. Lindner who has been appointed as Executive chef. In 2010 Lindner was appointed newcomer of the year by Gault Milliau, with 18 points and he has received 2 Michelin stars. An integral part of Gstaad “The Alpina Gstaad shall become one of the leading hotels of the Alpine region, the ultimate well-being hotel, and a place where guests are made to feel part of a big family.” This is Leuenberger’s vision and he
has made it his mission to ensure that this culture is adopted by all of his staff. “Everybody must be happy in their job, only this will guarantee an authentic and unaffected hospitality,” says the hotel director. Niklaus Leuenberger will lead the hotel with the motto ‘standing firmly with both feet on the ground.’ He does not want to host only an exclusive ‘jet set’ but prefers a hotel where locals, patrons of the region and guests all feel genuinely welcome, and enjoy frequenting the hotel. “We are part of Gstaad and Gstaad is comprised of a broad spectrum of people from many walks of life. The hotel may only have 56 rooms and suites, but it has over 300 seats and our spa is open to the public,” says Leuenberger who is convinced that his fair pricing policy will help achieve this goal of inclusivity. If everything goes to plan, there will be a big opening party on December 01 2012. The formal opening is planned for December 22. The hotel is now open for bookings.
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Ristorante Pizzeria La Vinoteca Their loyal team, some of whom have been with Dolly and Martin since the Chlösterli days, have moved with them for the new start in Schönried. La Vinoteca is very central, with car parks and a large terrace where customers can enjoy their food and drinks. After being renovated earlier this year, the restaurant and various rooms available for conferences, banquet, meetings and family get-togethers,
Picture: Anita Moser
After running the Hotel Spitzhorn, which was closed for the demolition and rebuilding of a new hotel and restaurant, very successfully for the past 10 years, Dolly and Martin Riedi have now made a fresh start. The Italian concept, which they started in the Chlösterli and continued in the Spitzhorn will continue in the newly named “Ristorante Pizzeria La Vinoteca” in the Alpin Nova Schönried.
are now welcoming and tastefully decorated. The playroom equipped with billiard, welcomes not only the very young! Italian Mediterranean cuisine Regulars and guests can count on the same highly appreciated Italian Mediterranean dishes as known previously in the Chlösterli and Spitzhorn. The pizzas are still made in the stone pizza oven that was moved to La Vinoteca! Fresh pasta and seasonal dishes are daily on the menu, using only fresh produce from local dealers.
of Dolly, where on the one and a half hectares of land olives and fruit are picked and used for the production of their own olive oil. Some of the chosen products are available to buy in “Lea Like” the gift and flower shop next to the restaurant. The restaurant is open daily from 9am. Dolly and Martin Riedi have great pleasure in welcoming you to “Ristorante Pizzerial La Vinoteca”! Ristorante Pizzeria La Vinoteca, Dorf strasse 49, 3778 Schönried, Tel. 033 748 67 65 firstname.lastname@example.org www.vinotecamartino.ch
Wine Vinoteca Accompanying the restaurant, Martin sells imported Italian wines, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, rice and pasta. The couple owns a house in Emilia Romagna, the home region
Brocante Tobias Regell
& Markt Saanen English oak (Quercus robur), planted by Julie de Rothschild at the Château de Pregny, testament to a family collection assembled over time.
4. August 2012 · 9 bis 18 Uhr Festwirtschaft mit Live-Musik bis 23 Uhr Dorfstrasse · 3792 Saanen
Preserving and nurturing a legacy, a family affair spanning seven generations. Come and share our experience in nurturing wealth in Fribourg.
Banque Privée Edmond de Rothschild S.A. 11, rue de Morat - CP 144 - 1701 Fribourg - T. +41 26 347 24 24
Tel. +41 (0) 33 748 81 60 email@example.com Patronat: Kulturkommission Dorf Saanen und Musikschule Saanenland-Obersimmental
Friday 13 July 2012 Page 13
Varroa mites pose a threat to bees
Last year, the region was still below the Swiss average for bee mortality, but recently the situation has changed dramatically. Michael Walker, bee inspector in Gsteig, has reported many losses from varroa mites, whose numbers have risen due to climatic conditions last autumn, as the parasites develop faster in warm weather. Therefore, it is now indispensable for beekeepers to treat their population promptly and correctly, and to renew the frames
and honeycombs regularly. In addition, damaged populations should be destroyed so as not to transmit the pest to other populations. By attaching itself to the bee, the parasite (varroa mite) reaches the hive where it lays eggs and damages the bee larvae. Only strong colonies are able to compensate for this loss. At the end of June the colonies reach their largest numbers, but populations begin to dwindle from then on, whereas the parasites still continue to reproduce - this can harm strong colonies in autumn. Therefore, it is most important to start the treatment promptly after harvesting the honey. Only in warm weather can the product used for the treatment
According to the bee inspector, lost colonies should be replaced with local hives, as imported products may carry diseases. In the region of Saanen, the density of beehives is lower than in other regions such as Emmental, and therefore the danger of contamination is lower. Nevertheless, cleaning and treatment has become crucial to prevent further losses.
Looking forward to top class tennis in Gstaad From July 14th to 20th the Crédit Agricole Suisse Open Gstaad takes place. A publicity banner with the slogan “Advantage Gstaad” is already hanging in Gstaad’s Promenade. Julien Finkbeiner of Grand Chelem in Morges, the vice tournament director considers the forced change of the dates for the tournament due to this year’s Olympic Games, represents no major issue. Only the short gap of one week for setting up the tennis village between the Beach Volley Ball tournament and the tennis is a bit of a challenge. Normally they dispose over 2 weeks for setting up the whole tournament village, this year it comes to 4 days. “Sticking to a detailed plan is absolutely vital for making it flow smoothly,” says Finkbeiner. Ticket sales are apparently good this year and Finkbeiner
hopes that this comes from efforts during the last few years and also from the quality of the tennis players competing. He is very happy about former winners from Gstaad being very successful at present in the world ranking. This confirms the tournament slogan: “Today’s champions meet stars of tomorrow.” The uniqueness of the Crédit Agricole Suisse Open Gstaad is the fact that it’s organized in the middle of the Alps in Gstaad, as well as the closeness to the players competing. It is not unusual to see the stars of the tournament in the tennis village, Promenade or in a local restaurant. The highlights of this year’s tournament are top players such as Janko Tipsarevic, David Ferrer and Stanislas Wawrinka. In addition to the tennis, PC7-team pilots will give a spectacular show just before the final. The Tennis Village is open for
Federation agrees on National Health Organisation for bees The Swiss Federal Council has announced plans to create a Health Organisation for bees, which clearly stress the significance of apiculture. In order to guarantee sustainable prevention and efficient treatment of bee diseases, professional knowledge and health concepts are required. This organization will be led by apiarists and will report to the Federal Veterinary Office. The beekeeping association of Saanenland is part of the cantonal Veterinary office and is therefore supported by this organisation. The regulation will take effect on January 01 2013.
evaporate sufficiently to contain the pest. In autumn the nights are already too cold to make the treatment effective. The treatment has no negative side effects for humans who eat the honey, as it occurs after harvesting has taken place.
TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE ARTICLE BY FRITZ WAMPFLER AVS 25.05.2012
Picture: Anita Moser
Damage to bee colonies has occurred in the region of Gstaad in the last year. The average loss is around 30%, but some beekeepers have reported a loss of around 50% or even of whole colonies.
everybody on Sunday July 15 from 17h00 where, during an apéro, the official players’ presentation will take place. Local musicians will play in the tournament village every morning and croissants and coffee will be served. One year ago they joked about playing the tournament on grass. The Crédit Agricole Suisse Open Gstaad is also known as the “Wimbledon in the Alps” - besides the clay court, everything else is green in Saanenland. “To play the tournament on grass is not realizable,” reckons Finkbeiner, “but why not coloring the clay green like in Madrid, who colored it blue?” What’s fascinating and appreciated by Finkbeiner is the fact that every year more than 350 volunteers work for one of the biggest Swiss sport events. The fact that a stadi-
Julien Finkbeiner (left) and tournament director Jeff Collet look forward to the Crédit Agricole Suisse Open Gstaad 2012. um can be built in such a short time with over 4’500 seats in the middle of the “small” village of Gstaad, brings a week of over 35’000 visitors to the region. TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE INTERVIEW BY CHRISTINE EISENBEIS AVS 15.06.2012
Friday 13 July 2012 Page 14
Alcohol test purchases Walter Egger took still carried out over from Benno Lüthi The Federal Court has decided to qualify alcohol test purchases as covered investigations and illegal action. This new regulation raised many questions amongst the shopkeepers and social workers. After some clarification, it became clear that the tests could still be carried out. The significant change of this decision is that individuals selling alcohol to test purchasers (minors) can no longer be prosecuted. Nevertheless, the Federal Court did not clarify if guilty companies have to be prosecuted by criminal administrative law. The Blue Cross organization sees
those tests as an important tool to enforce the legal protection of youth and insists on undertaking it in future. Conspicuous shops, which keep on selling alcohol to minors, might loose their permission. Statistics from the Swiss Alcohol Board show the success of these tests: in 2010, the rate of prohibited sales of alcohol to minors was cut by 5.8% to 26.8%. This is the lowest rate in history and is an immense success - 10 years ago, 83.5% of the testing minors were able to buy alcohol in shops. TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE ARTICLE BY CHRISTINE EISENBEIS AVS 27.01.2012
Events Calendar ■■FRIDAY, JULY 13
08h00-13h00: Weekly market in Saanen. Local & fresh products from the region for sale in the centre of Saanen. Every Friday until October 12th. Contact +41 (0)33 748 81 60 for more info.
■■FRIDAY, JULY 6 – SUNDAY, JULY 15 Davidoff Saveurs – Gourmet week in Gstaad at different venues. Famous chefs will tickle your taste buds with their exquisite cuisine. Contact +41 (0)33 744 68 32 for more info.
■■FRIDAY, JULY 13 – SATURDAY, JULY 14 Gstaad-Saanenland Alphorn days at different venues. Experience a piece of Swiss tradition. Phone +41 (0)33 744 58 36 for more info.
■■FRIDAY, JULY 13 16h00: Summer Party with live music in the middle of Saanen. Phone +41 (0)33 748 81 60 for more info. ■■SATURDAY, JULY 14 – SUNDAY,
JULY 22 Crédit Agricole Suisse Open Gstaad: Known as the Wimbledon of the Alps with great men’s tennis in beautiful surroundings! Venue: Roy Emerson Arena, Gstaad. Contact +41 (0)33 748 81 81 for more info or www.creditagricolesuisseopengstaad.ch
■■SUNDAY, JULY 15 10h00: Summer feast of folk music in Gsteig. Folk music from 10h00 at the Restaurant “Col du Pillon.” Reservation required, contact +41 (0)78 860 22 30. ■■SUNDAY, JULY 15 – SUNDAY,
UGUST 12 A 14h00-18h00: Exhibition of oil paintings by
Over 30 members of the airport cooperative Gstaad-Saanenland took part in the 25th general assembly, the last time under the lead of Benno Lüthi. Walter Egger, who takes over from Lüthi, is a pilot and a member of the airport administration. The newly elected president says, “The airport Saanen is an important infrastructure. The current users can keep using it as usual. Important though is security and quality.” Vice presidents Andrea Scherz and Nicolas Garovi, cashier Hans Ruedi Steiner as well as observer Ueli Rösti and Beat Marti will continue. Hardly
two years ago the conversion process from a military airport to a civil airport started and the buying contract could be signed. Since July 23 2011 the airport Saanen belongs to airport cooperative Gstaad-Saanenland. “Not all the open issues could be solved yet,” says Berhard Berger, legal representative of the airport association. But this is not going to affect the airport and its further development. There is also a project of groundwater retention planned by the community Saanen. If this will be realized, the air traffic would have to be restricted during the construction time. TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE ARTICLE BY ANITA MOSER AVS 30.05.2012
Friday July 13 2012 until Friday August 03 2012
Oskar Buchs & stone sculptures by Martin Henssler. Venue: Galerie Buchs. Closed on Mondays! Phone +41 (0)33 744 19 48 for more information.
■■WEDNESDAY, JULY 18 – WEDNESDAY,
AUGUST 22 08h45: Alp visit with breakfast above Gsteig: For more info contact +41 (0)33 755 81 81.
■■THURSDAY, JULY 19 – THURSDAY,
OCTOBER 25th 16h00: Guided village tour of Saanen. Contact +41 (0)33 748 81 60 for more info.
■■FRIDAY, JULY 20 – SATURDAY,
SEPTEMBER 8 56th Menuhin Festival Gstaad: A classical music festival with world-famous artists in different venues. Contact +41 (0)33 748 83 38 or www.menuhinfestivalgstaad.com
■■WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 1 National Day of Switzerland in Turbach. Aperitif from 18h00, followed by fireworks and much more. Venue: Wintermatte-Beizli. www.turbach.ch ■■WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 1 16h30: National Day of Switzerland in Saanen. An evening for everyone with live music, fireworks and more! Venue: Saanen village. Phone +41 (0)33 748 81 60 for more info. ■■WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 1 10h00: National Day of Switzerland with market in Lauenen. Contact +41 (0)33 765 91 81 for more info. ■■WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 1 08h00-18h00: Celebration 700 Years Gstaad. Venue: Ice rink Gstaad. Phone +41 (0)33 748 81 32 for more information.
■■FRIDAY, JULY 20 19h30: Menuhin Festival Gstaad Opening concert with Julia Fischer & Yulianna Avdeeva. Venue: Mauritius church, Saanen. Contact +41 (0)33 748 83 38 for more info, or www.menuhinfestivalgstaad.com
■■WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 1 08h00-11h30: Farmers brunch with folk music. Venue: Ice rink Gstaad. Rate - SFr23. Contact +41 (0)33 744 51 94 for more information.
The Bernese Oberland in London: Gstaad and other destinations of the Bernese Oberland will be representing the region at the House of Switzerland. Venue: Glaziers Hall. Official opening on July 20 2012 at 18h00. Contact +41 (0)33 748 81 81 for more info.
For more information, contact +41 (0)33 748 17 17 or www.glacier3000run.ch
■■SATURDAY, AUGUST 4 ■■FRIDAY, JULY 27 – SUNDAY, AUGUST 12 Glacier 3000 Run. Deadline - July 25 2012.
■■SATURDAY, JULY 28 19h30: Folklore evening in Lauenen at the Hotel Alpenland. For more info, contact +41 (0)33 765 91 34.
■■Rotary Club Gstaad-Saanenland Meetings every Monday 12h00 Palace Hotel Gstaad (033 / 748 50 00), President: Rot. Christian Sieber (026 / 924 45 25) Program: Rot. Pascal Rey (026 / 925 10 00)
Lions Club Gstaad-Saanenland Meetings normally each first and third week of the month on Thursdays, either at 12h00 a.m. for lunch or at 7h00 p.m. for dinner. Meetings in Wellness & Spa-Hotel ErmitageGolf, Schönried, Tel. 033 748 60 60. For details and program contact Victor Steimle, president, 033 748 78 88, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://gstaad-saanenland.lionsclub.ch
■■Church Services St Peter’s English-Speaking Anglican Church, Château-d’Oex Service every Sunday, 17h30 Rev. Paul Holley Holy Communion every second Sunday in Month. www.allsaints.ch/chateaudoex Contact: email@example.com ■■Important Numbers Ambulance 144, Police 117 Police office 033 356 84 31 Fire-brigade 118 Saanen Hospital 033 748 02 00 Château-d‘Oex Hospital 026 923 43 43 Car accident service 033 744 88 80 Veterinary 033 744 35 31 / 033 744 06 61 Medical emergency 0900 57 67 47 Dental emergency 033 748 02 00 For additional useful numbers please visit www.gstaadlife.ch/usefulnumbers For the latest local weather forecast visit www.gstaadlife.com/weather
Friday 13 July 2012 Page 15
A Pugs Life by Mandolyna Theodoracopulos
It’s a pity the Côte d’Azur doesn’t look more like the coast of Corsica, a largely unspoiled paradise amid the besmirched Mediterranean. I recently spent five days sailing along the Corsican strand away from all the stinkpots that line what used to be the mainland French paradise. But I was a mere interloper there; the annual regatta is organized by Pugs, the world’s most exclusive club. My father, Taki, is a founding member and there are only 15 others—all men, or dogs if you prefer, for they are all naughty, naughty boys! A few “Pugettes” are permitted to attend certain Pug-related events, though they are purely ornamental. I’m not sure what the Pugs Club is. From what I gather their little clique is some sort of gentleman’s club started by a group of friends to engage in gentlemanly activities. They have no clubhouse and their only regularly scheduled event is to get together yearly for lunch at Scalini in London. They also send out funny Christmas cards with all the
Pugs members’ faces superimposed on amusing vintage hunting photos from the subcontinent. The club president, one William H. Gimlet, is in charge of collecting dues and organizing any Pugs-related activities. Sometimes they go shooting. Gimlet is a former boozehound who spends most of his time instructing the club members on ridiculous pursuits such as investigating the practicality of German U-boats on Lake Chad. Previous Pug yachting excursions have been in Ibiza, Saint-Tropez, and Capri. Not everyone attended this year’s regatta. Only two boats turned up, three having dropped out—Alexia due to an electrical meltdown, the Marie Cha due to a bad back, and the Talitha due to a mysterious business trip. This year’s trip to Corsica was attended by only seven members and two boats, Bushido and Tiger Lily. Can two boats engaged in a fixed race be considered a regatta? Tiger Lily is much faster than Bushido and there is good reason to believe Bushido’s victory was engineered, though one can’t be sure considering the significant slowdown the four Pugs on Tiger Lily were experiencing due to hangovers. Aboard Bushido, Commodore Hoare, the fourth member to join Pugs, took over the wheel and commanded the most feeble tacking war I have witnessed in 35 years of sailing. Within less than an hour the “regatta” was concluded and prize-
giving was followed by a number of toasts and more drinking. Tiger Lily seemed to have misplaced the usual silver cup (she probably drank from it and tossed it into the sea) and awarded Bushido with a solarpowered hand-waving figurine of the Queen of England dressed in royal blue with her requisite little black handbag and shoes. And that was that, followed by more drinking and eating. During the post-race dinner, several Pugs gave speeches. It seems like a big part of being a Pug is about giving speeches. The Pugs orators try to outdo each other, but it is rather pathetic from an outsider’s perspective, especially considering the sheer number of speeches—if you can even call them speeches, as they are directly related to the consumption of grog. As more and more drinks are consumed, the speeches multiply. Fortunately the president is a teetotaler, though that doesn’t seem to make much difference. Once a Gimlet always a Gimlet. He likes to read out long odes to—Pugs, of course. For a while I was jealous of all these Pugs. They seem to have an awful lot of fun together, but being a Pug is hard work. Pugs are also stooges for other Pugs who are looking for fancy invitations to the best shoots in England or aboard fancy boats such as the Marie Cha. While most Pugs are corpulent, hairy, and redfaced, they are not all so, and while some Pugs shamelessly pursue leisurely divertissements aboard fancy vessels in the Mediterranean,
not all of them are flagrant hedonists. The Pugs are a very charitable bunch. Occasionally, the club sponsors political propaganda such as Taki’s Magazine, but that’s small potatoes compared to some Pugs who are out there doing good in the world. Who are these Pugs? What do they do when they aren’t being Pugs? Sir Bob Geldof’s cause is Africa, and he really does an awful lot over there. He is also a wonderful dinner companion. He can also get the pope and the president of the U.S. of A. to return his calls. Wow! Sir Roger Taylor, drummer for the band Queen, has been knighted for his environmental work and all-around brilliance. Tim Hoare, scion of the great banking family, is a Falstaffian character who in addition to employing thousands of people is one of the most generous fellows you’ll ever meet. Leopold Bismarck, one of Pugs’ three original founders, is the Iron Chancellor’s greatgrandson. He’s arguably one of the most handsome Pugs. Ed Hutley is his only true rival, but Ed is an actor in his spare time and probably wears his wife’s knickers on occasion! William H. Gimlet is also known as Nick Scott. He is a fine president, writer, gardener, cook, and friend. Pugs in absentia include George Livanos, Arki Busson, Robert Miller, Princes Pavlos and Nikolaos of Greece, Sir Christopher Lee, Mark Getty, the Maharaja of Jodhpur, and Heinrich von Fürstenberg—more than just spoiled lapdogs to be sure.
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