Yesterday afternoon a few dozen hedge-funders abandoned their desks to sail 12-Metre America’s Cup yachts on the Long Island Sound.
The majestic boats made their way out of Indian Harbor Yacht Club in Greenwich, Connecticut, past the waterfront homes of Edward Lampert and Paul Tudor Jones and a replica of the Brooklyn Bridge (which doubles as a dock) at an estate that recently sold for $39.5 million.
The weather cooperated beautifully, with bright sun and blue skies. A storm threatened but of course went somewhere else. A light rain finally came when the post-sail cocktail party was winding down.
The Connecticut Hedge Fund Association organized the event, which benefited the Young Mariners Foundation, a sailing program for underprivileged children in Stamford, Connecticut. Volunteers from the program provided spectator boats. Kent Holden, founder of Holden Capital Management LLC, found a place for a couple of reporters on his sailboat.
Young Mariners teaches children water safety and how to swim, then enrolls them in a 5-week summer sailing program that they can stay in for three to five years. The organization serves 140 children annually, with a budget of $350,000.
During a temporary break from crab cakes and crudites, Bruce McGuire, the founder and president of the Connecticut Hedge Fund Association, presented a $2,000 check to Paul Norton, the chairman of Young Mariners.
‘A Nice Wind’
The 12 metre Yacht Development Foundation provided the yachts for the sail.
“The great thing about sailing is that every time you leave the dock it’s different,” said Patrick Keane, a partner at RoundTable Financial Group LLC, returning from the sail. “Every day of investing is different too.”
“We had a nice wind and a great group of people on board,” said Jeff Wilson, a former chief financial officer of a hedge fund who sails out of the Pequot Yacht Club in Fairfield, Connecticut. “It was a nice way to get to know some people.”
Among those soaking up the salty air: George Schultze, chief executive officer of Schultze Asset Management LLC; Rainer Busch, managing partner and founder of Mercury Partners & Co.; Ethan Doyle of Princeford Capital; Theresa Patti, managing director at QFS Asset Management LP; and Anthony Lombardi, who works in alternatives marketing at Gamco Investors.
On the merits of his company sponsoring the outing, Charlie Penna, a co-founder and chief risk officer of AlphaMetrix LLC, said “We’re OK, we’re fully insured.”
Tonight the Major League Soccer All-Stars will face Manchester United in the sold-out 2011 AT&T MLS All-Star Game at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.
Last night the soccer community and then some -- including a designer for Oscar de la Renta, a few folks from Twitter and a Norwegian trail biker -- came out for a pre-game party on the 20th-floor rooftop at 230 Fifth Avenue.
One All-Star player spotted past midnight was Shalrie Joseph, a midfielder for New England Revolution. He said he never puts his shin guards on until he gets on the field.
U.S. Women’s National Team forward Alex Morgan stood out in a red Herve Leger dress. “I live and breathe soccer so it’s nice to put it aside and enjoy the night,” Morgan said.
The commissioner of the league, Don Garber, confessed he was still in work mode.
“At night it may be more fun, but the agenda is always to move the business forward.”
‘Play Right Now’
Los Angeles Galaxy coach Bruce Arena also had the game on his mind. “I think we could find enough people to play right now,” Arena said.
“Six-on-six would work,” said Peter Vermes, coach of Sporting Kansas City. “But we’d wind up breaking a lot of car windows.”
The party capped several pre-game festivities, including a dinner for team owners catered by Todd English last night, at the Red Bull Space in Tribeca, and a Manchester United dinner on Monday at Cipriani Wall Street sponsored by watchmaker Hublot SA.
(Amanda Gordon is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)