East London may be a far cry from Monaco or St Tropez, but the international rich are gliding into the capital's poorest area for the Olympic Games on what looks like a gathering fleet of multi-million-dollar superyachts.
Seven gleaming giants, the biggest of which is 126 metres (413 ft) long, dominate the impeccably kept South Quay of East London's West India Docks, where daily moorings cost up to 9,000 pounds a day, a third of the average U.K. annual wage.
With blacked out windows, rooftop Jacuzzis and the sort of security that would satisfy a Russian oligarch or an Arab Sheikh, the superyachts offer a taste of the Olympic party that is to come and the income inequalities of modern London.
"We are still expecting three or four more boats to arrive," said Fran Read, a spokeswoman for the Canal and River Trust, a charity which oversees 2,000 miles of waterways in England and Wales.
"It's the most activity the dock has seen since its days as a trading port, and certainly the most super yachts we've ever had in West India Quays," she said by telephone.
Just over half an hour's walk from the Olympic Stadium, the biggest yacht gracing the aptly named Dollar Bay belongs to Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who is ranked as the world's 48th richest man by Forbes with a fortune of $14.2 billion.Page 1 of 4 | Next Page