A twilight cocktail fest aboard the Crystal--a 121-foot, 6-inch mega-yacht belonging to boat baron Bobby Cornelius--to honor the Angels, donors of $125 to the United Cerebral Palsy Assn.'s boat auction set for Sept. 20. Weather conditions were nothing less than heavenly on Wednesday, a brilliant sun blessing the 100 elegantly attired guests (no tacky tennies here) as they boarded the vessel, tied up on yacht-crammed Newport Bay beside the Cannery restaurant. Since angels adore high places, they will be seated in the lofty captain's lounge aboard the 180-foot California Hornblower yacht where UCP will stage its annual boat auction. The event provides an opportunity for those without boats to procure one for a night of entertaining during the December holiday season in Newport Beach. Proceeds will go into UCP's Orange County coffers.
Aboard the $6.5-million fishing vessel (named to honor Cornelius' little granddaughter, Crystal) it was fish, fish and more fish, prepared and donated by the Cannery restaurant. There were Oysters Rockefeller (ooh), calamari served with lemon caper butter, deviled (how could they?) eggs stuffed with lobster, and an avocado creation sprinkled with the teensiest, most succulent bay shrimp. Libations were liberally poured, with JFJ California Champagne Brut on the list, along with a 1988 Fetzer Chardonnay, a 1988 Glen Ellen white Zinfandel, Coors Light, Perrier and soft drinks.
Questions, questions, questions directed to Cornelius about his dreamy yacht. "What is this room?" asked one wide-eyed guest. "The library," Cornelius answered. "It can get boring out at sea." And this room? "A commercial kitchen, complete with television so the cook doesn't get lonely." And this room, with the baby grand piano? "The main salon. And I play that piano. I sit down, flip a switch, and out comes 'La Bamba'!" Any famous folk been aboard the yacht? "Well, just last month I had 17 governors aboard when I took visitors to the Western Governor's Convention for a tour of Long Beach Harbor. Gov. Deukmejian came along. And a few months ago, I took the Sultan of Brunei to Catalina on a fishing trip." Television celebrity Robin Leach recently came aboard to film a segment for "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous." (Morsel: On "Lifestyles," watch for Newport's Mamie Van Doren to be sipping Cristal champagne aboard the Crystal. Get it?)
Who Was There
From UCP: Eliotte Boggus, James Novel, Joanne Miner. Bill Hamilton, owner of the Cannery restaurant. Jim Villers, who will conduct the boat auction. Also on board: Judge Calvin Schmidt; Mamie Van Doren; auction co-chairmen Diane Fraser and David Pahl; Barbra Marches and Nancy Irvine, coordinators of the party aboard the Crystal; and Terry Lee from Tiffany & Co., donor of Baccarat angels to UCP's angels to commemorate their Sept. 20 evening.
Mamie Van Doren wore white crepe by Chanel. Diane Fraser was elegantly nautical in a white silk Charmeuse middy dress piped in navy blue. Barbara Marches wore her midnight-blue wedding ensemble (she married handsome John Marches last March, natch). Very, very dressy, considering it was summer and on the bay. But seagoing estates demand dress-up clothes, don't they?
"I sent my husband over to Mamie Van Doren's to bring her to the party. Am I out of my mind?"