An unusual way to open champagne


I’ll bet you don’t know what a sabrage is. I didn’t until I received a press release about the blessing of Dee Caffari’s Open 60 Aviva at the weekend. Aviva was blessed by her celebrity godparents, Lady Pippa Blake (left) and French news presenter Patrick Poivre d’Arbor, who will also be starting the Vendee Globe, in which Caffari is competing, on 9 November. Here’s what the release says.

“To celebrate the blessing by Lady Pippa Blake and Patrick Poivre d’Arvor, Caffari chose to perform a sabrage with the boat’s two guardians. The sabrage is a ceremonial display whereby the cork of a champagne bottle is extravagantly removed by swiping the bottle with a sword. Caffari learnt the art of sabrage when invited earlier this year by Mumm Champagne to join the new Cordon Rouge Club, a revered group of adventurers and explorers.”

I wonder who holds the bottle.