by Des Ryan
In the 'Mine's bigger' stakes, it won't be long before Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich's yacht called Eclipse, presumably because when it was built it eclipsed every other yacht in the world, will itself be eclipsed. Well, it had to happen, didn't it?
Azzam: "Mine’s going to be bigger!"
This time the eclipsing yacht is called Azzam, sounding very like the wizard Shazam of Captain Marvel comic book fame, and the owner is being every bit as mysterious as any wizard.
Azzam - not quite finished
What we can tell you is that it is being built by the German shipbuilding company based in Bremen-Vegesack, Lürssen Yachts. They are already one of the world’s leading builders of custom superyachts. This one will cost the mysterious owner an astounding $622 million. It will be 590 ft long, around 57 ft longer than Eclipse.
Roman Abramovich, Chelsea football club owner known for his ostentatious lifestyle much like a modern-day Roman emperor, hasn't made any comment about how he is about to be eclipsed - not to the press, anyway.
We can also tell you that the inside news is that the owner is a member of the always-so-private Saudi Arabian royal family, of whom there are reputed to be around 21,000 members. The top contender as owner is rumoured to be powerful Saudi billionaire Al-Waleed bin Talal, who also owns a giga-yacht dubbed as the New Kingdom 5KR and the Kingdom 5KR.
Currently, the construction of Azzam is underway. Recently the yacht was transported out of the 170-meter long dock at the yard to a larger 220-metre dock, as it has become so large.
Azzam - dinghying in for a closer look
The developer of this super-yacht, Lürssen Yachts has so far refused to discuss any of the consruction details of this top-secret luxury yacht, but it is set to reach six stories and stretch the length of one-and-a half football fields - plus a basketball court - and will be powered by four giant water jets that will be able to push the ship to speeds of more than 27 to 28 knots.
It is scheduled to be delivered 'some time in 2013.'