Seven's photos

No ordinary Sevens, but people had a good weekend nevertheless and particulary the English who won.

People outside Hong Kong must be somewhat confused. On their TV screens are images of people in masks that bring to mind an Albert Camus novel; then there are the pictures below of thoroughly healthy bodies having a very good time at the Credit Suisse First Boston Hong Kong Sevens.

After a meeting last Thursday the decision was taken for the Sevens to go ahead and for those who attended, a glorious weekend of rugby and fun was a respite from the bad news of war, atypical pneumonia and awful markets.

We normally give out an award for the Best Box. However, we decided such an award would appear frivolous in the circumstances.

Suffice to say that long before any of this bad news was known, plans to create elaborate themed boxes were far advanced. CLSA adopted US college rush week party theme, complete with togas and three girls allegedly from the Ukraine. JPMorgan went for a flower-power, Summer of Love theme. UBSWarburg's box was themed around Hong Kong – the team which it sponsors. As with last year its real claim to fame came at the end of each day when it closed the red curtains and turned into a night club, complete with a reinforced bar that people could dance on.

Goldman had a superheroes theme with Batman, Catgirl and Wonderwoman wandering around. Salomon Smith Barney's box featured a cowboys and Indians theme and was rocked by a dance-crazed Latino DJ. He was aided in his mission by some Pocahontas lookalikes. A mark of their success - UBS Warburg employees were even spotted defecting to the Sollys box.

Merrill's box was also busy, as was Deutsche's. Meanwhile the Mandarin Oriental group's box is the most civilized we have ever been to. Fine wine, a sitar player, and even a lady from the hotel to clean the loo after each person used it were all signs that this was no ordinary box.

CSFB's box featured many of the guests from its conference such as former British PM, John Major. It was supposed to also have various Rolling Stones members in attendance, although their cancellation of the Hong Kong concert obviously put an end to this.

Indeed, event sponsor CSFB must be pitied for a lot of undeserved bad luck this year. Disease, war and then the Stones cancellation must have made the week a harrowing one for the senior staff at the firm. With the Stones cancelling their Hong Kong gig, the firm also had to redo the big screen commercial it had put together to play between the matches, which featured 'Start Me Up' by the British rockers. It had to come up with an alternative in only 12 hours by Australian band, the Vines.

Overall, in spite of some excellent rugby, it would be disingenuous to say this was a normal Sevens. It was not. But it was still a great weekend.

Salomon: bullish on the Indian economy.
Batman protects Goldman box.
The South stand is still full.
Deutsche: Give peace a chance.
Adam Moss of CLSA in patriotic fashion statement.
CLSA's rushweek cheerleaders.
Top headhunters, Ranjan Marwah and Stephen McAlinden with Andrew 'I am the Walrus' Ballingal.
Former Salomon ECM head and designated cowpoke, Scott Ferguson, returns from sabbatical.
Claire Price boogies down.
Mr Tambourine Man: JPMorgan's Jonathan Back.
Ed Tiryakian, COO of UBSW corporate finance, ends the weekend with a session on the sitar.
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