Witness the new extreme sport of 'flyin' a bulb....' It's for real!


I thought the photo I posted the other day of Generali ‘flying a bulb’ was crazy, but this is unbelievable. Just how completely nuts is this? Imagine the side force on that leeward daggerboard.

This isn’t some kind of stunt. It’s Yann Elies’s Open 60 Generali racing out of the Solent at the start of the Fastnet Race, as spotted by the keen-eyed Sally Collison. These new boats are so wide the keel root is right up in the air at 30 degrees of heel. If they get any wider the Open 60s might as well go the whole hog and become multihulls.

Was this just a rare moment? It seems not. The earlier shot was taken while the photo boat was right ahead, and this is from some distance away, so Generali must have been ‘flyin’ a bulb’ repeatedly over a period of time. Scary.

When I mentioned this to Alex Thomson he said maybe he ought to go one better on Hugo Boss and get his crew lined up on the keel fin while sailing – then stand on the bulb himself while steering with a remote control.

Send it, Alex. We’ll definitely buy those shots.