Elephants, footballers, topless models...and now a very big bird at a boat launch


What does a high profile boat launch make you think of? Men in Naval uniforms? A horsey royal in deck shoes and a Drizabone?

Well, that was yesterday. Today it’s showbiz and the stakes are rising.

A few years back Pindar broke the mould when they launched a chartered Open 60 with the help of Jordan (aka Katie Price), princess royal of Bristol and Brest.

This year alone we’ve had boats christened by Zinedine Zidane , a baby elephant and (in the case of Alex Thomson’s Hugo Boss) a bevvy of women dressed as mermaids plucking harps.

After that, who’ll want to go back to the local mayor and a bottle of brut?

The latest razzmatazz was in France this Saturday when Ellen MacArthur baptised Thomas Coville’s trimaran Sodeb’O in front of a crowd of 5,000 people. There were dancing girls, children in dinghies and this extraordinary (and inexplicable) bit of falconry by Thomas with a sea eagle.