For most people, sailing evokes visions of calm lakes, picturesque days on the ocean and “Wedding Crashers” (2005). But for junior Max Bulger, sailing goes far beyond recreation and even competition – it ventures into the extreme.
Bulger’s sailing prowess has earned him a spot in the Extreme Sailing Series in Muscat, Oman. Having already been a crew member on the boat that won the 2012 Key West Meleges class, Bulger is a part of Team Oman Air, whose skipper, Morgan Larson, has the experience of four America’s Cup campaigns but has never been a part of an Extreme 40 competition, as the class of boat is known.
Bulger got the chance to compete due to a new rule in the Series requiring teams to race with a fifth sailor who is either under 24 or female. The team is already off to an impressive start in the competition, which started yesterday, and is sitting tied for first with 36 points. According to his Twitter account, Bulger actually went overboard briefly during the race but managed to quickly get back on the boat without impairing the team’s speed.
“Team Oman Air is comprised of four sailors with world championship victories, Olympic campaigns … and years of Extreme 40 experience,” Bulger wrote on his blog on Sailingworld.com on Feb. 21. “I’ve spent the last month in the gym and watched all the film I could get my hands on.”
Team Oman Air will have to replicate its impressive first day to have a chance to hang with the joint leader and pre?tournament favorite, French team Groupe Edmond de Rothschild.
Regardless, Bulger is thankful for the opportunity to sail in a world?class event.
“I was elated to get another offer to go to battle with phenomenal sailors,” he wrote on his blog. “Needless to say, I’m still floored by the opportunity.”