Lewis Hamilton is set to experience one of Britain’s most high-profile sailing events on Saturday when he joins word record-holder Alex Thomson and Olympic medallist Ben Ainslie for the Round the Island yacht race.
He will be aboard the Open 60-class Hugo Boss, one of five similar 60-foot monohulls to be on the Cowes start line when the starting gun is fired at 6am.
The goal is for the 1,875 boats taking part, making up a record entry, to race around a 50-mile course that circles the Isle of Wight.
Hamilton said of the race: “What a boat to go out for my first ever sailing race – on the world’s fastest monohull and racing with Ben Ainslie and Alex Thomson.
“I am interested to see all the technology that goes behind this boat and the similarities between racing on the water and racing on a track.
“I’m looking forward to the start, no fixed start position, just all those boats fighting it out for the best space on the start line.”
And Thomson is looking forward to having the racer on board, saying: “I met Lewis the first time a few years ago when he was driving in the Formula 3 Championship.
“He is one of the most talented sportsmen on the planet, and I am really looking forward to showing him the ropes on Hugo Boss.”
Hamilton is not the first racing driver to dip his toe into the waters off Cowes.
In previous years that well-known celebrity yacht owner David Coulthard has taken part – and reckons it’s every bit as exciting as high-speed driving. You can read his thoughts here.