Lewis Hamilton the British Formula One Grand Prix (F1) superstar was onboard racing sailing yacht HUGO BOSS when it crashed into another competing yacht before the start of the Round the Island Race. Hamilton was on board a yacht being guided by Alex Thomson, the youngest skipper ever to win a round-the-world race, and Ben Ainslie, from America’s Cup fame and the British Olympian chasing a third successive gold medal in Beijing this summer.
Hamilton was one of the 18 crew members on board the Hugo Boss yacht, competing in the Open 60 class at the JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race. The yacht was involved in a collision before the cannon had set them on their way with another racing yacht, a smaller Farr 45 footer called ATOMIC. ATOMIC lost its mast and after a protest when their race was over, the Hugo Boss team was duly disqualified. By the time the disqualification decision was made, Lewis Hamilton had long left the Isle of Wight by helicopter for his next appointment. But he will be back….
“He (Lewis Hamilton) made quite an impression. He had the natural feel,” said Ben Ainslie. “For most people who have not sailed before, they get on the helm of a boat and are extremely wobbly and all over the place. Alex and I talked him through it and after a while, he was fine on his own and that focus and concentration that he uses so well in F1, it is a similar technique for sailing these boats around.”
With the pre-start collision it was a race. Hamilton said: “We tried to avoid them but it took the front of the boat off. I am gutted. It is a beautiful boat.” Ainslie was similarly frustrated, adding: “It is disappointing because we felt we had the right of way. There is nothing we can do about it but regardless, we still had a great day.”
Better luck next time!
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