British Formula One star Lewis Hamilton was involved in an another high speed collision – but this time it was on the water in the JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race.
The McLaren driver was aboard double Olympic gold-medallist Ben Ainslie’s Hugo Boss when it broke another boat’s mast moments before the race began – just three weeks after Hamilton’s crash into the back of Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari at the Montreal Grand Prix.
Hugo Boss eventually limped home eighth with a damaged bowsprit while Britain’s America’s Cup strategist Rob Greenhalgh helped TeamOrigin take the line honours after completing the 55-mile Isle of Wight course in a time of 3.23.50hours.
And 23-year-old Hamilton – who will hope for better luck at next weekend’s British Grand Prix – insists he still enjoyed the experience despite the collision.
“First of all it was their fault,” he said. “We were turning around getting ready to go up to the start line.
“A boat was cutting us up but unfortunately there are no brakes on these things and they kept coming and coming and hit us.
“I am gutted because it is a beautiful boat and I have been to the front and the bow has been snapped off.
“This is the first time I have been on a sailing boat. It is very technical and the cool thing is, it has a lot in common with Formula One.
“It is very complex and I was very fortunate they allowed me to drive it for 30-40 minutes but surprisingly I did a pretty good job.
“Working with Ben Ainslie has been phenomenal especially with him on the same boat telling me I am doing a good job.
“This is one of the coolest things I have ever done and I will hopefully I will be invited here again.”
Over 13,000 people aboard a 1,875 boats – a record entry for the Round the Island Race – took part including Beijing Olympic medal contenders Paul Goodison, Joe Glanfield and Nick Rogers along with Dame Ellen MacArthur.
And race winner Greenhalgh is already setting his sights on America’s Cup glory for Britain.
He said: “The Brits were not involved in the last America’s Cup so it is fantastic to be getting involved again.
“We have got the basis for a very good team now we need a rule and a date so we can start designing and start working towards the goal of winning it.”