Britains top sailors put Lewis Hamilton

 through his paces in the Round the Island Race.

On Saturday 28th June, Lewis Hamilton will be swapping his usual seat behind his Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 car, for a position racing onboard the record breaking Open 60 yacht ‘HUGO BOSS’,  in the annual JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race.

Race date:  28th June 2008

Race start time:  6am

Race Title:  JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race


Distance: 55 miles

Expected duration: 5 hours

Average speed: 11 miles an hour

Although Lewis has no sailing experience he will be in safe hands with two of Britain’s top sailors showing him the ropes; Skipper Alex Thomson the world record breaking Open 60 yachtsman and Ben Ainslie triple Olympic medallist who is going for his third consecutive Olympic gold medal this summer in China. 

“What a boat to go out for my first ever sailing race; the world’s fastest 60ft monohull, HUGO BOSS, 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” said Lewis.

Alex Thomson is looking forward to Lewis sailing on HUGO BOSS.  “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, the F1 version of sailing.  It will be interesting to hear how Formula 1 racing compares to a professional sailing campaign.” 

Fast Facts:

FACT Alex Thomson  Lewis HamiltonVECHICLE Open 60 Yacht Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 CarLENGTH 18.25m 4.775mWEIGHT 8.5 Tonnes The car with driver has to weigh a minimum of  600kgs FAST FACT Alex’s Open 60 is the fastest 60ft monohull yacht, and Alex smashed the world record this year, sailing a distance of 501.3nm at an average speed of 20.9kts. The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes car is capable of creating lateral forces of 5g while cornering. TOP SPEED 40mph 231mphENGINE PERFORMANCE

 When racing the Lambadini engine onboard HUGO BOSS cannot be used to propel the boat, but the horsepower when using the engine 37 horsepower.

Under sail, generally the boat matches wind speed, i.e. in 20knts wind strength the boat can travel through the water at 20knts. Using a Mercedes-Benz 2.4 litre engine, Lewis Hamilton’s Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 car is typically capable of the following performance:

0-60mph / 0 - 96kph 2.3 seconds. 0-100mph / 0 - 160kph 3.6 seconds. 0-100-0mph / 0 -160 - 0kph 6.6 seconds. DECELERATION The nature of sailing means you cannot ‘stop’ a boat, but to depower the rig in high winds Alex can adjust sail settings, backstay tension, reef the sail or change sail size.  To decelerate immediately Alex would turn head to wind. Using carbon brakes Lewis can decelerate from 185mph to a standstill in 3.5 seconds. DESIGN: The Open 60 yacht comes under a box rule design.  This means all the boats race without handicap – but are physically limited by basic dimensions such as length, sail area, beam, draft, displacement, mast height, etc. 

The Open 60’s also must have a number of safety tests and features to qualify for the Vendee Globe; such as all boats must go through an inversion test with the skipper inside the boat.  Alex’s boat is designed to withstand 100mph winds and complete a solo 26,000nmile race course around the world. The size and dimensions of Formula One cars are tightly controlled by regulations. The design of Lewis’ current car (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-23) started work back in May 2007. From 4,600 drawings, 11,000 components are manufactured to make up each car. Based in the UK a 1000 strong team are responsible for the design, manufacturing, testing and racing programme to enable Lewis and his teammate Heikki Kovalainen to compete in the 18 race season throughout the world from March to November.ONBOARD TECHNOLOGY: Autohelm, navigation systems, radar, safety systems, Toshiba computers, satellite communications, GPS, deck equipment, Lambardini engine, backup generator, batteries, solar panels, wind generator, software for weather routing, cameras fitted onboard to send back live footage from the boat, video conference facilities. All cars in Formula One must use the same Electronic Control Unit (ECU) for controlling their engine and gearbox. McLaren Electronic Systems are also used for data acquisition, the electronic dashboard, alternator voltage control, sensors, data analysis and telemetry systems. Over the course of a year 400 gigabytes of data are produced by the cars from both racing and testing.RACE DISTANCE: The race circuit around the Isle of Wight is 55 miles.

The Vendee Globe is approximately 26,000nmiles. A lap around the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit is 3.19 miles and normally the race is 60 laps - a total race distance of 191.603 miles. RACE TIME: A typical Round the Island Race time for an Open 60 would be approx 4-5 hours.

For Alex’s main event this year, the Vendee Globe he will be at sea alone for over 90 days. A typical Grand Prix takes 1½ -2 hours depending on circuit length, number of laps, the weather conditions and if the race is slowed by a Safety Car period due to an incident on the track.

Last year Lewis finished third at the British Grand Prix, his race lasting 1hr 22minutes. His average speed during this time was 137.234mph COMPETITORS:

 Over 1800 boats will compete in the JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race.

Main rivals for line honours:

Dame Ellen MacArthur – Extreme 40

Shirley Robertson – Extreme 40

Mike Golding – Open 60 Ecover

Mike Slade - 100 foot Leopard of London (largest boat in the race) 20 cars are competing in the 18 race season which started in Australia in March and will finish in Brazil in November.

Main rivals for line honours at Silverstone:

Heikki Kovalainen – Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari

Felipe Massa – Ferrari

Robert Kubica – BMW SauberDRIVERS ALEX LEWISATHELTE WEIGHT: 87kg 68 kgTEAM BASED: Gosport, Hampshire Woking, SurreyDATE OF BIRTH 18/04/74 07/01/85CAREER HIGHLIGHTS ·         Aged 25 years Alex was the youngest skipper ever to win a round the world race, a record he still holds today.

·         Winner of the Round Britain & Ireland Race in a record time of 10 days – a record he still holds today

·         Broke his own 24hr distance record for a 60 foot monohull yacht

·         Achieved 2nd place podium finish in the Barcelona World Race Lewis remains the only teenager ever to be signed by a Formula 1 team at such an early age of 13 years.

Grand Prix Debut 2007 Australian GP

·         Grand Prix Starts 24

·         Grand Prix Points 147

·         Grand Prix Wins 6

·         Pole positions 8

·         Fastest Laps 2

·         Number of Podiums 16

·         Joint 2nd in the 2007 Drivers ChampionshipFITNESS TRAINING Alex training in the gym to build up muscle strength for the demands of the solo nonstop race the Vendee Globe.  Alex also carries out sleep deprivation training - to train his body to deal with months at sea alone. Lewis spends time working on his strength and endurance, to help improve concentration, stamina and fatigue resistanceNEXT EVENT Vendee Globe solo non-stop round the world race.  Commencing 9th November 2008 French Grand Prix, 20/21/22 June, Santander British Grand Prix, Silverstone.  6/7/8 July