By KATIE SILVER
Eat your heart out Bond: Performing a stunt known as 'The Keel Walk', British skipper Alex Thomson adjusts his tie aboard his Hugo Boss racing yacht
A daring seaman proves he has a licence to keel.
Looking every part the classic James Bond, a British skipper dressed suavely in black tie mounts the keel of a speeding sail boat in waters near the Isle of Wight.
The mystery man in this case is one Alex Thomson, 37 who performed the ‘dangerous and stupid’ feat aboard his Hugo Boss yacht in the Solent - a straight that separates the isle from mainland England.
Getting up: Mr Thompson, who was the youngest person to win a round the world race at age 25, alights from his jet-ski to board the keel
Known as the ‘The Keel Walk’ the stunt involves very precise wind, sailing and sea conditions to make sure Alex and his jet-ski-driving assistant aren’t toppled over by the 8.2 tonne yacht.
Mr Thomson, who performed the stunt while sipping a gin and tonic said: ‘We’d wake up one day and the conditions would look just right, so we’d sound the alarm and get the boat prepped, bring in the jet ski guy, the RIB driver, the photographer, the camera guys… I’m in the suit, ready to go…and the wind drops. It was hurry up and wait, hurry up and wait.’
Mr Thompson had a 45 to 60 second window where he could ride the keel
And though Q might warn to always have an escape plan; this trick could have ended in disaster:
‘The wind is unpredictable; a momentary gust or drop will affect the direction and speed of the boat in an instant,’ said Mr Thomspon.
If the keel had hit him - 4 tonnes of lead moving at 10mph – it would be the equivalent of being charged by an elephant.
Mr Thomson performed the same feat in 2009:
‘But everyone always assumes it was “Photoshopped”,’ he said.
‘And I was determined to prove them wrong, so we decided to try again.’
'Always have an escape plan'; The real-life Bond dives from the yacht
Oh what I do for England: If the yacht had fallen on the brave seaman, it would have been the equivalent force of being rammed by an elephant