Yachting's top celebrity sailors

From Albert Einstein and Morgan Freeman to US presidents and members of the world's royal families, we look at the surprising celebrity sailors who you might spot sailing the high seas...

The Duchess of Cambridge

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The Duchess of Cambridge is known to have spent time sailing as a child and shares her passion with her husband, Prince William. Her apperances on the water include when she competed on behalf of The Royal Foundation at the King's Cup regatta, an event hosted by the royal couple in the British seaside town of Cowes in 2019.

Humphrey Bogart

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Humphrey Bogart was one of the best known celebrity sailors of his time and, along with his famous friends, graced some of the most beautiful restored yachts once owned by Hollywood stars. However, his true passion was day boat racing with his wife Lauren Bacall. He often competed in a regatta from Newport to Catalina Island, which has now been renamed the Bogart Series in his honour.

Larry Ellison

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He may have made his millions in Silicon Valley as the CEO of tech company Oracle but for Larry Ellison the sea is his real home. Owner of 88 metre Feadship Musashi (and previous owner of Rising Sun), Ellison also helped America’s Cup Oracle Team USA to victory in 2010 in his yacht USA 17. The team then went on to win the 34th America’s Cup in 2013.

John Lennon

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Even one of history’s greatest musicians occasionally suffered writer’s block and where better to look for inspiration than a beautiful yacht? In 1980 John Lennon (pictured above with his Beatles bandmates) took a 600-mile journey from Rhode Island to Bermuda aboard a 13.4 metre schooner called Megan Jaye. Hours after setting off the boat ran into a ferocious storm and, with the entire crew falling ill, it was left to Lennon to steer the ship to safety. This, it seems, was a powerful enough experience to help the former Beatle produce his final solo album Double Fantasy.

David Gandy

Vector Martini

The world’s foremost male model is a well known classic car enthusiast but in the past he has swapped his driving gloves for a pair of boat shoes, including in 2015 when we joined Vector Martini Racing’s iRace Pro Team. Gandy was also the first of six celebrities to train as a powerboat racing pilot for a documentary in what is quite the change from his most famous yachting appearance to date - in a racy advert for Dolce & Gabbana’s sea-inspired men’s scent Light Blue.

John F. Kennedy

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Perhaps no one quite epitomises the glamour of the sailing lifestyle quite like the Kennedy family. Still well known for their nautical associations, it all began with JFK who liked nothing better than to cruise the waters of Nantucket in his 18.8 metre sailing boat Manitou. President Kennedy was also a Star class sailor and even set a speed record while competing in the 1938 Chicago-Mackinac Race.

Albert Einstein

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It is a little known fact that Albert Einstein was an avid sailor – which is probably because it wasn’t exactly his forte. As many who knew him recall, Einstein was never happier than when gently cruising on one of his two beloved yachts Tinef and Tummler and seemed utterly unconcerned when he frequently ran aground or crashed into the dock. For this undisputed genius that was all just part of the fun.

Morgan Freeman

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Hollywood actor Morgan Freeman says the only time he’s ever experienced love at first sight was when he first set eyes on a sailboat in San Francisco Bay in 1961. Thus began a life-long love affair with sailing that has seen the actor cruise thousands of miles along the coast of his American homeland. Nowadays, however, Freeman is believed to spend much of his sailing time discovering the Caribbean aboard his Shannon 43.

Antonio Banderas

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Spanish award-winning actor Antonio Banderas is frequently seen racing in regattas in his local waters together with is wife, actress Melanie Griffith. He also keeps a cruising yacht permanently berthed in his home city of Malaga, and even purchased the royal yacht of the Spanish King when it entered the market. In the past Banderas has also been spotted on bigger superyachts, including 68 metre Lady S.

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