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From the archives: Iconic photos of life at sea

From the archives: Iconic photos of life at sea

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Sir Roger Moore as James Bond

Rex/Shutterstock, words by Ticky Hedley-Dent

From the yachting clique of Hollywood's golden era to modern sailing icons, click through to see the stories behind some of the most iconic and glamorous images ever taken of life at sea...

Sir Roger Moore as James Bond

Who better to debut the first “wetbike” than one Mr James Bond? The late Sir Roger Moore (arguably the smoothest Bond) is pictured here on the set of The Spy Who Loved Me riding a prototype of the Spirit Marine vehicle that was launched in 1978, a year after the film’s release. Moore was shown riding “Q’s gadget” to villain Karl Stromberg’s submersible fortress, Atlantis.

Directed by Lewis Gilbert, The Spy Who Loved Me was one of Moore’s favourite Bond movies, alongside For Your Eyes Only. The wetbike, a motorbike/waterski hybrid, was tricky to master as it required the rider to have good balancing skills. The original seen here was powered by a two-stroke engine and a pump jet. By the end of the 1980s the Spirit Marine Wetbike had advanced to become a more powerful, nifty craft with a lightweight yet strong Metton body unit and a 60hp, 800cc Suzuki motor, which made it the fastest personal watercraft of its day. While jet skis went on to become quite the thing, and to surpass Moore’s machine in terms of speed, the original Wetbike’s front steering gave it wonderful carving manoeuvrability and an exhilarating ride. A more classic and arguably stylish alternative to the modern equivalent, you might say – just like Bond himself.

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