Sailing legend Sir Robin Knox-Johnston is to compete in a powerboat race

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first sailor to circumnavigate the globe single-handed and non-stop in 1969, is teaming up with the world’s top female powerboat champion, Shelley Jory, to take on the toughest one-day endurance powerboat race in the world – the Cowes-Torquay-Cowes (29 August).

Sir Robin, 70, has never before experienced powerboat racing but jumped at the idea of being Shelley’s Navigator: “When Shelley asked whether I would like to navigate for her, it took one second to accept. This is something I have not done before so naturally I want to find out what it is all about.”

Shelley, 39, is also Sir Robin’s co-presenter on BBC Radio Solent’s Friday evening programme, H20. She admitted she wasn’t confident Sir Robin would accept her suggestion, but he agreed instantly and asked when they could start training.