By Mark McConville
MEET the former professional race car driver who now travels the world in a super yacht and takes part in extreme sports wherever he can.
Incredible images and video footage show Alex Waters (30), from Bath, UK, skydiving, flyboarding, BASE jumping and wingsuit flying.
Other stunning shots and footage show the Brit in his former career as a race car driver competing in Formula Three amongst other competitions.
Alex now works as a Super Yacht engineer after struggling to fund his career in the millionaire’s playground of motorsport.
“I finished racing because of the recession,” he explained.
“The reality with motorsport like so many other elite sports is that it is elitist. We never had the funds to go against a lot of the drivers I did race against and did beat.
“It was always like pushing water up hill and my focus was always more on raising money to race over other drivers who could focus on their driving. Each weekend we were able to make it to the track with the support and funding from sponsors was a success story in its own right.
“I never completed a full season of racing in anything my whole career as we couldn’t afford to make it to all the races, despite our best efforts. So in the points standings, I had to make up for it in the races I was able to attend.
“It was an incredible time and I was so privileged to be able to take a position on the grid alongside the likes of Sergio Perez, Daniel Ricciardo, Paul Di Resta, Mark Webber etc and to call them friends. To have managers like Eddie Jordan and Anthony Hamilton was a dream.
“But the reality of racing alongside these guys meant finding millions of pounds, something we just weren’t able to do. When your team mates are the likes of the Prince of Bahrain and the nephew of the richest family in the world it’s not an easy battle, but I wouldn’t have changed it for the world.”
Alex chose to put himself further behind the richer drivers as he made the noble gesture to give 50 per cent of any of his funding to CLIC Sargent, the charity that provides care and care homes for children with disease.
He estimates he’s raised just under £500k for the charity over the years through various events after developing skin cancer when he was just 18.
“It wasn’t fun,” he said. “I had to spend a lot of time in hospitals for too long. It’s a part of my life I prefer to keep in the past for the most part.
“It was about five years of back and forth. I use my experiences from back then to drive me in everything I do to fulfil a happy life now. It’s what makes me wake up every day and remind myself how lucky I am.
“I was the first driver in motorsport history to give the full livery of my race car to charity. In the past it was the source of generating sponsorship through branding, but I wanted to use it to raise awareness for the charity and believed as a sport we could do a lot more.
“I became an ambassador for the charity and did a number of high profile fundraisers for them as the emotive speaker, as well as providing very exclusive one-off auction items to be sold at various charity events around the country.
“I cycled across America for the charity, flew their flag as I raced across Tasmania with some of the top athletes in the world at the annual Mark Webber Challenge, tried to get a team together for the South Pole race, but unfortunately that one never came to fruition.
“This year I plan to do the Great Divide Bike race from Alberta to Mexico on a mountain bike for them.”
After Alex’s racing career ended he did some testing for Ferrari and Aston Martin as well as race drive coaching for 11 years including students such as Michelle Rodriguez, Vin Diesel and Michael Fassbender.
His work as a Super Yacht engineer allows him to indulge his extreme sports passion when not on the job.
“With yachting, you have to create bite size jobs each day or you would never be finished, the job is endless,” explained Alex.
“As a chief engineer I have a lot of responsibility, not only to the yacht owner and the maintenance of their multimillion dollar toy, but to the crew and the safety onboard.
“We are lucky enough to see parts of the world most only dream of, but it’s still a job and it is often extremely long and stressful hours.
“Human flight is a passion of mine, so I love any aerobatic, acrobatic, freestyle type of extreme sports, I love skiing and like to always take things to the next level. I like to push myself to the limit of my ability just to see how far I can go.
“I love to learn and am a fast learner when it comes to extreme sports, I’ve always had a knack for them generally. I cannot seem to kick a football, but no problems jumping off a cliff or skiing down a mountain switch.”
Despite living a life most can only dream of Alex insists it’s all down to hard work and had a message for anyone aspiring to reach the same level.
“I have the lifestyle I chose to live, one which I am extremely privileged to be able to live but one that required work,” he added.
“I don’t come from money, so for me to do the things I love requires working hard and sacrificing in areas a lot of people take for granted, but for me it’s worth it.
“Remember that life is for living and not just for working, whilst at the same time being realistic. It’s great to dream, but be realistic.
“If you work hard, are stressed and still have no time for things you want to do in life, make some changes, it’s all on you at the end of the day.”
Alex’s motto is #lifeoutsidethebox and he can be followed on Instagram @schwefff