Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke will make his ocean yacht racing debut this weekend to raise money for sick and injured children.

Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke will enter uncharted waters this weekend when he makes his ocean yacht racing debut.

Clarke is a crew member of the star-studded Perpetual Loyal in the Sydney to Gold Coast yacht race.

The race starts on Saturday afternoon at Nielsen Park on Sydney Harbour with a fleet of 56 yachts tackling the 384-nautical mile event that finishes off Main Beach at Southport on Queensland’s Gold Coast.

“I’ve been working with Anthony Bell (owner of Perpetual Loyal) for a while now to try and see how we could work together and I’m really glad to be part of the team,” Clarke said.

The Loyal team, which includes ex-Wallaby Phil Waugh, will raise money for children with life-threatening diseases and injuries.

It’s a cause close to Clarke’s heart, having with his niece placed in intensive care after being born 10 weeks premature.

He told the Daily Mail Australia his sister gave birth four weeks ago and it was “extremely tough” to see Chaya hooked up to an incubator.

“Every couple of days I see her and I’m thinking about her and she’s all wired up,” he said.

This will be the first time Perpetual LOYAL and Wild Oats XI have met since last year’s Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and both have recently undergone modifications all aimed at making the super maxis even faster.

Line honours contenders will be aiming at WOXI’s open race record of 22 hours 3 minutes 46 seconds, set in 2012.