Please select your home edition
Edition
Henri-Lloyd 2019 Leaderboard
Product Feature
Crewsaver ErgoFit 290N EX
Crewsaver ErgoFit 290N EX
Boat Insurance from Noble Marine


Full racing risks
New for old cover
www.noblemarine.co.uk

Alex Thomson returns to racing action in the Rolex Fastnet Race

by Rory Nicklin 4 Aug 2017 13:49 BST 6 August 2017
Alex Thomson is set to compet in the Rolex Fastnet Race © Cleo Barnham

Six months after his historic second place finish in the Vendee Globe, British sailor Alex Thomson will return to offshore racing on Sunday 6th August, competing in his tenth Fastnet Race. The race, which starts in Cowes, is the world's largest offshore sailing race with 400 boats and over 4,000 crew expected at this year's start line.

Racing onboard his record breaking HUGO BOSS IMOCA 60, Thomson will be joined onboard by Irish sailor Nicholas O'Leary, for the 600 mile race around the Fastnet Rock, in Ireland. As a young talent in short-handed ocean racing, O'Leary has ambitions to race in the Vendee Globe himself in the future and is looking forward to gaining experience racing with Thomson onboard HUGO BOSS.

Earlier this week, Thomson, who broke his own record as the fastest Brit to sail solo around the world on a monohull in the 2016/17 Vendee Globe, and holds the world sailing speed 24 hour distance record, was awarded with the Chichester Trophy at the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes. The prestigious award was presented by The Princess Royal in recognition of Thomson's offshore sailing achievements, and has only previously been presented sixteen times. The first sailor to be awarded the trophy was Sir Francis Chichester in 1967 and since then it has been awarded to other sailing legends including Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and Dame Ellen MacArthur.

Speaking about the upcoming race, Thomson said; "I'm excited to be back racing this weekend in the Fastnet and it's great to see a good turnout of IMOCA boats on the start line, with some new competitors on the circuit. It's fantastic for the sport to see so many boats on the water."

The race takes the boats from the Solent out through the English Channel, around the Fastnet Rock and finishes just off Plymouth. A notoriously testing race that often sees winds up to gale force in strength, the race tests even the most experienced of offshore sailors.

Technical Director Ross Daniel stated; "With the current upwind forecast, the conditions from the start to the Fastnet Rock are not favourable for the foiling IMOCA's. The challenge will be staying in contention with the non-foiling IMOCA's to the Rock, and then the foiling boats will come into their own in the reaching conditions to the finish in Plymouth."

Five of the nine IMOCAs taking part in this years' Fastnet are foiling boats, meaning they have appendages on either side of their hulls, designed to help lift the boats out of the water to reduce drag and increase speed. Foils were first introduced to the IMOCA class in the build-up to the Vendee Globe 2016, leading to significantly increased top speeds for those boats which had utilised them.

Related Articles

Alex Thomson awarded top honour by French Embassy
Presented with the prestigious French National Order of Merit British skipper, Alex Thomson, has been awarded the prestigious French National Order of Merit ("Ordre national du Mérite") by French Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Jean-Pierre Jouyet. Posted on 14 Jun
Alex Thomson Racing to launch new Hugo Boss boat
Confirms October debut in Transat Jacques Vabre Designed by Alex Thomson Racing and French naval architects VPLP, the new HUGO BOSS boat is currently being constructed by world renowned British boat builder Jason Carrington and his team on the south coast of the UK. Posted on 20 May
Sunshine and sailing in Rio de Janeiro
Alex Thomson and the HUGO BOSS yacht together in Brazil Following a 12 day long delivery from Antigua – where HUGO BOSS was berthed over the Christmas and New Year period – the crew arrived in Rio to a warm reception from Brazilian fans. Posted on 16 Mar
Alex Thomson breaks 24 hour distance record
539.71 nautical miles in a 60ft monohull British skipper Alex Thomson and his crew have officially broken the 24 hour distance record for a 60ft Monohull. Posted on 25 Oct 2018
Ground-breaking technology partnership
NOKIA and Alex Thomson Racing make announcement Nokia, a global leader in creating the technologies that connect the world, together with its world-renowned industrial research and innovation engine was today announced as Technology Partner to UK-based sailing team Alex Thomson Racing. Posted on 30 Sep 2018
Alex Thomson Racing appoints Carrington Boats
To build team's new IMOCA 60 race boat British sailing team, Alex Thomson Racing, has announced that it will build a brand new IMOCA 60 race boat in the south of England. The boat, HUGO BOSS, will be constructed by Carrington Boats. Posted on 27 Jun 2018
HUGO BOSS sending it!
Epic footage from off the coast of Portugal Some epic footage filmed off the coast of Portugal and hitting a staggering 33.2 knots in rough seas, HUGO BOSS was really sending it! Posted on 25 Nov 2017
HUGO BOSS backs Alex Thomson Racing
For Vendée Globe 2020 Today we're pleased to announce that our long-term sponsor, HUGO BOSS, has extended its partnership with the team for a further four years, in a deal that will take us through to the end of 2021. Posted on 16 Nov 2017
HUGO BOSS and Alex Thomson Racing shortlisted
In BT Sport Industry Award The partnership between HUGO BOSS and Alex Thomson Racing has been shortlisted in the 2017 BT Sport Industry Awards for 'Team or Individual Sponsorship of the Year'. Posted on 1 Mar 2017
Crowds welcome Alex Thomson home
After his achievements in the Vendée Globe Alex Thomson was welcomed home today by crowds of people who gathered to celebrate the sailor's record breaking effort in the prestigious Vendée Globe, widely renowned as one of sport's toughest challenges. Posted on 11 Feb 2017