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The new Hugo Boss boat hits the water as Alex Thomson Racing bids for Vendée Globe glory

by Alex Thomson Racing 5 Aug 09:49 BST

British sailing team Alex Thomson Racing is announcing the completion of the new racing yacht, which it hopes will lead the team to victory in the 2020-21 Vendée Globe round-the-world race.

The IMOCA boat, HUGO BOSS, is the product of more than two years of painstaking design and build work undertaken by the ocean racing team, together with more than 100 naval architects, engineers and boat builders.

"What makes us one of the most exciting teams in this sport is that we display the courage to lead" Skipper Alex Thomson said, as HUGO BOSS was lowered into the water for the very first time. "We innovate, we push boundaries and we're not afraid to do things differently. We accept that, in doing so, we might not always be right. But we are certainly not afraid to explore things that have never been done before".

Designed in partnership by the Alex Thomson Racing technical team - led by Design Manager Pete Hobson - and French naval architects VPLP, the revolutionary new boat was built in Hampshire, England, close to the ocean racing team's home base of Gosport.

Spearheaded by world-renowned British boat builder Jason Carrington, the build itself began back in June 2018 and has involved more than 50,000 hours of specialist construction.

HUGO BOSS - the name carried by all six of the team's previous IMOCA boats - is a purpose-built 60ft long carbon fibre yacht, weighing 7.6 tonnes and featuring state-of-the-art hydrofoils. The boat's deck and coach roof, meanwhile, feature solar panelling, an addition which the team hopes will allow it to achieve its ambition of sailing around the world without the use of fossil fuels.

The boat's striking black carbon hull - with its significantly streamlined bow - has now been made public, a demonstrable architectural step forward from the team's previous iterations. The hull's glossy black finish echoes the sleek brand identity of the team's Title Partner, HUGO BOSS, whose BOSS brand logo has been cleverly created from silver carbon fibre and embedded into the hull itself.

The distinctive black hull is in stark contrast to accents of fluorescent pink which can be seen across the boat's coach roof, keel and rudder. Devised by Industrial Designer Karim Rashid - the man behind the brand identity of the boat - the bespoke fluro tone is a first for the IMOCA class.

The boat will also feature never before seen on-board technologies, developed alongside Technology Partner Nokia Bell Labs, which is incubating this work for the sailing team, in keeping with its research for high-performance mission-critical applications.

"This sport is no longer just about qualified naval architecture and competent ocean racing" said Stewart Hosford, CEO of Alex Thomson Racing. "It's a design and engineering challenge at the highest level. It's about bringing together the best in the world in every single area, in the relentless pursuit of excellence, of perfection."

Thomson and his team will now undertake a period of on-water commissioning and testing before the new HUGO BOSS is officially launched and christened in September. From there, the boat will debut in the double-handed Transat Jacques Vabre race in October 2019 before Thomson undertakes his first solo race in the New York to Vendée in June 2020, the penultimate race in the IMOCA calendar before the Vendée Globe itself in November 2020.

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Transat Jacques Vabre: Hugo Boss arrives safely
Alex Thomson and Neal McDonald forced to retire The incident, which occurred on the morning of Sunday 3rd November - when Thomson and McDonald were just over a third of the way into the race - left the pair with no choice but to detach their 4.5m long keel from the yacht. Posted on 8 Nov
Transat Jacques Vabre: Hugo Boss update
Alex and Neal are safe and making good progress "Alex and Neal are safe and making good progress onboard HUGO BOSS. They are now around 300 miles away from the Cape Verde Islands, sailing with caution at around 10 knots." Posted on 6 Nov
Transat Jacques Vabre: Alex Thomson Racing update
Sailing to the Cape Verde Islands without a keel, around 800nm away “Together with Alex and Neal, our technical team has today been evaluating a number of different options. The decision has been made that the safest course of action is for the skippers to sail to the Cape Verde Islands, around 800nm away. Posted on 5 Nov
HUGO BOSS detaches keel
Ballast tanks filled and foils fully extended for stability Last night Alex and Neal were both able to get some rest onboard HUGO BOSS. In the early hours of this morning the skippers resumed their attempts to stabilise the keel. Posted on 4 Nov
Hugo Boss retires from Transat Jacques Vabre
Skippers are continuing to work to stabilise the boat in order to sail safely Britain's Alex Thomson and his co-skipper Neal McDonald have been forced to retire from the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre, the team's debut race onboard the new HUGO BOSS boat. Posted on 4 Nov
Transat Jacques Vabre Day 3 HUGO BOSS update
Alex Thomson records this video from onboard they yacht Hi everybody. Well I finally get a chance to make a video. It's been pretty tiring out here for the first days, lots of little niggles and stuff. Not quite right. But still, very happy with how we're doing. Posted on 30 Oct
Transat Jacques Vabre Day 3: Hugo Boss update
Alex and Neal are now committed to the western route Alex and Neal are now committed to the western route onboard HUGO BOSS. Over the coming days, it will appear on the race tracker that the boats which took the southerly course are further ahead, ticking more miles off towards the finish line. Posted on 29 Oct
Thomson's debut onboard new Hugo Boss in TJV
Thomson and his co-skipper - fellow Briton Neal McDonald - departed from Le Havre British sailor Alex Thomson today began the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre, his debut race onboard the new HUGO BOSS racing yacht. Posted on 27 Oct
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Built with one goal in mind - to win the Vendée Globe in 2020-21 Designed by Alex Thomson Racing and naval architects VPLP, and built by world-renowned boat builder Jason Carrington, the new HUGO BOSS boat is the first of its kind in the world. Posted on 4 Aug
Alex Thomson awarded top honour by French Embassy
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