Please select your home edition
Edition
CoastWaterSports 2014

Transat Jacques Vabre: Alex Thomson and Neal McDonald arrive safely to the Cape Verde Islands

by Sarah Taylor 8 Nov 2019 12:51 GMT
Alex Thomson and his co-skipper - fellow Briton Neal McDonald - departed from Le Havre - Transat Jacques Vabre 2019 © Alex Thomson Racing

This morning (Friday 8th November 2019), shortly after 08:00 UTC, Alex Thomson and Neal McDonald arrived safely into the Cape Verde Islands onboard the HUGO BOSS yacht.

The skippers, who had been racing in the 4,350 mile double-handed Transat Jacques Vabre race from Le Havre, France to Salvador, Brazil, were forced to retire from the race when their IMOCA 60 race boat, HUGO BOSS, hit an unknown object submerged in the water.

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 and abandon their attempts to finish what was their debut race onboard the new HUGO BOSS boat.

After cutting the keel free from the boat, the skippers - with support from their technical team based in Gosport on the UK's south coast - embarked upon an 800 nautical mile journey to the Cape Verde Islands in order to bring themselves, and the boat, to safety.

This morning, Thomson and McDonald were greeted by members of their technical team in Sao Vincente, Cape Verde, and together they brought the yacht safely into port.

Upon arrival, Thomson said: "It was a pretty scary experience for both of us and we're very pleased to be on dry land safely with the team.

"From here, the next steps are to lift the boat out of the water in order to do a thorough assessment of the damage. We will then bring the boat back to the UK so that we can begin the necessary repair work, with a view to getting back out on the water as soon as possible.

"This is of course a setback, but the team will be doing everything in its power to move swiftly forwards. As for our objective to win the Vendée Globe in 2020-21? Nothing changes. That remains the sole focus of our team".

Related Articles

Britain's Alex Thomson heads to France
Ahead of the Vendée Globe race aboard HUGO BOSS British sailor Alex Thomson has bid farewell to his home base of Gosport, Hampshire and begun his journey to Les Sables-d'Olonne, the French seaside town which will play host to the start of the upcoming Vendée Globe race. Posted on 15 Oct
Count down to the Vendée Globe 2020-2021
Alex Thomson Racing releases a new video with one month to go until the start A new video released by Alex Thomson Racing with just one month to go until the Vendée Globe 2020-21. The start is on Sunday 8th November in Les Sables-d'Olonne, France. Posted on 8 Oct
Alex Thomson Racing Up to Speed: September 2020
Installation of the new foils complete on IMOCA Hugo Boss British Sailor Alex Thomson brings us up to speed on the completion of the final service of the HUGO BOSS boat before the Vendée Globe, the installation of the yacht's new foils and the schedule from now until the race start on November 8th. Posted on 16 Sep
Alex Thomson Racing releases '2 months to go'
HUGO BOSS continues preparations for the Vendée Globe 2020-2021 Alex Thomson Racing release a new short video with two months to until HUGO BOSS competes in the Vendée Globe 2020-2021. Posted on 10 Sep
HUGO BOSS returns to the water
Alex Thomson and team re-commence training for Vendée Globe 2020 British sailor Alex Thomson has returned to the water onboard the new HUGO BOSS, the boat which he hopes will lead him to victory in the 2020 Vendée Globe. Posted on 12 Jun
Alex's eight tips to help you 'go it alone'
Isolation is a concept that British sailor Alex Thomson is all too familiar with Isolation is a concept that British sailor Alex Thomson is all too familiar with. When Thomson sails solo, non-stop around the world in the Vendée Globe, he must solve problems, overcome challenges and remain mentally strong. Posted on 3 May
Words of positivity from Alex Thomson
Time alone can give you an entirely new perspective This week, Alex joined Title Partner HUGO BOSS to share his advice on managing isolation, turning negatives into positives, and making the very best of being at home. Posted on 18 Apr
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 2019
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 2019
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 2019