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Alex Thomson 'off to a solid start' in the Vendée Globe

by Alex Thomson Racing 11 Nov 2020 06:26 GMT
Vendée Globe race start © Lloyd Images / Alex Thomson Racing

Alex Thomson is now three days into his Vendée Globe journey, which began on Sunday from the seaside town of Les Sables-d'Olonne in France.

The HUGO BOSS skipper is taking on the challenge for the fifth time with the aim of becoming the first Brit ever to win the 24,000-mile, solo, non-stop, unassisted round-the-world yacht race.

A sporting challenge conquered by only 89 sailors in history, the Vendée Globe sees skippers push their minds and bodies to the absolute limits onboard custom-built racing yachts, designed to withstand the world's toughest oceans and volatile weather systems.

"There is no other sporting challenge like it" said Alex, as he prepared to leave dry land onboard HUGO BOSS on Sunday afternoon, knowing that he will not see another human being for what could be more than 70 days. "For me, the Vendée Globe is the absolute pinnacle of sporting endeavour. No other sport pushes you so hard, over such a long period, in an environment where you are so out of reach from civilisation with only yourself to rely on".

After a delayed start to the race due to fog, Alex and his 32 fellow skippers began the race and, despite challenging conditions on the water, have continued to push forwards.

Meanwhile, on shore, the skipper's team have been closely following Alex's progress and are pleased with his progress so far:

"Alex got off to a good start, crossing the line without any complications, reaching to the west at a good speed and staying in the leading group" said Ross Daniel, the team's Technical Director today.

"As you saw in his video, he managed to get some fishing gear caught on the rudder and foil on the first night but he was able to kick up the rudder, which managed to release it. He's since managed to check both the rudder and foil and there doesn't appear to be any damage.

"It was a tough overnight period as he sailed through the light shifting winds. Alex compared the conditions he was experiencing onboard to being in the Doldrums with very unstable wind, gusting from 9 to 18 knots. This means that you very quickly go from being underpowered to over powered, and the boat constantly needs your attention to either ease the sheets or wind them in. There was therefore no real time to sleep. He's managed to take some short rest periods but is looking forward to trying to get into a routine and banking some sleep."

"You'll see that there was a bit of a divide in the fleet this morning due to the skippers having to make a decision on how they tackled the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) of Finistere, which is an exclusion zone. Some opted to go in the inside and others the outside. This has now created a bit of a divide with a SE group and a NW group. HUGO BOSS remains in the NW group, close to Boris on Seaexplorer - Yacht Club de Monaco.

"Throughout the day the skippers will see an increase in both wind and sea state as they sail west towards a frontal system that is tracking east across the Atlantic. By tonight they will be in the thick of it with winds of up to 35-40 knots and 4-5m waves. The western group will cross the front in the early hours of tomorrow morning and then tack onto starboard and start to head south.

"Alex is sounding relaxed onboard and is happy with his position".

Track Alex's race via the Hub.

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