Please select your home edition
Edition
Gul 2020 LEADERBOARD

Alex Thomson 'sailing once again' aboard HUGO BOSS

by Curtis Nice 23 Nov 2020 20:58 GMT
Vendée Globe race start © Lloyd Images / Alex Thomson Racing

Just 48 hours after he unearthed structural damage to his HUGO BOSS boat - on day 13 of the Vendée Globe round-the-world yacht race - British sailor Alex Thomson has confirmed that he is sailing once again.

Thomson discovered damage to the bow area of his IMOCA yacht on Saturday evening UTC and, after alerting his team on shore, was forced to bring the boat to a stop while he carried out a complex repair at sea to reinforce the structure inside the boat.

With the help of his team, led by Design Manager Pete Hobson - together with naval architects, VPLP and structural engineers, Gurit - the 46-year-old skipper was able to stabilise HUGO BOSS, undertake the repairs, and has now begun sailing once again.

"I've got a sail up again!" Thomson said. "I'm sailing in the right direction and I'm back in the race. I'm super happy about that. It's been a tough couple of days, an awful lot of work - cutting, grinding, sanding, gluing and there's still a lot more to go. It's certainly not over yet but the structure in the bow is now stable, it's not moving any more and so I can sail in these moderate conditions, in the right direction. Happy days."

Having led the fleet for much of the race prior to discovering the damage, the Brit has since dropped into fifth place, around 400nm behind the race leader, Frenchman Charlie Dalin. However, with the race only around a fifth of the way through, and more than 19,500 miles still to go, the opportunity to re-join the leaders is still very much alive.

"It's obviously disappointing but I'm not going to dwell on the negatives here because I think there are way more positives." Thomson continued. "It's positive that I found it before it was catastrophic, it's positive that it happened in the conditions it happened in, which meant the leaders and the rest of the fleet weren't moving away at 500 miles a day. So I'm just super happy that I'm still in the race. It could so easily have been the end of the race for me."

Thomson won the hearts of fans around the world when, in the 2016-17 edition of the Vendée Globe, he finished in second place, despite suffering irreparable damage to his hydrofoil just 12 days into the race.

"I've been here before, and all you can do is get back on your feet and keep pushing forwards. I've probably still got a night and a half of work to do but, looking at the weather, the next few days are going to be quite light, so good conditions for me to finish the job."

Related Articles

Alex Thomson departs Cape Town
And 'heads for home' onboard HUGO BOSS Alex Thomson today departed from Cape Town, South Africa to begin the 6,500nm journey back to the UK onboard his HUGO BOSS boat. Posted on 9 Jan
Britain's Alex Thomson arrives safely to Cape Town
And formally retires from the Vendée Globe After irreparable rudder damage put a stop to his quest for victory in the Vendée Globe, British sailor Alex Thomson has arrived safely in Cape Town, South Africa. Posted on 4 Dec 2020
A message from Alex
Speaking for the first time after his dreams of Vendée Globe victory end Alex Thomson speaks for the first time after his dreams of Vendée Globe victory end in heartbreak. Posted on 30 Nov 2020
British sailor Alex Thomson 'back in race mode'
On the charge towards the Southern Ocean Alex Thomson is back in action in the Vendée Globe and preparing to enter the Southern Ocean, after structural damage onboard his HUGO BOSS boat temporarily halted his hunt for the title. Posted on 27 Nov 2020
Alex Thomson preparing for the Southern Ocean
Taking advantage of the light conditions to further reinforce the repairs Update from Ross Daniel, Technical Director at Alex Thomson Racing: "Yesterday evening, Alex decided to take advantage of the light conditions to further reinforce the repairs to increase the safety factors before he enters the Southern Ocean." Posted on 27 Nov 2020
Alex Thomson carrying out structural repair
Damage to a longitudinal beam at the front of HUGO BOSS Yesterday evening, while Alex was carrying out a routine inspection onboard HUGO BOSS, he spotted what he believed to be some structural damage in the bow area of the boat. Posted on 22 Nov 2020
Vendée Globe: Alex Thomson 'In it to win it'
Continuing to lead with two of his toughest French rivals in hot pursuit "I go out there to win so I want to be leading from the early stages". On day 13 of the Vendée Globe, Alex Thomson continues his lead with two of his toughest French rivals in hot pursuit Posted on 21 Nov 2020
Alex Thomson races south towards the equator
Sailing away from Storm Theta's centre in the Vendée Globe The routing had Hugo Boss tacking just before the eye of the storm, however 70 miles from the centre with consistent wind of 50 knots and five metre waves, the boat violently broached. Posted on 14 Nov 2020
Alex Thomson off to a solid start in Vendée Globe
HUGO BOSS skipper taking on the challenge for the fifth time 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. Posted on 11 Nov 2020
New video from Alex Thomson Racing
With one week to the Vendée Globe start Alex Thomson Racing have released a new video of the IMOCA Hugo Boss with just under a week to go until the Vendée Globe start in Les Sables-d'Olonne. Posted on 2 Nov 2020