Tuesday 15th November – Thomson this morning strengthens his first position as he continues to lead in the Vendée Globe 2016. As the UK awakened Alex found himself 65 Nautical Miles ahead of the next competitor Armel l’Cleac’h, racing on Banque Populaire VIII. The Vendée Globe is a non-stop unassisted, race around the world.
48 hours after the race started on Sunday 6th November Alex expressed his frustrations with his decision to Gybe early on in the race and head inland. This cost Alex many miles placing him in 9thplace.
The fleet of Oceanmasters then began to head towards the Island of Madeira. Alex made the decision to keep with the pack and leave Madeira to the East. He channelled his frustration foregoing sleep and focusing on speed. By Friday night Alex claimed 7th place and the tracker showed HUGO BOSS achieving incredible speeds as he hunted down the leaders of the pack.
HUGO BOSS continued to pick up pace as Alex steered her towards the Canary Islands. Throughout Saturday Alex Thomson climbed through the fleet of IMOCA 60’s. During the afternoon Alex made the decision to pass through the islands leaving Cape Verde to the West. A manoeuvre which placed him almost 100 miles ahead of the leaders, allowing Alex to take pole position in the Vendée Globe.
The doldrums is renowned as a difficult part of the race as the North and South trade winds of the Atlantic meet and the winds decrease. Alex was fortunate to keep HUGO BOSS moving through this difficult part of the course.
With a full moon lighting the deck last night Alex explains ‘’ It’s been a fantastic day today. I think that is the easiest Doldrums crossing I have ever had. Normally the rich get richer at this stage. As I get further south I’ll get more wind and the wind will get more left which means I can ease the sails and go faster. That’s the normal trend and looking at the forecast that should happen.”
Alex is approaching the Equator on the 9th day of the race which could see Alex as the first non-French sailor to reach the Equator in the Vendée Globe. On top of this he is set to break the current record to the Equator which was set by Jean Le Cam in 2004 when he reached the Equator in 10 days 11 hours.
Once crossing the Equator Alex will heads for the next mark in the race the point where HUGO BOSS will turn left as he rounds the most southern tip of Africa the Cape of Good Hope.