Today at 11:00 UTC, British sailor Alex Thomson smashed two more race records in the solo, non-stop, around the world race, the Vendée Globe as he reached the Cape of Good Hope in 17d 22hrs 58mins.
Thomson has beaten the previous race record to this milestone by 5d 0hrs 48mins. The former record of 22d 23hrs 46mins was held by skipper Armel Le Cléac’h onboard Banque Populaire in 2012. Le Cléac’h is currently in second place, 76 nautical miles behind Thomson onboard HUGO BOSS. Thomson has been consistently leading the fleet since the 12th November 2016, averaging speeds in excess of 20 knots.
Thomson has also broken a second race record from the Equator to the Cape of Good Hope, passing in 8d 15hrs 56mins, which was previously held by Jean Pierre Dick in 2012 onboard Virbac-Paprec 3, at 12d, 2hrs 40mins. This means Thomson has set two new race records in one day.
The Vendée Globe takes place every four years and has historically been dominated by the French. This year’s edition sees 29 IMOCA 60s compete in the race, with Thomson as the only British entry.
Renowned for being one of the most gruelling sporting challenges in the world, only 71 of 138 sailors to date have finished the Vendée Globe since the race’s inception in 1989.
Thomson is determined to be the first British skipper to win the race, which could take upto 80 days to complete. With 28% of the race sailed in 18 days, the skippers still have to pass Cape Leewin and the famous Cape Horn before turning north and sailing back through the North and South Atlantic and crossing the finish line in Les Sables d’Olonne.