IMOCA 60 CLASS
The IMOCA class is an Open class in which 60ft Monohulls compete in the Ocean Masters circuit. The class is made up of over forty active skippers who take part in the IMOCA Ocean races. The championship is made up of two round the world races, a round Europe race and several other Transatlantic ocean races. This provides an international racing platform for the skippers.
British sailor Alex Thomson defies the odds to finish second in the Vendée Globe, smashing the British record in the process
After 74 days, 19 hours and 35 minutes at sea, British sailor Alex Thomson reached the finish line of the Vendée Globe on his boat HUGO BOSS at 7:37 UTC Friday 20th January 2017, and in doing so broke his own British record of 80 days for the fastest solo circumnavigation of the globe in a monohull.
As well as becoming the fastest Brit to ever sail solo around the world, Thomson has matched Dame Ellen MacArthur’s second place finish which she achieved back in the 2001 edition of the race.
Thomson’s achievements are all the more extraordinary for the fact that he suffered potentially race-ending damage to his boat on day 13 at sea. A collision with an unidentified object in the water caused his starboard foil to break, but even with this set back Alex has fought until the finish securing second place.
At one point, Thomson fell some 800 miles behind the leader, but delivered the greatest performance of his career to get himself back in contention and to set up one of the most thrilling final stages that the Vendée Globe has ever seen.
Over the past week, Thomson and first placed sailor, Armel Le Céac’h, have been involved in a sprint to the line, with Thomson continuing to gain miles on his French rival. In doing so, the British sailor broke the world speed record, and at one point pulled the difference back to less than 40 nautical miles. The two sailors continued to battle it out to the end, before Le Cleac’h finally sealed victory on Thursday afternoon.
The Vendée Globe is a single-handed, non-stop, unassisted race around the world. Often termed ‘the Everest of Sailing’, the race – which takes place just once every four years – pushes sailors to their very limits, requiring them to compete alone at sea without stopping, setting foot on dry land, or receiving any form of assistance for almost three months.
It is one of the world’s toughest sporting challenges, with only 72 sailors to ever complete the race since its inception. Dangerous and unpredictable, only 18 of the 29 sailors who began this edition of the Vendée Globe remain in the race. In the past, three skippers have lost their lives attempting to conquer the challenge.
Thomson, who was greeted by thousands of people who flocked to Les Sables d’Olonne on the west coast of France to witness his triumphant return, said: “It’s incredible to be here in second place, particularly given the loss of my starboard foil in the early part of the race. In our sport, challenges do not get any tougher, so this is a moment I will never forget.”
“This result is not just for me; it’s for my sponsor, for HUGO BOSS, for my family and friends who have supported me, and for my entire team who have worked tirelessly both before and throughout the race. We have put in years of preparation to get to the start and to ensure both the boat and me were in the best possible shape to take on this phenomenal race.
“To sail down the canal here in Les Sables d’Olonne, back where it all started on November 6th and to see huge crowds of people was an amazing feeling. And to be back with my wife Kate and children Oscar and Georgia again is emotional and very special.”
The 2016-17 edition of the Vendée Globe began on Sunday, November 6th when Thomson, alongside 28 fellow skippers, set sail from Les Sables d’Olonne, France. Thomson and his team had spent more than two years ahead of the race designing and building a brand new IMOCA 60 race boat, HUGO BOSS. Despite the loss of the boat’s starboard foil early in the race, Thomson’s four years of intense training and preparation allowed for a recovery more defiant than anyone could ever have imaged.
CEO of Alex Thomson Racing, Stewart Hosford, said: “We are incredibly proud of what Alex has achieved. A race like this is the culmination of four years of hard work, training and preparation from both Alex and the team behind the scenes. We came here to win the Vendée Globe, but Alex’s 2nd place finish together with a number of new records is a superb achievement. Thank you to the team, sponsors and everyone who made this possible.”
Hugo Boss 2015
The new VPLP/Verdier and Alex Thomson Racing Team designed HUGO BOSS was launched in September 2015. As the first all black HUGO BOSS yacht, she has an impressive honeycomb pattern on her deck designed by world renowned Industrial Designer Konstanin Grcic. This new HUGO BOSS is the second yacht built by The Alex Thomson Racing Team and is custom made for Alex Thomson. Featuring a one design mast and keel as specified by the new rules of the IMOCA class, her first race is the 5000mile Transat Jacques Vabre from France to Brazil starting on 25th October 2015.
Hugo Boss 2014-2015
Previously Virbac-Paprec, this VPLP/Verdier designed IMOCA 60 finished 4th in the 2012-13 Vendee Globe with Jean-Pierre Dick at the helm. As HUGO BOSS she won the 2014 Ocean Masters Race from New York- Barcelona. Alex and co-skipper Pepe Ribes then competed in the 2014-15 Barcelona World Race and retired after being dismasted in the South Atlantic after leading the fleet in 1st position and breaking two race records.
Hugo Boss 2011-2014
The Farr designed HUGO BOSS was bought by Alex Thomson Racing in 2011 ahead of the Transat Jacques Vabre where Alex and co-skipper Guillermo Altadill finished in Costa Rica in 2nd place. Alex broke the West to East Transat record in 2012 and went on to finish 3rd in the 2012-2013 Vendee Globe completing the race in 80 days. In 2013 Alex finished 3rd in the Rolex Fastnet Race. Alex also completed his famous #Mastwalk on this HUGO BOSS.
Hugo Boss 2010-2013
The Juan K designed ex-Pindar IMOCA 60 was christened as HUGO BOSS in 2010 and finished 7th in the Barcelona World Race with skippers Andy MeikleJohn and Wouter Verbraak. She finished 2nd in class in the 2011 Sydney Hobart and then went on to complete a world tour for sponsor HUGO BOSS, with stops in Asia, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico, USA and Canada.
Hugo Boss 2007-2010
The Finot designed HUGO BOSS was the first yacht built specifically for Alex Thomson, and successfully finished 2nd in the 2007-08 Barcelona World Race with co-skipper Andrew Cape. In 2007 Alex broke the world monohull distance record sailing 501 miles in 24hours.
This HUGO BOSS is also famous for Alex’s legendary #Keelwalk which was released in 2012.