British Skipper Alex Thomson, onboard his IMOCA 60, is on the final leg of the Ocean Masters New York to Vendée Race.
Thomson experienced difficulties earlier in the race with the autopilot system onboard. In order to make the necessary repairs, he had to slow the racing yacht, HUGO BOSS, and sail under mainsail alone.
Thomson is now sailing at maximum speed and currently under full sail, as the wind speeds dropped overnight. The skipper lies in third position this morning, but is closing the gap with only 40 nautical miles between himself and his rivals Maitre Coq and Edmond de Rothschild.
Due to the extreme weather conditions onboard, Thomson had only managed to get 7-8 hours’ sleep by Friday morning. The decrease in the wind speed, however, allowed him to get some rest over the weekend and he is now sailing at his optimum speed as he crosses the Bay of Biscay and fights to be the first IMOCA 60 to cross the finish line.
Thomson says ‘It has been good to recharge the batteries and we are now back up to speed. It was not particularly nice onboard with a consistent 40 knots of wind over the weekend. The G force onboard is ridiculous and it was stressful having to fix the autopilot Thursday night. My current position is where I ended up with my autopilot problem, which is why I am slightly further north and suffered an 80 mile loss on Thursday night. My spirits are high, feeling good, boat going fast, what could be better!’