British sailing team, Alex Thomson Racing, has announced that it will build a brand new IMOCA 60 race boat in the south of England.
The boat, HUGO BOSS, will be constructed by Carrington Boats. Jason Carrington is one of the most accomplished and highly regarded specialists in the industry.
The project marks a multi-million pound investment by Alex Thomson Racing, together with its long term partner HUGO BOSS, as it looks to make history by becoming the first British team ever to win the Vendée Globe, a solo, non-stop, unassisted race around the world.
Having achieved third and second place finishes in the previous two editions of the race – which remains one of the toughest sporting challenges on the planet – skipper Thomson and his team are now focused on developing a boat that they believe will lead them to victory in 2021.
The build will take place at Carrington Boats Ltd’s new facility in Hythe, Hampshire. The new boat will replace the team’s current IMOCA 60 with a launch scheduled for June 2019.
Skipper Alex Thomson said: “Finishing the last Vendée Globe in second place, with only one foil for the majority of the race, demonstrated just what our existing boat is capable of. Now, it’s about bettering that performance but also producing a package that is reliable enough to finish the race, and that is as much to do with how the boat is built, as how it is designed. Jason and Carrington Boats have assembled a hugely talented team of boat builders, whom I know will search relentlessly for the lightest, strongest and most reliable boat possible”.
Carrington has developed a reputation as one of the world’s most talented race yacht builders, renowned for his meticulous attention to detail and his ability to construct boats which promise reliability and speed – both crucial in offshore ocean racing.
Alex Thomson Racing’s relationship with Carrington began in 2007 when the team commissioned its first major project with the builder. The boat, crewed by Thomson and Andrew Cape, went on to break the world 24 hour speed record and secure a second place finish in the 2007-2008 Barcelona World Race.
Ross Daniel, technical director at Alex Thomson Racing, said: “Jason is really the last of the Grand Prix builders left in the UK and, as a team, we have a great relationship with him. Keeping the build here in England also made complete sense, as it will allow us to work in close collaboration from start to finish. We’re also of course proud to be able to support Carrington Boats as a British boat builder.
“There are many things to consider with the design and build of an IMOCA race boat. Weight is a huge factor but so too is reliability. Speed is of course of paramount importance but, on the other hand, the boat cannot be beyond the capabilities of the skipper, therefore usability is also crucial. So this process is about balance, and ensuring that all of those various factors are constantly being considered and evaluated. If we do that successfully, I firmly believe that we will deliver the very best boat in the fleet.”
Over the next year Carrington Boats will work closely with Alex Thomson Racing’s design and technical team, together with naval architectural firm VPLP, before the boat is unveiled in June 2019.