Monday, November 5
British skipper Alex Thomson is leading the IMOCA fleet in La Route du Rhum, one of the most famous solo races in the offshore sailing calendar.
After just over 24 hours at sea, Thomson is continuing to push the pace and currently lies in first place – 13.8nm ahead of France’s Vincent Riou – in the highly competitive IMOCA 60 class.
Having departed Saint-Malo at 14:00 CET yesterday (Sunday, November 4), the fleet headed westwards. Thomson, sailing onboard HUGO BOSS, was the only skipper in the leading IMOCA pack who opted to sail north of the traffic separation scheme, with his nearest competitors – including France’s Jérémie Beyou onboard Charal and Vincent Riou on PRB – all opting to go south of the TSS. The decision so far, Thomson feels, has paid off:
“The first night was breezy, hectic and fast with a lot of manoeuvres. It was exhausting with 25 to 30 knots of wind and confused seas. It was very uncomfortable. I’m happy with my position but the aim is to get to the west and we will see how it plays out. The wind will go forwards a bit now and I will slow down, then at some point I will tack and cross the front and then tack again to go south”.
This is the first time Thomson has competed in La Route du Rhum: Destination Guadeloupe, a 3,542 nautical mile race which will end in Pointe-à Pitre, Guadeloupe in the Caribbean.