Thomson home in third

British IMOCA 60 completes the New York-Vendee podium

Wednesday June 8th 2016, Author: James Boyd, Location: France

Alex Thomson and his IMOCA 60 Hugo Boss this evening arrived into Les Sable d’Olonne, France, after successfully finishing the Ocean Masters New York to Vendée (Les Sables d'Olonne) race in third place, having led for most of the race.

Crossing the finishing line at 16:43 UTC, Thomson completed the race across the North Atlantic from New York to Les Sables d'Olonne in 9 days, 21 hours, 3 minutes and 34 seconds. which secured him a place on the podium.

“This is a fantastic achievement; not only for me but for the entire team.” said Thomson.

Thomson led for the majority of the race, positioning himself ahead of the 13 other competitors in the fleet and, at times, outpacing them. However, during the skipper’s fifth night offshore, he experienced difficulties with the autopilot system on-board his IMOCA 60  and was forced to work through the night to make emergency repairs. Operating on little sleep, in gale force winds of over 40 knots, Thomson was able to make the vital repairs before fighting his way to a podium position.

The last few days of the race saw Hugo Boss, together with rivals Maître Coq and Edmond de Rothschild - switch positions, as each fought for the lead.

By finishing the race in third position, Thomson has positioned himself as a firm contender to win the upcoming Vendée Globe.

“Just weeks ago the boat was in the shed, undergoing major repairs.” continued Thomson. “Today we crossed the finish line in third place, in what was an incredibly challenging race. This is a superb achievement, and a testament to the hard work of the whole team.”

Prior to the New York to Vendée race, Thomson had been forced to retire from the Transat Jacques Vabre, back in November, after his boat suffered structural damage and was then capsized by a rogue wave. This setback forced Thomson and his team to spend months making significant repairs to the boat, which had only recently been launched following a two year long design and build process.

Now, Thomson has his sights firmly set on the non-stop, unassisted round the world race, the Vendée Globe. To date this has only ever been won by a French competitor. This time around, with a podium finish in the New York to Vendée under his belt, puts Thomson in a good place to challenge for line honours.

“This result has put us in a fantastic position ahead of the Vendée Globe.” Thomson said. “We are incredibly confident that we have built a racing yacht which is capable of winning the Vendée and its performance in this race has only reinforced that.”

The Team CEO, Stewart Hosford, added: “I believe we have demonstrated as a team that we have the ability to be the first British Team to win the Vendée Globe. It is the toughest sporting challenge left on the planet. We are disappointed that we had difficulties with some of the systems on-board. However I am pleased Alex has battled on and ensured a podium position for himself, the sponsors and the team."

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