On November 8th, Alex Thomson set sail for the 2020-21 Vendée Globe – the unique single-handed round-the-world race nicknamed the ‘Everest of sailing.’ Having finished second and third in the previous two editions of the race, Thomson and his team, together with their long-standing sponsor Hugo Boss, now have their sights set on becoming the first British team in history to win the race.
This unique race takes place every four years. Each skipper circumnavigates the globe – sailing a distance of more than 45,000 kilometres – unassisted and without stopping. Only just over half the 167 sailors who have ever attempted the odyssey have completed it.
Thomson finished the 2016-17 race in 74 days, 19 hours and 35 minutes, less than 24 hours short of the record time set by Frenchman Armel Le Cléac’h. In doing so, he set the British solo, unassisted round-the-world monohull record.
This year, the record-setting British skipper is sailing onboard Hugo Boss, an Imoca 60 yacht which took 80,000 hours to design and build. It features groundbreaking design and never-before-seen technology, which the skipper is confident will give him the edge this year.
A significant step forward for this class of boat, Hugo Boss is made almost entirely from carbon fibre. It is kitted out with a network of cameras, allowing Thomson to view and analyze his progress from within the cockpit – and offering fans a fully immersive experience as they follow along from home.
Alex Thomson said, “Winning the Vendée Globe is what I’ve set my mind to for almost 20 years now. This race has totally captivated my imagination, and it really is everything I have worked towards. To win it? Of course, that’s the goal, but first, we have to finish the race. And with this being my fifth attempt, I know just how tough that is to do. But I’m confident in myself, in the Hugo Boss boat, and I think if we can get to the finish line, then we should certainly be in contention to win.”
Lüder Fromm, Director Global Marketing and Brand Communications of Hugo Boss, said, “The Vendée Globe is an incredible combination of engineering and excellence, requiring immense skill and endurance. We will be cheering Alex Thomson on throughout his journey. We’re so proud to support such a talented sportsman and wish him every luck.”
Alex Thomson is the youngest skipper ever to win a round-the-world yacht race. When he triumphed in the 1998-1999 Clipper Round-the-World Race he set a record which still stands today.