His crazy duel with Armel Le Cléac’h was one of the highlights of the eighth Vendée Globe and will remain one for the history books. Alex Thomson finally took second place, four years after making it to the podium for the first time (third in 2012-2013). He only has one place left to go and that is to the top spot, which is still his solo racing dream. Alex has been very clear about it. He will do his utmost to be there again in 2020. We met up with him to find out more.
Alex, two and a half months after your second place in the Vendée Globe, how do you feel physically and mentally? Have you completely recovered from this crazy race?
I feel physically and mentally fine after finishing second in the Vendée Globe. I’ve just returned from a holiday with the family in the Caribbean. Prior to this I was very busy after finishing the race on the 20th January. I had a lot of interviews to complete with media and met with my sponsors. But I am now back in the office and preparing for our next campaign.
I was incredibly disappointed when the foil broke on just day 13 of the race. I knew that I had to stay positive and focus on the finish. The duel with Armel was intense and right up until the last moment there was always the possibility I could catch him.
Apart from this fight with Armel, what do you remember in particular from this eighth edition of the Vendée Globe? How would you judge the race in general?
It was fantastic when the French Navy helicopter contacted and filmed me whilst in the Southern Ocean. It was good to have some form of human contact in one of the remotest places on the planet.
This was a very international Vendée Globe with ten nationalities represented. Are you pleased about that number and how do you think it could become even more international?
This is incredibly important the Vendée Globe has to be promoted internationally. As a team we are sponsored by HUGO BOSS and Mercedes-Benz. These are both large international companies and its vital that coverage for the Vendée Globe is achieved globally.
Did your adventure and your place as runner-up get much coverage in the media and attract the interest of the public in Britain?
Yes, my progress in the Vendée Globe was followed by the British media. The coverage increased as I approached the finish and closed the gap on Armel Le Cléac’h.
What is your programme for the coming months?
We are working hard on putting our next campaign together. Over the coming months we will be working hard on securing sponsorship for our next campaign. With the hope of putting together a winning team and look to the future and aim to win the Vendee Globe in 2020. I hope to be the first Brit to win the Vendee Globe.
Yes, I am fully rested after finishing the Vendée Globe. I am looking forward to competing again soon and will be taking part in the Fastnet in August.
Do you plan to build a new boat for the 2020 Vendée Globe?
I am convinced my boat could win the next Vendee Globe but we will be looking very closely at all options. We learnt a lot from the last Vendée Globe and now we have finished the race we know the things we would change on board HUGO BOSS. There are several modifications I would like to make on the existing design. Which I am sure will keep her competitive for the next four years.
I have not decided yet whether to enter the Transat Jacque Vabre. I haven’t decided who will be co-skippering this race if we take part.
Interview with Olivier Bourbon /M&M