Alex Thomson is not just someone, who dives off the top of a mast in his best suit (although it takes skill to dive 29 metres while moving) for the PR requirements of his sponsor, Hugo Boss. The picture was seen around the world on Internet, but Alex Thomson has greater sporting ambitions: he wants to become the first British winner of the Vendée Globe.
He does indeed have what it takes with a foiling boat built by Green Marine in England. In the last race (3rd in 2012/2013), Alex Thomson showed everyone that he could make it to the podium with a second-hand boat. He is often shown as an example of what can be done with an older boat by his peers.
But this was not the only moment of glory along the way for Alex, who can boast an exciting past. This fan of speed grew up on the South coast of England and back in 1999 became the youngest sailor to win the crewed race around the world, the Clipper Round The World Race, which he achieved at the age of 25. Forced out of the Vendée Globe twice in 2004 and 2008, this is now but a distant memory. Alex is a phenomenon, able to push back his personal limits and those of his boat. Just like when he smashed the solo Atlantic crossing record or sailing double-handed came in second in the Barcelona World Race. The British sailor is certainly stubborn and very experienced. Like Vincent Riou and Bertrand de Broc, this will be his fourth attempt when he lines up at the start of the Everest of the Seas. He really wants this one to be the big one. He is certainly up there with the favourites. One day, a non-French sailor will indeed win the Vendée Globe. Alex Thomson may be the man to do it.
There was a huge scare with his brand new Hugo Boss, which Alex had to abandon at sea following damage in the last double-handed transatlantic race. Fortunately, his team managed to recover the 60-foot boat and repair her. She should be 100% ready at the start in Les Sables d’Olonne.