Alex Thomson Smashes Another Vendée Globe Record

Author: Katy Stickland
Source: ybw
Date: November 22, 2016

British sailor Alex Thomson has become the fastest skipper in the Vend?e Globe over a 24-hour period.

He sailed 535.34 nautical miles in 24 hours on board Hugo Boss, beating the current record holder, Francois Gabart.

The French skipper set the record of 534.48 nautical miles in 24 hours during the 2012 Vend?e Globe.

However, the official rule of the world speed sailing record states that the record must be exceeded by one complete nautical mile further than the previous record in order to be ratified.

The distance Thomson sailed in 24 hours on 19 November 2016, which has been confirmed by the race organisers, makes him the fastest solo sailor on a 60ft monohull in a 24-hour period, according to Thomson?s media team.

This is despite an incident on the morning of 19 November, when Hugo Boss hit an unidentified object, breaking part of the vessel?s starboard foil.

Speaking about the incident, Thomson said: ?Having had pretty quick night where the boat was sailing high averages and the boat was super uncomfortable I had retracted the foil 30% early this morning and was sailing the boat pretty conservatively in a building breeze.?

?At 09.35 UT this morning I was down below trying to sleep and the boat was sailing in 22kts of wind with a J2 and one reef in the main. I was averaging 24kts of boat speed when I heard an almighty bang and the boat stopped and turned to starboard by about 30 degrees and the rudder popped up,? he continued.

?I quickly went on deck, eased the main sheet and realised I must have hit something. I put the rudder back down, eased the boat down wind and went to take a look and the starboard foil has broken off. Right now I have taken the foot completely off the throttle and changed sails and retracted the remaining part of the foil and will sail on in these conditions until the wind and sea state moderate and I can inspect the damage and assess,? explained the skipper.

?I didn?t see anything in the water but it felt like the boat wrapped itself around something and it has caused some pretty significant damage to my foil. I was instructed to carry out an internal inspection of the boat and there does not appear to be any structural damage to the hull that I can see. For now I am going to continue and assess when I get the chance,? stated Thomson.

As of 0900 UTC on 22 November, 2016., Thomson remains out in front, with second placed S?bastien Josse around 90 nautical miles behind him.

This is the second record Thomson has broken during this edition of the Vend?e Globe.

He became the fastest skipper to reach the Equator in a tine of 9 days, 7 hours and 3 minutes.

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