After getting permission from his wife, British skipper Alex Thomson has announced that he will challenge for the 2020 Vendée Globe

17 February 2017

Alex Thomson has confirmed he will be taking part in the Vendée Globe in 2020.

The 42-year-old sailor came second in the round the world yacht race last month, beaten by his French rival, Armel Le Cleac’h by 15 hours, 59 minutes and 29 seconds.

Speaking on BBC South Today, Thomson admitted that he asked his wife’s permission first before deciding if he would compete again.

“I was third last time, second this time, so there’s only one way to go isn’t there?” he said.

“But, to do it is a huge commitment and we’re seeing if we can get the sponsors and the team back together because the most important thing in the Vendée is the people, and I’ve been very fortunate to work with some very talented people,” he continued.

“If we can get the right team we can challenge,” he stressed.

Asked if he would be doing the challenge in the same HUGO BOSS, Thomson said it would depend on a possible race rule change in April.

He admitted that he was “not back into normal life yet” following the gruelling challenge and that he found his arrival in Les Sables d’Olonne, France quite “daunting” after 74 days alone at sea.

“It is quite daunting when you’re on your own for so long and then the thought of thousands of people arriving, and it was very daunting but quickly I got into it,” he said.

Last weekend, Thomson was welcomed home to Gosport with a Parade of Sail. Thousands of fans turned out to show their support.

He said competing in the Vendée Globe was tough on his family, but modern day communication did make it easier.

“My son, Oscar was quite upset at the first two weeks of the race and his school gave me a little cuddly turtle called Speedy so I thought I would do some little videos,” he explained.

“So every week I did a little video, kind of educational, to try and make him and his friends laugh,” added Thomson.

Next month, Thomson will be heading out to the Caribbean with his wife and children to enjoy a sailing holiday.


13 February 2017

Sailors and fans of Alex Thomson turned out in force on Saturday to celebrate the British skipper’s podium position in the Vendée Globe.

Thomson finished second in this year’s edition of the solo, non-stop, race around the world, crossing the finish line on 20 January 2017.

He completed the gruelling race in just 74 days, 19 hours and 35 minutes, becoming the fastest Brit to ever sail solo around the world in a monohull.

Many boats joined Thomson in a Parade of Sail, which commenced in the Solent and travelling through Portsmouth Harbour before Hugo Boss berthed at the Gosport Ferry Terminal.

Thomson was then welcomed ashore by the Mayor of Gosport for a civic reception, as well as answering questions from the crowd of excited fans.

See pictures of the Parade of Sail below

Speaking on Saturday, the 42-year-old skipper said:  “I am always overwhelmed by the support I receive from my local community, but today has been particularly special.”

“I’m truly honoured that these crowds came out to celebrate not only my achievement, but also the work of my team both before and during the race, today is as much a day for them as it is for me and it is something none of us will ever forget,” he added.

As well as breaking his previous around the world race record of 80 days, Thomson has matched Dame Ellen MacArthur’s second place finish which she achieved back in the 2001 edition of the race.

The CEO of Alex Thomson Racing, Stewart Hosford, said: “We are incredibly proud of what Alex has achieved and are delighted to see the tremendous support from our local community. An achievement such as this is the result of four years of extremely hard work and preparation from both Alex and the team behind the scenes and it is fantastic to be able to celebrate such a fantastic result.”

The 2016-17 edition of the Vendée Globe began on 6 November 2016 when Thomson, alongside 28 fellow skippers, set sail from Les Sables d’Olonne, France.

The race was won by Frenchman Armel Le Cleac’h who sealed victory on 19 January 2017, finishing just 15 hours, 59 minutes and 29 seconds ahead of Thomson.


8 February 2017

To celebrate achieving a podium finish in the 2016-17 Vendée Globe, a parade of sail will be held this weekend for skipper Alex Thomson.

The 42-year-old came second in the solo, non-stop, race around the world, crossing the finish line in Hugo Boss after 74 days, 19 hours and 35 minutes at sea.

He beat his own record of 80 days, becoming the fastest Britain to sail solo around the globe in a monohull.

In addition, Thomson broke the world 24 hour distance record, sailing 536.81 nautical miles in 24 hours just hours before crossing the finish line.

Armel Le Cléac’h wins the 2016-17 Vendée Globe

Thomson will be returning home to Gosport on board Hugo Boss on 11 February 2017.

The parade of sail and celebratory event will be held in his hometown, commencing in The Solent close to Spitbank Fort at 10:15.

Thomson will then sail into Portsmouth Harbour before berthing Hugo Boss at the Gosport Ferry terminal.

The itinerary for the Parade of Sail to celebrate Alex Thomson

Credit: Lloyd Images

This will be followed by a civic reception at 11:20, as Thomson is welcomed home by the Mayor of Gosport, Lynn Hook.

It will be held at Falkland Gardens, Gosport.

Commenting on the event, the chief executive officer of Alex Thomson Racing, Stewart Hosford, said: “We are incredibly proud of what Alex has achieved. A race like this is the culmination of four years of hard work, training and preparation from both Alex and the team behind the scenes.”

“Alex’s 2nd place finish together with a number of new records is a superb achievement. I would like to take the opportunity to thank our sponsors, partners and supporters,” he continued.

“We are looking forward to welcoming Hugo Boss and Alex back home this weekend,” concluded Hosford.