The yacht was discovered in Patagonia, several thousand kilometres from where the sailor abandoned it in 2006.

The yacht that skipper Alex Thomson abandoned in the Southern Ocean in the 2006-2007 Velux 5 Oceans Race has been discovered on a remote South American beach.

Cristian Donoso, a Rolex Enterprise Award winner, found the IMOCA 60 Hugo Boss yacht washed up on the Patagonian coast in Chile during a kayaking expedition in recent weeks in Bernardo O’Higgins National Park.

Based on currents and wind, the adventurer estimated the yacht would have travelled some 20,000km (13,000 miles) from where Thomson was forced to abandon it, in order to reach its final resting place near South America’s southern tip.

Thomson reposted Donoso’s story on his Facebook page: “A couple of weeks [ago] during an expedition to go kayaking … by the desolate coast of Patagonia Sahara, we discovered inside the National Park Bernardo O’Higgins the yacht ‘Hugo boss’, the British Skipper Alex Thomson lost in 2006, 1,000 miles south of South Africa during the round the world velux 5 OCEANS.”

“To get to the coast of Chile, the ‘Hugo boss’ had to travel more than 20.000 km adrift, pushed by the wind and the currents, crossing the Indian and Pacific Oceans, and going [to] the south of countries such as Saudi Arabia, India, Australia and New Zealand.”


Thomson said his team would make contact with local authorities to assist with the yacht’s removal.

The British skipper abandoned his racing yacht when the keel suffered a structural failure and the boat capsized just 33 days and 7,000 miles into the first leg of the round-the-world Velux 5 Oceans race.

Out of reach from rescue, a thousand miles from land and in the path of a 50-knot storm, Thomson’s only chance of survival was friend and race competitor Mike Golding. Golding turned back and sailed nearly 100 miles in a force eight gale to pull Thomson from a life raft.

When Golding’s mast broke in two places, the pair had to make for Cape Town under jury rig, where Golding ultimately retired from the race.

The video above is Thomson’s chronicling of the rescue as the dramatic events unfolded.

Related links: 

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British adventurer Sarah Outen reunited with boat lost in hurricane