Alex Thomson mast walks on Hugo Boss (Photo by Mark Lloyd / Alex Thomson Racing)

Alex Thomson mast walks on Hugo Boss (Photo by Mark Lloyd / Alex Thomson Racing)



Be the first to watch as solo round the world yachtsman Alex Thomson performs a daring feat on board his high-speed yacht, HUGO BOSS: He climbs up the 30-meter high mast of the moving vessel and dives into the ocean.

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This is not the first stunt we’ve seen from Alex – two years ago he completed the “Keel Walk”, a stunt that has become famous throughout the world – watch the keel walk video here.

Alex Thomson waking the mast on Hugo Boss (Photo by Mark Lloyd / Alex Thomson Racing)

Alex Thomson waking the mast on Hugo Boss (Photo by Mark Lloyd / Alex Thomson Racing)

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Alex Thomson stands on Hugo Boss Masthead

Alex Thomson stands on Hugo Boss Masthead

Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss smashes Transatlantic Record

Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss smashes Transatlantic Record


British solo sailor, Alex Thomson has smashed the single-handed monohull transatlantic record, by more than 24 hours, crossing the finish line at Lizard Point, off Falmouth in Cornwall, in time to get back for the London Olympic Opening ceremony.

The 38 year old sailor crossed the line at 17:17 GMT (18:17 BST) setting the new time at 8 days 22 hours 8 minutes, beating the previous record, subject to ratification by the World Sailing Speed Record Council, which had been held for 10 years.

“It has been a long few days,” said Alex. “The first half from New York was great with weather conditions in our favour, but things started to slow down the closer I got. But the wind has held out this morning and it’s so fantastic to have broken this record.”

Alex set sail from New York on July 17th at 19.09GMT to cover 2800 nautical miles in a quest to break the record for what is officially known as the ‘West to East Ambrose Lighthouse to Lizard Point Under 60ft Single-Handed Monohull Record, Male’, which sat at 10 days, 55 minutes and 19 seconds, and was set by Swiss sailor Bernhard Stamm 10 years ago.

His secondary aim was to get home in time for the 2012 London Olympic Games Opening Ceremony in order to support Chairman and good friend, Sir Keith Mills.

“When I set off I had no idea if I was going to be able to do it. And it has been hard. Lack of sleep, broken instruments on the boat and constant exposure to the elements has really taken it out of me. But it’s such a good feeling to have beaten it by such a great margin,” said Alex.

But the record breaking achievement is only half of the story. Alex is in fact lining up to attempt to be the first Brit ever to win the gruelling single-handed round-the-world race, the Vendee Globe, leaving from France in November on board his 60ft monohull, HUGO BOSS. And this record breaking achievement puts him in good stead.

“This record attempt was also a training exercise for the Vendee Globe,” said Alex. “We felt this record attempt would put me under real pressure and stimulate race conditions and I have felt a real value in it.”

He is one of three British competitors who will take part in the non-stop, solo, unassisted round-the-world yacht race starting in Les Sables d’Olonne in France, on November 10th. Currently only 50% of attempts to complete the race have been successful in the race known as the ‘Everest of sailing’


Fonica In Straights of Gibraltar (Photo by Jacques Vapillon)

Fonica In Straights of Gibraltar (Photo by Jacques Vapillon)

Since the end of the day yesterday the first boat of the Istanbul
Europa Race fleet has entered the Atlantic, leaving the Mediterranean
in its wake. One by one, on the same single tack, the crews have
followed in the tracks of leader Michel Desjoyeaux, who has been
leading the way towards Brest for more than the last 24 hours. Though
all are making modest speeds, the passage of the Straits of Gibraltar
has mixed up the competition on this third leg more than ever,
particularly among the boats vying closest to take on the leader.
Veolia Environnement and Groupe Bel have been having quite a battle,
which Paprec Virbac 2 is doing its utmost to join. Further back, the
Spaniards aboard 1876 have been contending with a mast problem which has slowed them down, while the Mediterranean has yet to finish with the men of DCNS…

For its first edition, the Istanbul Europa Race has the pleasure of presenting a fleet of around fifteen boats,  helmed by the top sailors of our time. The trust the sailors display in the organising company, together  with the scale of the event and the course on offer,  greatly appeal to sailing  professionals.

In terms of image,  the skippers are perceived as adventurers, sacrificing everything for their passion and a far cry from overpaid stars. In addition they practise a sport which, though given a lot of media coverage, is sheltered from the numerous excesses you can observe in other sports (structured finance, doping), and benefits from a ‘clean’ image in every sense of the word.

As such  these top level offshore racers have expressed a desire to accept the invitation to what is to be an unmissable race in their professional career. Among them we can already mention:

The Istanbul Europa Race, in the prestigious IMOCA class, is the latest great sailing race in the yachting calendar. Its long course through Europe is to make it a major sporting event from its very first edition. In the great tradition of stage races, the Istanbul Europa Race will bring together a fleet comprised of some of very best sailors of our time, taking them on an ideal course and offering a genuine invitation to travel.

From One Sea To Another (Photo courtesy of Group Bel)

From One Sea To Another (Photo courtesy of Group Bel)

A human, competitive and cultural adventure, the Istanbul Europa Race has a wealth of assets to bring to the table.  A public,  comprising amateur sailors and enthusiasts alike, is bound to come out in force to view  the spectacle,  to  witness this  new encounter  between man and  the natural  elements,  at the forefront of which are the waters of the  Mediterranean,  as well as the  Atlantic Ocean and the English Channel. The excellent  line-up of sailors offered,  the original aspect of  the race ports and  the course together  with the public presence,  all go to ensure massive,  international media coverage,  given the infatuation that is prompted by sailing.


Alex Thomson Standing On Keel Of Hugo Boss Underway (Photo by Lloyd Images)

 Having already tried his hand at foiling, last week round the world sailor Alex Thomson went keel walking on his IMOCA Open 60 HUGO BOSS in the Solent.

 Alex said;

 “I’ve wanted to stand on the keel while sailing for a couple of years, and last week in 17-20 knots of breeze I stood on the keel whilst sailing wearing a HUGO BOSS suit. It was pretty dangerous but a real buzz.”

 In 2005 Alex became the first skipper to sign up for the 3 in 3 – 3 round the world races in 3 years starting with the Velux 5 Oceans in 2006, followed by the Barcelona World Race (BWR) in November 2007, and culminating in the 2008 Vendee Globe

 Alex was forced to retire from the Velux 5 Oceans due to severe structural problems. He overcame the Southern Ocean by achieving a second place podium finish in the Barcelona World Race. Whilst on this race Alex smashed the 60ft monohull world distance record and was in excellent shape for the Vendée Globe.

Hugo Boss Keel  (Photo by Lloyd Images)

Hugo Boss Keel (Photo by Lloyd Images)

However, only 3 weeks before the Vendée was due to commence, Alex was dramatically struck by a French fishing vessel. His team fought against the clock to finish the repairs in record time to achieve the impossible – and get Alex to the start line. Alex’s dreams to become the first Briton to win the much coveted title were shattered after only 3 days racing; when he discovered HUGO BOSS was letting in water from structural failure to the hull. Devastated, Alex announced his retirement from the Vendée. He is determined to return and compete in the 2012



Alex On Hugo Boss's Keel (Photo by Lloyd Images)

Dee Caffari, Sam Davies, Alex Sizer (Photo Courtesy of

Dee Caffari, Sam Davies, Miranda Merron and Alex Sizer (Photo Courtesy of


Dee Caffari and her all female crew onboard Aviva crossed the finish line at 0840 hrs this morning to break the record for sailing around Britain and Ireland by 17 hours and 16 minutes. The journey took them 6 days, 11 hours, 30 minutes and 53 seconds.

Skipper Dee Caffari commented:

“The outright speed record was always our goal and I am ecstatic that we accomplished our aim. In sport, as in many areas of life, choosing the right team is vital to success and over the last six days, Aviva has had a strong, focussed team aboard pushing her every inch of the course. We have all given it 110% and clear communication has played a key part in this achievement. It has very much been a team effort and having the other three girls with me has been a blast.”

The all female crew left Gosport last Monday 15th June and crossed the official start line off Ventnor on the Isle of Wight at 21:09:36, before embarking anti-clockwise on their 2500 mile journey. With changeable conditions throughout the record attempt, Caffari and her crew slipped either side of the required record pace on a daily basis. A high pressure front in the English Channel saw Aviva slow significantly with 450 miles to go but, with enough distance banked under the more favourable weather conditions, Caffari and her crew were able to maintain a sufficient lead to finish inside of the required record pace.

Samantha Davies added:

“It was fantastic to be onboard Aviva for this record breaking trip. We pushed ourselves and the boat hard but it was definitely worth it to finish inside the record. I think I’m almost as exhausted after this trip as I was after the Vendée Globe – although that’s probably as much from the constant chatting as the sailing!”

Joining Caffari and Davies on board Aviva for the record were fellow Brits, offshore sailor Miranda Merron and boat captain Alex Sizer. In the process of breaking the outright record, Caffari and her crew also set a record time for an all female crew. The previous record had stood at 10 days and 16 hours and was set by Samantha Davies and her crew onboard Roxy in June 2007.



Alex Thomson Foiling Behind Hugo Boss (Photo by Mark Lloyd/Loyd Images)


Record breaking yachtsman Alex Thomson has been making the most of HUGO BOSS being back in the water and enjoying some ‘foiling’ off his IMOCA Open 60 in the Solent.

Alex, always one for a challenge was thrilled to get out on the water and found the ‘foiling’ an exhilarating experience and was able to execute some complex moves thanks to the technology of the Carafino ‘Hydrofoil’ board, one of the most highly innovative designs available.
“The conditions were perfect with good breeze and sunshine adding to the feel good factor on the day. I haven’t been ‘foiling’ before but I loved it. It’s pretty extreme – at a certain speed the hull is lifted above the water and the craft skims along on the hydrofoils at great speeds. It’s like snowboarding, just on water,” explained Alex.


Richard Thompson from Carafino UK was on board Hugo Boss with Alex last week and was hugely impressed with not only the Open 60, but also with Alex.

“What a guy! He has this tremendous confidence with the water you don’t see very often and was straight up and gone first time. His level of fitness is staggering and served him well on the Hydrofoil, I really was blown away by his performance. Alex looked completely at ease and was in control all the time.”


Alex Thomson Dresses for Action (Photo by Mark Lloyd / Lloyd Images)

After a turbulent end to 2008 Alex is now focusing on the next four years. Alex and HUGO BOSS will compete in this year’s Rolex Fastnet Race in August and the double-handed Transat Jacque Vabres in November before focusing on the Barcelona World Race in 2010. Before that though Alex is currently sailing HUGO BOSS to Monaco ready for the Monaco Grand Prix 21-24 May, as part of the Hugo Boss VIP hospitality programme

Hugo Boss (Photo By Mark Lloyd/DPPI/Vendee Globe

Hugo Boss (Photo By Mark Lloyd/DPPI/Vendee Globe)

Last week HUGO BOSS went back into the water in her home berth in Haslar Marina, after spending the last few months in Endeavour Quay being repaired. She looks in excellent shape having had all structural repairs done, and her hull re-sprayed.

The mast has now been stepped and the boat is being prepped this week for sailing . She will then spend the next few weeks doing sea trials, and will be having the rigging and tuning tweaked to get her back into top condition. She will be sailing over the next weeks with technicians and sailmakers to ensure she reaches her peak performance.

She will then leave during the 2nd week of May for The Mediterranean, where Alex and the team will be present for the Monaco Grand Prix, supporting Hugo Boss and the McLaren team. Alex and our boat captain Ross Daniels will use the delivery trip as training for their double handed challenge in November, The Transat Jacques Vabres. Alex and Ross have also been putting a great deal of time into their shore-side training, with daily gym and squash workouts.

The whole team are now gearing up for the coming 6 months, with Will Jackson and Ollie Young, who both worked on the HUGO BOSS ll Volvo 60 tour, stepping up to help prepare the boat and get her ready for this new season.

So if you are down on the south coast in the next month keep an eye out for HUGO BOSS and the team!

The team at Alex Thomson Racing