Sail, Survive, Succeed – Alex Thomson’s Vendee Globe Triumph
We attended the homecoming of this true legend of endurance and resilience in Gosport at the beginning of February. Alex competed in the Vendee Globe; a race around the globe in 60 ft yachts, non-stop, solo and unsupported that occurs every 4 years.
A large team of highly skilled people, high technology, passion and dedication (and a huge chunk of money – mostly from sponsors) blend in an astonishing way to get each solo sailor onto the start line at Les Sables d’Olonne. From there it is just the simple task of sailing solo around the globe via the ferocious southern ocean for 24,000 nautical miles
Alex led and smashed records for the first 25 days on the amazing Hugo Boss until he hit a submerged object and broke off his starboard hydrofoil, which acts to help lift the boat out of the water and increase speed. This was devastating as Hugo Boss and Alex were clearly the fastest boat. He thought about giving up as he knew he would be much less competitive from that point on.
Despite losing the lead and falling behind by over 800 miles, Alex dug deep and resiliently and expertly pushed his boat to within a whisker of winning and becoming the first non-French sailor to do so.
The welcome he and his team received back at their home port was truly fitting of heroes.