Alex Thomson’s Luck is Out

Vendee Globe event that was ongoing the last weekend saw Alex Thomson as the leader who was close to setting-down a new record. The record would have been of having sailed the longest distance alone in a time span of 24 hours, but he faced a collision when the waters of the South Atlantic Ocean which put a stop on the chances he had.

The sailor, who was sailing at 24 knots when the wind was at 22 knots, was ahead of his fleet. Suddenly around 0935 hours UTC he heard a bang and felt his boat changing direction. Thomson had been below his deck and was sleeping at that time. He then went up to inspect what had gone wrong.

The starboard foil in the leeward direction had gotten damaged and scrapes were on the starboard hull side as well. There was an object submerged in the waters which ripped off the foil of his starboard. Hugo Boss, his notable vessel was thus damaged as the object was not seen or noticed from before. Before the accident happened Thomson had covered a distance of 535.34 in nautical miles – a distance that people doing a Croatian Bareboat charter might struggle to cover in a month.

The distance that Thomson had covered till then was greater than what was the existing record set. This had been 534.48 in nautical miles which was set by Francois Gabart in 2012-13 race. He had been the reigning record holder and champion till then.

Official rules, however, state that, the record needs to be broken by a difference of a whole mile. For that reason, Thomson has not been able to break the record. Hugo Boss being wounded when Thomson was pulling away from the fleet showcases the turn of luck for Thomson. There is a stump remaining at the place where the foil has been removed. This will hinder Thomson for the rest of the race.