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British skipper Alex Thomson is a professional offshore yacht racer. Competing in the IMOCA 60 class, Alex has been sponsored by Hugo Boss since 2003, making their relationship one of the longest in professional sailing.
Thomson was born 18 April 1974 in Bangor, North Wales. He has a twin sister Sarah, and younger brother David. In 1999 (aged 25), Thomson became the youngest skipper to win a round-the-world race, when he won the Clipper Round the World Race, a record he still holds. He forged a long lasting bond with crew member Sir Keith Mills, who later became co-founder of Alex Thomson Racing.
The following year Alex won the Round Britain and Ireland race and launched onto the solo racing scene, making his mark by smashing the single handed world 24-hour monohull distance record in 2003 and again in 2007, which record he held until it was surpassed multiple times (including by Thomson) in the 2012–2013 Vendée Globe race.
He took part in the 2007 Barcelona World Race, securing a 2nd place podium finish and setting a second monohull world distance record. Thomson then sought to become the first Briton to win what many consider the world’s toughest sailing challenge; the solo 26,000 mile non-stop Vendée Globe. However, only 3 weeks before the Vendée Globe was due to commence in November 2008, Alex’s boat collided with a French fishing vessel, which ultimately forced him to retire from the race.
The 2010 Barcelona World Race saw Alex Thomson forced out of the competition a few days before the start due to appendicitis. Although he initially planned to join the race after recovery, he finally decided to stay out of owing to personal problems
On 26 July 2012, Thomson smashed the single-handed monohull transatlantic record by more than 24 hours, crossing the finish line at Lizard Point, Falmouth, UK. Starting on 10 November 2012, Thomson competed in the 2012–2013 Vendée Globe finishing in 3rd place in 80 days 19 hours 23 minutes and 43 seconds.
In December 2013, he announced his plans to participate in the 2014 Barcelona World Race along with the Spanish sailor Pepe Ribas.