Alex Thomson (sailor)

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Alex Thomson
A photo of Alex Thomson
Thomson before the start of the Vendée Globe in 2012
Born (1974-04-18) April 18, 1974 (age 42)[1][2]
Bangor, North Wales[1][2]
Residence Gosport, Hampshire[2]
Nationality British
Occupation Yachtsman
Children 2[2]
Parent(s) Peter and Jan Thomson[1]
Relatives Twin sister Sarah, younger brother David.[1]

Alex Thomson (born 18 April 1974 in Bangor, Wales) is a British yachtsman.

Alex Thomson was helped early in his sailing career by Sir Keith Mills, the British businessman who ran London's victorious bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games and set up with British America’s Cup campaign TEAMORIGIN. With Mills' backing, Thomson broke into the professional solo sailing circuit at a young age.

Thomson's Clipper Race win in 1999 made him the youngest skipper ever to win a round-the-world yacht race.[1][2] As of February 2016 he still holds this record.[1][2] He is an around the world solo sailor, and holds the 24-hour world speed sailing record for solo mono-hulls (537 nautical miles at an average speed of 22.4 knots).

Sponsored by Hugo Boss he took part in the Vendee Globe 2004/05 but was forced to retire after damage to the carbon fitting that attached the boom to the deck.[3] Started also 2008 (Retired - cracked hull), 2012 (3rd) and 2016 (2nd).[4] During the latter edition, Thomson set new fastest reference times from Sables d'Olonne to the Equator (9 days 7 h 02 min[5]) and Cape of Good Hope (17 days 22 h 58 min[6]). However, 13 days into the race Hugo Boss's starboard foil broke after hitting an unidentified floating object,[7] therefore hampering Alex's progress throughout the rest of the course. Of note, most of the race takes place on port tack, that is, the boat would have made good use of the missing starboard foil.[8] Despite his foil and anemometer/autopilot problems, Thomson finished the race with the second fastest time on record - 74 days 19 h 35 min 15 sec, 16h behind Armel Le Cléac'h.[4]


Thomson's boat Hugo Boss at the start of the Vendée Globe in 2012


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Alex Thomson Sailor". Jillie Bushell Speaker and Entertainment Agency. Archived from the original on 2016-02-26. Retrieved 2016-02-26. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Teams - Hugo Boss". Barcelona World Race. Archived from the original on 2016-02-14. Retrieved 2016-02-26. 
  3. ^ Alex Thomson retires, BBC News. Dated 7 December 2004.
  4. ^ a b "Thomson claims second in historic Vendée Globe race". Vendée Globe. Retrieved 20 January 2017. 
  5. ^ "Southern star: new southbound race reference for Thomson". Vendée Globe. Retrieved 20 January 2017. 
  6. ^ "Cape of Good Hope record tumbles as southern ocean beckons". Vendée Globe. Retrieved 20 January 2017. 
  7. ^ "Thomson suffers damage on train ride south". Vendée Globe. Retrieved 20 January 2017. 
  8. ^ "Alex Thomson miraculously still in hunt for Vendee Globe glory after overcoming two nautical disasters". The Telegraph. Retrieved 20 January 2017. 
  9. ^ "WSSR Newsletter No 152. Hugo Boss 24 hours". World Sailing Speed Record Council. 2 June 2008. Retrieved 2015-01-08. 
  10. ^ "WSSR Newsletter No 210. Alex Thomson Transatlantic". World Sailing Speed Record Council. 1 August 2012. Retrieved 2015-01-08. 
  11. ^ "24 Hour Distance". World Sailing Speed Record Council. Retrieved 2015-01-08. 

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