The miles lost by Alex Thomson, even though he was “inside” the turn currently negotiated by the leading trio to wind up the Azores high, augured for a problem aboard the revolutionary Hugo Boss. Confirmation arrived last night, around 1:30 am with this brief statement from his team, while in the 5am ranking, the Briton was now 3rd, 72 miles from Rouillard, progressing at reduced speed:
“British skipper Alex Thomson has informed his shore team of a possible structural problem aboard HUGO BOSS. At that time, Alex Thomson was approximately 800 miles east of Rio de Janeiro in the South Atlantic and was 13 days of racing since the start of the Vendée Globe in Les Sables d’Olonne on November 8. . Alex and his team, as well as the naval architects (Editor’s note: the French firm VPLP) and the engineers involved in the construction of the boat, are now working together to assess the extent of this structural problem and to determine a repair program and schedule. . Alex is safe and healthy on board, and speaks regularly with the team. The organization of the Vendée Globe race has been informed and is kept informed frequently of the progress of the situation. “
After the premature return to port of Jérémie Beyou (Charal), whose boat had suffered various and early damage, the co-favorite of the 9th Vendée Globe, Alex Thomson had placed himself in an extremely favorable situation by negotiating as closely as possible the Theta depression, which had allowed him to take more than 100 miles in advance. A little more efficient in the crosswind and eager not to be unhooked, Thomas Rettant (LinkedOut) and Charlie Dalin (Apivia) had “spoiled” dixit Rtant, put coal “dixit Dalin, had gradually approached, the northerner even taking leadership on Saturday morning.
From inside his cockpit, the Englishman, in rare vacations, showed all his smile: “I do my race, what they do (Editor’s note: Dalin and Rouillard) little impact on my decisions. The other day, seeing them coming back, I was about to change the veil, and then I changed my mind. I have to watch the boat. I am clear on what I want to do in a few days. I have no pressure. “
From his home in the south of France, his performance manager, Neal McDonald, had a similar speech on Saturday:
“Alex has been conservative in everything he has done from the start. It was five hours in the “horror zone” by the time of the big storm, some said it was brave, it was just a risk calculated on the risk / reward ratio. We have not yet seen the wind conditions, downwind, where the boat should normally show its full potential. “
Hugo Boss suffered a serious keel damage on the Jacques Vabre transatlantic this fall, which required several weeks of work. Strict confinement because of the Covid then did not help to make the desired number of miles.
“Hen we set off for a race like this,” Alex Thomson said before the start, “the main thing is to look at how far we have come, then what happens. “
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