Transat Jacques Vabre 2015 – British sailor Alex Thomson will get the first opportunity to put his brand new, multi-million Euro racing yacht to the test when he sets sail in the two-handed (TJV, part of the Ocean Masters Championship later this month. Alex will be competing alongside his Spanish co-skipper, Guillermo Altadill, as they look to better their second place finish from their last outing in this transatlantic race.
The TJV starts from Le Havre in France on Sunday 25th October and will end approximately three weeks later in the Brazilian city of Itajai, south of Rio de Janeiro, once the boats complete the 5,400 nautical mile journey across the Atlantic, crossing the Doldrums.
There are four classes in this year’s edition of the TJV, with Alex and Guillermo competing in the IMOCA class against 19 other yachts. With four other brand new IMOCA’s lining up on the start line for the first time, this will be the first opportunity for the Alex Thomson Racing Team to see how the new HUGO BOSS compares to the competition as they prepare for the start of next years’ ‘ultimate’ offshore sailing challenge, the Vendée Globe. Often referred to as the ‘Everest’ of sailing, the Vendée Globe is a solo, unassisted, round-the-world yacht race that takes place every four years and is one of the most gruelling challenges in the world of sport. It has only ever been won by a Frenchman, but Thomson has his sights firmly set on becoming the first Briton ever to win the race.
Thomson’s new racing yacht has been over two years in the making and incorporates a number of new innovations that the team hope will give them the competitive advantage. The new HUGO BOSS is five percent lighter than the team’s previous racing yachts and includes several totally unique design features.
World renowned industrial designer, Konstantin Grcic, has worked with the Alex Thomson Racing Team on the VPLP/Verdier designed HUGO BOSS racing yacht. Grcic, whose work forms part of the permanent collections at both the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York and the Pompidou Centre in Paris, has assisted in the aesthetic finish of HUGO BOSS and the ergonomic design of part of the interior of the yacht.
Speaking about the new yacht and the TJV, Alex said; “This is the first time that our new HUGO BOSS will be going up against other racing yachts of its type. It is therefore our first opportunity to find out whether it is comparatively fast or slow, and also to see how she performs from a reliability point of view.”
“The TJV, from France to Brazil, is essentially the first 5,400 nautical miles of the Vendée Globe. We’ll be making our way out of the English Channel, across the Bay of Biscay, down to the equator and in to the trade winds of the Southern Hemisphere as we make our way to Brazil. We’ll be lining up at the start against all of the other big IMOCA teams, all of whom will be taking part in the Vendée Globe next year, so it’s a really big test for us in terms of our performance and endurance capabilities.”
Alex and Guillermo last took part in the Transat Jacques Vabre together four years ago, when they finished in a time of 16 days and nine hours and secured second spot on the podium.
In Thomson’s last Vendée Globe attempt he finished third, setting a British record for the race in the process.