Many of you certainly remember the dramatic and incredible rescue of Alex Thomson (in addition to his walk on the mast…): the sailor was obliged to abandon his boat, IMOCA 60, sponsored by Hugo Boss, during the Velux 5 Oceans in November 2006. About a month after his departure, at about 1,000 miles afar South Africa’s coasts, the break of the keel in the Indian Ocean and a coming storm obliged the English sailor to abandon his boat. Thomson was rescued by another participant, Mike Golding, who, once verified that the hull wouldn’t have endured the weather conditions, climbed up 100 miles with his Ecover to rescue his friend. The boat, of course, was abandoned and everybody thought it was sunk somewhere.
But, some days ago, an excursionist travelling along the Chilean coasts on his kayak found Thomson’s boat: at over 10,000 miles away and about 10 years later. The probable Hugo Boss’ “route”, decided by wind and currents, made it cross the Indian Ocean, pass through Southern Australia, cross the Pacific Ocean again to finally stop on the desolate coasts of Chilean Patagonia. The boat is a wreck, of course: the hull is almost intact but the cockpit is destroyed and keel, mast or equipments haven’t survived.
The pictures filmed by Alex Thomson during the breaking and the abandonment of his boat come to mind: by crying and trembling, he said: ” it has been my life for the last three years, I know I have to abandon it, but it isn’t right”. Who knows what he felt when he heard the news. The only official announcements say he will do whatever is necessary to contribute to the boat removal ( now, the boat is property of an insurance company). Thomson is working to the preparation of the new Hugo Boss which will participate to the Vendée Globe in 2016/2017. He has already been rescued on his new boat, reversed by a wave during the Transat Jacques Vabre in Northern Spain last November. The motto of his new challenge is “Sail Survive Succeed.”