Posts Tagged ‘Hugo Boss’
In the fastest Vendee Globe in history, after 74 days at sea Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss has taken out second place, gaining a coveted podium space and finishing just 16 hours behind race winner Armel Le Cléac’h on Banque Populaire. This is Thomson’s second consecutive podium finish in the Vendee Globe, considered the toughest sailing race on earth, after finishing third in the 2012-2013 edition.
Doyle Sails is extremely proud of their involvement in Thomson’s campaign as sail supplier to Hugo Boss. “We have lived and breathed every minute of this race and we think Alex has done an incredible job,” says Mike Sanderson, CEO of Doyle Sails New Zealand. “We’re so proud of what Alex has done in so many ways and are pleased to have played our part in helping him achieve this amazing result.”
Arriving into Les Sables-d’Olonne after completing the race in 74 days 19 hours 35 minutes and 15 seconds, Thomson provided a nailbiting race throughout with highs and lows and first place all to play for right until the final stages. Having lead the race for most of the early stages Thomson suffered a huge blow when he damaged his starboard foil on the 19 November 2016, limiting the boat’s performance when on the port tack and costing him an approximate 20% of the boat’s speed. Despite this setback he continued to push, keeping constant pressure on Le Cléac’h until the very end, maintaining a formidable drag race over the final week and finishing just hours apart – an incredible feat in a race spanning over two months at sea.
During his 74-day race Thomson broke a number of significant records along the way including the world record for greatest distance sailed solo in 24 hours, with an average speed of 22.4knots, made all the more impressive as this record was set in the final few days of the race. Thomson also set two new race records in one day, for the fastest time to reach the Cape of Good Hope, completing this stretch in 17 days 22 hours and 58 minutes (5 days and 48 minutes faster than the previous record) and for the fastest time from the Equator to the Cape of Good Hope, passing in 8 days, 15 hours and 56 minutes (previous record 12 days, 2 hours and 40 minutes). Thomson is now also the fastest Briton to circumnavigate the globe on a monohull, beating his own record set in 2012/2013.
Throughout the race Thomson has paid tribute to his sail inventory, citing it as a key influence to his performance during the circumnavigation and one of his main advantages over the other competitors. “Aside from our foils the one place where we are completely different to the other IMOCA 60’s is our sails, which obviously play a huge part in this race,” says Thomson. “The Stratis product lends itself brilliantly and I would be very surprised if anyone has anything as light and as durable as we have; if you want something different, something fast, if you want an edge, it is best not follow the crowd.”
Hugo Boss carries a full suit of Doyle Stratis ICE sails as part of a long term relationship between Doyle Sails New Zealand and Alex Thomson Racing. Thomson and his team worked closely over several years with Richard Bouzaid, Head of Design at Doyle Sails New Zealand, to develop the inventory carried by Hugo Boss. Doyle’s involvement included extensive sail design team input during the design phase of both the boat and aero package as well as significant on-the-ground support during the construction and sail trial phase of Hugo Boss, and Thomson believes the time invested has paid significant dividends in the result of the race. “The sail plan that Richard developed for us has made a big difference and is the reason I was able to stay at the front of this race with the others after we lost the foil, says Thomson. “I appreciate all the work the team has done; Richard cares, he seriously cares, about this campaign and he put a lot of his time and effort into it and we wouldn’t be where we are without him.”
“It’s hard to say enough really of what Alex – and all the sailors in this race – have achieved; it’s been a privilege to work with him and his team over these two race cycles and I’m excited for the future,” says Bouzaid. “After careful consideration of the new IMOCA 60 rule we developed a different sail combination than presumed, different to the other teams, and that in combination with the whole approach we’ve taken together over the last eight years, has helped achieve this great result. The cool thing is that this is just the beginning.”
As well as the sail configuration itself Thomson is full of praise for the durability and reliability of his Doyle sails. “In terms of performance, even after nearly 75 days at sea in these hugely challenging conditions my sails are still like they are brand new,” he says “The reliability of the product is just brilliant and I think that’s where Doyle really are different to everyone else and it’s a big reason why we choose to work with Doyle – it’s the service, product and the relationships and the fact the team really cares and brings significant added value to the campaign.”
With the first of the competitors now safely back in port the race continues. Hungarian sailor Nandor Fa on Spirit of Hungary, also powered by a Doyle STRATIS inventory, is currently lying in eighth place, over 500nm ahead of his nearest rival, in another testament to the durability and performance of a Doyle inventory. “We’re so pleased to have worked with both Alex and Nandor and hope to keep showing that when it comes to high performance sails there is an alternative choice,” says Sanderson.
Doyle Sailmakers is enjoying the down to the wire pace of this years 2017 Vendée Globe unfolding this week. With UK sailor, Alex Thomson, on board HUGO Boss, and Armel LeCléac’h just 42.2 nautical miles ahead, we have seen seamanship, racing skills, and the sheer skills of both sailors. In the case of Alex Thomson, it’s been an absolute pleasure to work with Alex Thomson Racing through the Vendée Globe campaign.
“There is lots of talk about different foils we have on Hugo Boss but as always the speed edge we have does not come from one place and the other place where we are completely different to the other IMOCA 60’s is our sails, which obviously play a huge part in this race.” says Thomson, speaking from on board Hugo Boss. “The number of sails we can carry is limited to nine and they have to be light enough to be used single-handed and strong enough to survive the world’s toughest yacht race, so it’s a tough challenge for sail designers. The design team at Doyle Sails put in a huge amount of effort in the last two years to help us come up with the right suit of sails for Hugo Boss; the Stratis product lends itself brilliantly and I would be very surprised if anyone has anything as light and as durable as we have. It just goes to show that if you want something different, something fast, if you want an edge, it is best to not follow the crowd.”
Thomson has not only shown that his sail inventory has kept him very much in the hunt for first to finish, but Thomson has just set a new solo 24 hour distance record!! Sailing an incredible 536.81 nautical miles in 24 hours, Alex has beaten Francois Gabart’s previous world distance record of 534.48 in the Vendée Globe.
Doyle Sailmakers is proud to be rooting for all of the incredible sailors in the Vendée Globe, but in particular we must tip our hats to the talented Alex Thomson.
When asked what he thought Alex’s secret was, Robbie Doyle’s response was, “If anyone saw Alex’s video of a couple of days ago, they saw his secret: absolute calm. This was just hours before he went on to set the world 24 hour record for solo sailing of 536.81 nm! I had the privilege to participate in some sail and boat testing with Alex when he was in Newport. Even though he was still working out the kinks, our speed edge was obvious. At the end of the day he asked, “Any suggestions?” As one who is not reticent to respond to such queries, all I could say was, “Perfect what you have, and hold it together.” Even with a broken foil, he has more than held it together. It is going to be an exciting and challenging race to the finish. Regardless of who wins, both Alex and Armel have set a new standard for not only solo sailing, but monohull sailing itself.”
Success for Doyle-powered Hugo Boss and Neutrogena who have just taken first and second place in the IMOCA 60 New York – Barcelona Race. The four competing teams – Hugo Boss, Neutrogena, Safran and Gaes – departed New York on 1 June to undertake the 3,700 mile course to Barcelona. Conditions were challenging and racing was close and competitive with leader Safran being forced to retire after skipper Marc Guillemot was injured.
Hugo Boss has recently received a full new set of Stratis ICE sails, designed by Richard Bouzaid. With Alex Thomson away on paternity leave, Hugo Boss was co-skippered by Pepe Ribes and Ryan Breymaier, who completed their race in a time of 14 days 2 hours 44 minutes and 30 seconds. “The whole race was great, mostly excellent conditions for sure across the Atlantic, you can’t really say champagne sailing when you have to wear your waterproofs but it was as close as perfect for most of the way. The toughest time was the last 3 days, I always find the lighter airs the toughest,” said Breymaier. “There was never a dull moment for sure, a very intense race so it feels great to win. Until the Med the first 3 boats were incredibly close,” said Ribes
Neutrogena, skippered by Guillermo Altadill with Jose Munoz, gave them a close run, eventually finishing in second place with a time of 14 days 6 hours 55 mins 17 seconds. “I have had very close finished with short crews in IMOCA 60 in short legs, but in a 3,700 mile long leg being so close until the finish… that’s a first,” said Altadill.
“This was a great result for both teams as they prepare for the Barcelona World race at the end of the year,” said Richard Bouzaid, Head of Design at Doyle Sails NZ.
It’s no surprise to us that Alex Thomson is managing to stay on the tail of the leading three boats in the 2012 Vendee Globe despite sailing a boat that’s been around for half a decade; after all, at least one of our prognosticators picked him to win the thing outright. Is he just that fast, or does he have another secret?
We grabbed Doyle Sails New Zealand boss Chris McMaster just before the start of the race to explain why Alex is the only sailor in the fleet not sailing with North or Incidences sails. Chris has plenty to say about their development program, and it’s a good look at one of the one of the most important decisions a round-the-world racer makes.
At the end of Week 7 and with Alex midway across the Pacific here is team director, Stewart Hosford’s, weekly update
“Alex crossed the international date line and jumped back in-time in the early morning of Christmas Eve, and well ahead of my predictions, as a consequence he had two Christmas Eve days. His short Christmas day video message is guaranteed to make you want to edge even closer to the fireplace over the holiday break..
“Alex in the last few days has passed another very important milestone that we talked about before this race started and that was to get further in this race than he has previously gone (passed a long time ago in the Indian Ocean) but also to pass the furthest point that the boat had also gone before (in the last Vendee Globe Seb Josse sailed this boat to ~900 miles past New Zealand branded BT). Alex is now well past this point and pointing straight at the final ice gate – Pacific East and onwards to Cape Horn. The routing shows Alex is likely to pass cape Horn sometime around the 3rd or 4th of January. I have to tell you that as a team, getting Alex out of the Southern Ocean and back into the Atlantic, will be a HUGE relief to us all.”
Vendée Globe Links
It was another tough week for Alex with his power switched off in some rough southern ocean conditions. With Christmas just days away it is not going to get a lot easier. Stewart Hosford and electronics specialist, Rachel Howe look back on the week…:
Vendée Globe Links
As Alex spends the day immersed in continuing repairs to HUGO BOSS here is a look at his week just gone by:
With a few more repairs now behind him, Alex has now met Cyclone Claudia. Here is his update from yesterday morning:
“Very glad to have the wind back and to be going fast agin. Yesterday and this morning was all about getting the composite repairs done to the rudder cassettes. I had hoped for good conditions but did not get them as it has rained continuously for the last 36 hours. This morning was even more difficult trying to get the laminate on while the boat was surfing over 20 knots. Thank god for duck tape otherwise all my dirty work would have been washed away. Again the job is not pretty but i hope it will be functional and I have managed to do it without losing too many miles.
I have hooked up with Claudia nicely but the road ahead is not straight forward. I will have a couple of days negotiating this low and another one which will form to my south west but hopefully whatever happens it is fast sailing and i can find a route back to the south.”
Vendée Globe Links