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Posts Tagged ‘Vendée Globe’

Alex Thomson Finishes Vendee Globe 2016/2017 in Close Second Place

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.Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss Finishing Vendee Globe

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.”

Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss Powered by Doyle

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.

Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss Finishing Vendee Globe

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.”

 

Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss Racing in the Vendee Globe

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.

Alex Thomson Racing breaks solo 24 hour distance record as Vendée Finish Nears

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.”

Rich Wilson Finishes Vendée Globe


Photo Credit: Francois Van Malleghem / DPPI

Rich Wilson knew he needed durable, fast sails when he registered for the 2008-9 Vendée Globe. In the most grueling Vendée Globe in history, which forced 19 of the 30 competitors to retire, Rich Wilson put Doyle Vectran inlaid fiber sails through 28,590 miles of extraordinary hard use with no problems. On March 10, 2009 Rich Wilson crossed the finish line of the Vendée Globe solo non stop round the world race off Vendoff Les Sables d’Olonne in 9th place, having raced for 121 days, 00 hours, 41 minutes and 19 seconds.

Rich Wilson is the second American ever to finish the Vendée Globe. The first American to finish was Bruce Schwab, who finished ninth from 20 starters in the 2004-5 race on Ocean Planet. Doyle Sailmakers is proud to have supplied sails for both American finishers.

When Rich was asked about troubles at sea he recounted a few but none of them involved his sails! Sometimes as a sailmaker, it’s great not to be mentioned! When not finishing is not an option, Doyle is the choice.

Find out more about Rich Wilson’s journeys and his continuing educational outreach programs at sitesALIVE.com.

Rich’s speech at the award’s ceremony:

“For me there are 2 Vendée Globes, the one fought at sea, where there were lots of great skippers, particularly French ones. And then the Vendée Globe on dry land. We have a new president, but if we look back to our third president, Thomas Jefferson, he was an Ambassador to France and was inspired by France. My experience confirms his beliefs. During the preparation for 4 months I was always encouraged by French people. They came and spoke to me on the pontoons or when I was preparing the boat. Their words of encouragement came back to me, when I was in one storm after another. I shall always remember how their words of encouragement helped me through those difficult times. And of all of the adventures, I’ll especially remember my arrival back in France.

“I was asked at the start, if I knew how tough it was going to be whether I would have taken part. I said I would reply afterwards. For me, this was not just a race, but something else too. It was all for my schools’ program, Sites Alive, so the difficulties were worth it for all the lessons and essays I sent back. This was an incredible race, particularly for Michel Desjoyeaux. We had some amazing e-mails from him during our voyage.”

Yachting World: Vendée Globe: Rich Wilson finishes ninth

Boston.com: Marblehead man finishes solo global ocean race