Alex Thomson has announced that he won’t be competing in the 2024 Vendée Globe, but doesn’t rule out returning to the round the world yacht race in 2028

Alex Thomson has announced that he won’t be competing in the 2024 Vendee Globe.

Instead, HUGO BOSS will be raced with a different skipper, yet to be announced.

But, Alex Thomson hasn’t ruled out returning to the race in 2028.

The British skipper has competed in the IMOCA circuit for 19 years including five successive Vendée Globe’s; he finished second in the 2016-17 race.

He said it was now time to focus on his family.

Alex Thomson plans to spend more time with his family. Credit: Lloyd Images

Alex Thomson plans to spend more time with his family. Credit: Lloyd Images

‘I have had the privilege to compete and race IMOCA 60s for almost 20 years. I love the sport but it’s now time for me to spend more time on land, with my young family. My wife Kate has single-handedly raised our children for the last 10 years whilst I have pursued my dream. Now I want to support Kate and allow her the same opportunity that she has given me,’ he said.

‘This doesn’t mean that I am retiring, just changing my role, from spending most of my time at sea, to spending more of it on land,’ he stressed.

Alex Thomson said he would continue to promote sailing and has ‘always believed that it is my role to be an ambassador for our sport, telling the story to an international audience.’

‘In the last 20 years we have sailed to every corner of the globe, from Russia to Mexico, Canada, Australia, and Taiwan and even up the River Yangtze to Shanghai, China! There is a huge global fanbase who follow and love the Vendée Globe. I want to continue to promote the sport, tell the story and share my knowledge and experience, but with a focus on the next generation,’ he said.

Alex Thomson and his team 5 West Ltd will remain together.

Alex Thomson on HUGO BOSS

The new HUGO BOSS took 80,000 hours to design and build. Photo: Alex Thomson Racing

‘The goal has always been to win the Vendée Globe, which to me remains the toughest sporting challenge left in the world today, and we haven’t accomplished that yet. This is the start of a new chapter, with a new skipper, and we will provide him or her with all the tools, knowledge, experience and environment to win,’ added Thomson

In the 20 years since Thomson first appeared on the IMOCA 60 scene, the sport of offshore sailing has changed considerably.

Continues below…

The yachts have evolved to push the boundaries of technology and innovation in a similar way to Formula 1.

Alex Thomson and his team have developed with the sport too, both on and off the water.

As well as attracting a global audience with award winning stunts like the Mastwalk and Skywalk, Alex Thomson’s team have produced some of the most ground-breaking IMOCA’s 60s in the last 10 years.

Hugo Boss Skywalk

Stunts like his Skywalk earned Alex Thomson a global audience

Technical Director Ross Daniel, who has worked alongside Alex Thomson for 20 years said: ‘After eight round the world race campaigns, we have learned an enormous amount. We have designed and built some of the most innovative boats within the class and our 2016 boat was seen as the reference boat of its generation. We are going to continue to use our experience in designing and building boats and running successful campaigns and I am looking forward to the next campaign leading to the Vendée Globe in 2024.’

Reflecting on his racing career Alex Thomson thanked HUGO BOSS for their continued sponsorship and Nokia Bell Labs, which is the team’s technical partner.

‘I want to say a huge thank you to everybody who has been part of the journey so far. To my team past and present, thank you for the commitment and faith you have shown in me. All our partners and suppliers for all your support, and obviously to our loyal fans. The biggest thanks of course, goes to my wife Kate, for being by my side every step of the way,’ said Alex Thomson.

Enjoyed reading Alex Thomson steps down from racing?

A subscription to Yachting Monthly magazine costs around 40% less than the cover price.

Print and digital editions are available through Magazines Direct – where you can also find the latest deals.

YM is packed with information to help you get the most from your time on the water.

      • Take your seamanship to the next level with tips, advice and skills from our experts
      • Impartial in-depth reviews of the latest yachts and equipment
      • Cruising guides to help you reach those dream destinations

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.