British Vendee Globe skipper honoured by King

Bahrain Team Pindar’s record-breaking yachtsman, Brian Thompson was yesterday awarded the Order of Bahrain, from The King of Bahrain, His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. The prestigious accolade was awarded for the British skipper’s historic completion of the Vendée Globe solo, non-stop, around-the-world yacht race – the first time a yacht carrying the King’s name and the Kingdom of Bahrain livery, has sailed around the globe.

Thompson, 47, who is visiting the Kingdom of Bahrain for the first time since completing the race in February, was presented to the King at a special reception in Manama, attended by other senior Bahrain representatives.

The King praised Thompson for his outstanding achievement and for promoting the Kingdom of Bahrain to a global audience.

On receiving the award, Thompson said: ‘I am immensely proud to receive this award from His Majesty King Hamad. It was an honour and a privilege to sail around the world on a yacht bearing both his name and the national identity of the Kingdom of Bahrain. Throughout the race I received tremendous support from people throughout the Kingdom and this visit has afforded me a wonderful opportunity to thank many of them in person.’

On November 9, 2008, Thompson embarked on the biggest race of his career, setting sail from Les Sables d’Olonne on the West Coast of France on his first ever solo circumnavigation. Just 11 of the original 30 skippers completed the 28,000-mile voyage and after a total of 98 days at sea, Thompson returned to a hero’s welcome, finishing in fifth place.