Clock is ticking for Alex Thomson

Alex Thomson has announced that repairs are now underway to his Open 60, Hugo Boss, after she was holed and dismasted when struck by a fishing boat early last Friday morning.

Both rig and hull have been fully surveyed over Sunday and Monday. Monday night the hull was lifted on to the dock in the commercial Port d´Olonne before being moved to a local workspace. By late Monday and early Tuesday the required team of boat builders and mast builders from Southern Spars had been flown in.

The hull repair will be made using the mould from sister-shipGenerali, which was build by Multiplast in Vannes. The boat was moved this afternoon by road to a nearby boatbuilders factory.

“It is not going to be pretty but they say it will not affect the strength or performance of the boat but at the moment my biggest thing is getting to the start line.” commented Alex Thomson, “I am certainly feeling better now than I did, I have not really been losing sleep over it since we can only do everything that we can, and I am happy that we have done that.”

“They say in these kind of events that half the race is getting to the start line. In this case it looks like it is going to be more than 75% of it but everyone who has been here and inspected the boat and the rig has said it can be done. I don´t know an awful lot about the very technical side of these things but I´m more than happy to go along with them. I have always believed that this was achievable until I was told otherwise.”

” The worry of course is the timescale. If you think it has taken us four and a half, five days to get this far then that shows you the way it has been. We have had such an enormous level of offers of help, that has been great, but the question has been piecing together the best, most efficient way of doing things.”

Work has already started on the rig repair in a nearby work space. Thomson reports that an internal sleeve is being made and that the repair is believed to be relatively straightforward. All of the relevant sails have been returned to North Sails for inspection and have been given a clean bill of health.

Representatives of TeamOrigin, Britain´s America´s Cup challenge which was set up and backed by Sir Keith Mills, long time supporter and friend of skipper Thomson – are working alongside the Hugo Boss shore team.

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Image: Vincent Curutchet/DPPI/Vendée Globe