New Clipper 70 yacht today joins the parade of sail to welcome the former Clipper Race skipper home.
A brand new Clipper 70 ocean racing yacht joins the parade of sail to welcome Alex Thomson home to Gosport after his impressive third place in the Vendee Globe.
At 25 Thomson became the youngest skipper to win a round-the-world race when he led Ariel, one of the first generation 60-foot Clipper Race yachts, to victory in the 1998-99 edition of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.
In contrast, one of the latest state-of-the-art third generation 70-foot Clipper Race yachts will be out on the water crewed by Clipper Race staff, many of whom have also raced around the world and have great admiration for Alex’s latest achievement.
Last week Thomson, 38, completed the Vendee Globe in Les Sables d’Olonne, France, 80 days after leaving on his record-breaking circumnavigation, finishing in third place behind Frenchmen Francois Gabart and Armel Le Cleac’h.
His achievement was recognised by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, founder of the Clipper Race and the first man to sail solo non-stop around the world: “It is good to add Alex Thomson to the list of solo circumnavigators. His time was inside the previous record before this race and that is some feat. The significance of his achievement is better understood when it is appreciated that only 196 people have sailed solo around the world while more than 600 have gone into space.”
The Clipper Race, the world’s longest yacht race at 40,000 miles, was founded by Sir Robin with the vision of enabling ordinary people from all walks of life to experience the challenge of ocean racing. The next edition of the race, which starts this August, will feature a new fleet of matched ocean racers, the Clipper 70, for the first time.