EbeneInfo – AU – «  It’s been intense but I’m confident  » – Alex Thomson on his excellent start to Vendée Globe glory

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Thomson is among a trio of leading sailors after Jérémie Beyou had to retreat 600 miles following damage to his boat

Alex Thomson has seen it all in his 20 plus years of sailing around the world This is his fifth Vendée Globe campaign and he has been forced to retire from two of them He has never had a race start like the one he just experienced

“It was a pretty intense first week,” said Thomson, speaking to Telegraph Sport via a WhatsApp call from a location close to the latitude of Rio de Janeiro “To have to deal with this huge front-end system to start And then a series of side troughs, then Tropical Storm Theta… I’ve never known a start like this « 

Thomson and his 32 competitors in the non-stop, unassisted round the world were battered by winds approaching 50 knots off the north-west coast of Spain, with waves of five meters high. high, as they struggled to keep their IMOCA60 Yachts in one piece Some were luckier than others Thomson’s great rival, Frenchman Jérémie Beyou, had to return 600 miles to Les Sables d’Olonne after suffering damage to his boat Charal

Beyou has since restarted but is some 3,100 nm behind the top three, which includes Thomson aboard Hugo Boss, and two Frenchmen, Thomas Rettant on LinkedOut and Charlie Dalin on Apivia

These three are now moving forward, enjoying a swift slide across the face of a cold front, while the slower boats of the older generation still battle in the Doldrums

The official ranking mid-afternoon on Saturday had LinkedOut just ahead of Hugo Boss, who had been in the lead since the middle of the first week

Thomson will not be unduly concerned The way in which the positions are calculated favors the course of Rouillard as he is about 160 km east of Thomson and therefore closer to the race line

But Thomson is even further south “I’m really confident,” said Thomson looking to the next few days “The boat will be in conditions that he likes, conditions that we have prepared for The boat has very little trouble with that

« At this point in the race I couldn’t have asked for more Somehow it’s better than last time [when he finished second] Now there are really only two contenders here And I’m confident With Apivia, during last year’s Transat Jacques Vabre, I passed her tailwind, 15% faster And basically she has the same configuration as at the time « 

Thomson, whose revolutionary £ 6million yacht places him in a fully enclosed cockpit at sea (« Right now it’s 84% ​​humidity and it’s 31 ° C in the cockpit an air conditioning unit here would be nice but otherwise it works very well ”), had words of sympathy for his rival Beyou

« It can happen to anyone, » he said « That’s the problem with this run I sent him a note just saying ‘I feel for you mate I know exactly how you feel’ And just to remind him that there is so much prep work for me It’s half the game for me And I wanted to remind him that he won this country mile race He did everything right

« I received a nice grade He’s a good guy It’s good to see him again on the course »

We can’t dwell on the misfortune of others, however Thomson and his fellow leaders may be accelerating to 27 knots now, but they are approaching a potentially lethal transition zone before heading east. towards the southern tip of Africa

« I’m really happy with my departure », concluded Thomson « Especially the way I managed to squeeze in the first week I saw everyone make sail changes, I thought everything the world must have been pretty tired, and I found a way to come down incognito before and get in the right position before Storm Theta

« And I thought it was interesting that we have the two elders, if you will – although I hate to call myself an elder – but the two guys who made five, well that’s our fifth Vendée, were ready to face Theta Nobody else really took that And it was a big gain in position

“A lot of people in France are wondering how good I am [in terms of sailing] They think you can’t do this style of racing unless you do the Figaro [one hand feeder series] I was exhausted Absolutely exhausted But I tell you what, I felt strong « 

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Vendée Globe, Alex Thomson, Thomas Rettant, Sailing

EbeneInfo – AU – “It’s been intense but I’m confident” – Alex Thomson on his excellent start in candidacy for the Vendée Globe glory

Source: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/sailing/2020/11/21/intense-really-confident-alex-thomson-makes-fine-start-bid/

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