Thomson's 'world beater'

Alex Thomson, right, and Pepe Ribes

Alex Thomson, right, and Pepe Ribes

First published in Sport

HAMPSHIRE ocean racer Alex Thomson has unveiled his latest weapon which he hopes will propel him to victory in a non-stop sprint around the world.

Thomson’s new round-the-world yacht Hugo Boss, the latest in a long line, has just hit the water – and it could be the Gosport sailor’s best yet.

He tweeted a photo of the yacht in action on the Solent after its launch, saying: “We have launched our new boat! She is looking good!”

Thomson will race the state-of-the-art yacht in the Barcelona World Race, a 25,000 mile non-stop dash around the planet.

He will be joined by Spanish sailor Pepe Ribes for the race, which starts from Barcelona on New Year’s Eve.

Thomson’s team of experts spent months refitting and modifying the 60ft boat at their headquarters at Gosport’s Haslar Marina.

The yacht was most recently owned by French sailor Jean-Pierre Dick and its history is impressive.

Dick sailed it to fourth place in the 2012-13 Vendee Globe, one place behind Thomson, and first place in the 2010-11 Barcelona World Race.

Thomson’s first race in his new boat was scheduled to be the New York to Barcelona Race in June but he has had to pull out due to the impending birth of his second baby.

American sailor Ryan Breymaier will take Thomson’s place on the boat.

He added: “It is a bittersweet situation for me, although I am disappointed that I cannot take part in the NY-BCN, I am thrilled that we will be having our second child.

“I had committed to competing before the official race date had been announced but it turns out that my wife’s due date will conflict and my family must come first.

“So as to disrupt the team as little as possible, a replacement co-skipper had to be found. We searched long and hard but found Ryan Breymaier, who will now accompany Pepe Ribes as co-skipper.”

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