RECORD-breaking Hampshire sailor Alex Thomson was given a hero’s welcome when he returned to his home town today.

Hundreds of people braved pouring rain and near frezing temperatures to greet the solo sailor, who finished third in the non-stop Vendee Globe round the world yacht race.

Alex took just 80 days to complete the gruelling race, smashing the British record by eight days.

Waiting to greet him on the quayside as he sailed into Gosport was his wife Kate, 31, and their two-year-old son Oscar. Alex’s father Peter and brother David were also among the wellwishers at Haslar Marina.

He told thhe crowd: “It’s fantastic to come home and get a welcome like this, especially in the pouring rain. It’s very humbling.”

Alex said he hoped to take part in the Round the Island race and would “definitely” compete into another Vendee Globe event.