HAMPSHIRE round the world yachtsman Alex Thomson has revealed he had to carry out a daring mid-sea repair to his yacht after it hit a floating object in the Southern Ocean.

The 38-year-old from Gosport hit the object with his 60ft yacht Hugo Boss on Sunday while travelling at more than 25 miles per hour in the Vendée Globe round the world yacht race.

The collision, which took place around 2,000 miles west of Australia, damaged one of the boat's rudders, used to steer, and a hydro-generator, used to create power.

Thomson lost around 60 miles to the race leaders but remained in fifth place this morning, around 160 miles behind.

“I am gutted to have lost so many miles but fortunate that the known damage is repairable and that I am able to continue on my way,” he said.

Fellow Hampshire sailor Mike Golding was this morning in sixth place, around 500 miles behind Thomson.

Sam Davies, from Hamble, arrived back in the French start port of Les Sables d'Olonne yesterday after retiring from the 24,000-mile race after the first week.

BLOB: For a full update on Alex's progress, don't miss tomorrow's Daily Echo