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Thomson becomes a Cape crusader
11:32am Friday 4th January 2013 in Sport
HAMPSHIRE round the world yachtsman Alex Thomson has this morning rounded Cape Horn, one of the most feared and respected maritime landmarks, for the first time in his solo sailing career.
The 38-year-old from Gosport rounded the southern tip of the South American continent in darkness at 2.38am GMT as he holds onto fourth place in the 24,000-mile Vendée Globe singlehanded yacht race.
Thomson has twice previously rounded the Cape, feared for its huge seas that have wrecked many a ship, but never on his own.
“It is a huge achievement for me and the team behind me,” he said.
“This is the third time I have rounded Cape Horn, but the first on my own.
“But there has been no time to relax and enjoy the moment - in fact quite the opposite.
“There are about 15 icebergs around this area and although I have their location from the race office as well as my radar, passing through in the dark is a daunting feeling.
“I passed within 0.8 miles of one this morning, but saw nothing.”
At the latest position update, Hugo Boss skipper Thomson was 238 miles behind third-placed Jean-Pierre Dick and 588 miles behind Francois Gabart in first.
He was 1,300 miles ahead of Jean Le Cam in 5th position.
The Vendée Globe started from Les Sables d'Olonne in France on November 10. The leading boats are expected to finish later this month.