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Thomson still confident of solo Atlantic crossing record bid
9:07am Thursday 26th July 2012 in Sailing News
HAMPSHIRE solo sailor Alex Thomson is confident he can break the world record for the fastest solo passage across the Atlantic – despite hitting a wall of light wind just 250 miles from the finish line.
Thomson set off from New York in his 60ft racing yacht Hugo Boss on July 18 with the aim of smashing the existing world record of 10 days, 55 minutes and 19 seconds, set by Swiss sailor Bernard Stamm ten years ago.
Despite slowing to less than 10 knots, Thomson said he was “uber confident” of arriving at Cornwall's Lizard Point, the most southerly tip of mainland Britain, ahead of the cut-off of 8.09pm on Friday.
“In the last 24 hours I have only gained 120Nm towards the mark,” said Thomson, who is based in Gosport .
“Very unhealthy compared to the 400-plus miles in every single 24-hour period before then.
“Ironically the front that I stayed ahead of for the last week was going to cause very light winds in my path to the finish so I had to cross to the west side of and tack upwind and get into a favourable position west of the finish.
“I am uber confident of breaking this record, its just by how much now.”
“I could do with some good sleep today as approaching the coast always requires more vigilance with lots of shipping and fishing boats around,” he added.
The latest ETA puts Thomson finishing around midnight tonight.
At the age of 25 Thomson shot to fame becoming the youngest skipper ever to win a round the world yacht race with victory in the Clipper Race in 1999.
He has since competed in raced in two editions of the singlehanded round the world race the Vendee Globe and in 2006 was rescued in the Southern Ocean by fellow Hampshire yachtsman Mike Golding in the Velux 5 Oceans race.
In November Thomson will take the start line of the Vendee Globe again in an attempt to be the first Briton ever to win the race.
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