HAMPSHIRE ocean racer Alex Thomson’s Vendée Globe campaign is in jeopardy after his yacht was hit by a fishing boat as he arrived in France for the start of the race.

Thomson’s yacht Hugo Boss II had been moored two miles from the entrance to Les Sables d’Olonne when the 60ft fishing boat smashed into the yacht’s starboard side at around 2.30am this morning.

The yacht had been waiting for daylight outside the harbour with its radar, navigation lights, trim lights and a strobe light on so members of Thomson’s team could be transferred to the shore.

The mast was brought down in the collision, and the yacht was left with a severe hole in its bow.

Both the mast and sails were cut away from the boat before they motored into Les Sables d’Olonne to have the damage assessed.

Speaking from Les Sables d’Olonne, Thomson said: “I’m devastated, but I’m glad everyone is ok.”

Thomson and his team are now faced with the monumental task of repairing the boat and the rig in time for the November 9 start date.