Making the Most of a Minimal Budget. Contact me at: or on Twitter: @skintsailor

Monday, 5 December 2016

Alex Thomson; Sailing Hero.

I know Steve over at the "Yacht Sparrow" blog has already posted one of Alex's videos, but to do what Alex is doing in the Vendee Globe is amazing. First running in the lead, then breaking a number of time records to the Equator and then the cap of Good Hope, then continuing the race after losing a foil, then keeping in touch with his nearest competitor despite a damaged boat is just awe inspiring.

I shared the same video of Alex's that Steve has up on his blog on my personal Facebook page and I didn't get round to doing it on my Twitter feed, but nip over to Steve's blog here to watch Alex on Hugo Boss.

Smashing through the Southern Ocean waves, on port tack, on the damaged side of his boat, doing 20+ knots with a a couple of reefs in the main, a staysail and a code zero out,  just to keep up with his competitor Amel Le Cleach. Just listen for the helicopter pilot exclaim "Ooh La La!" when  the boat is almost on it's side.

That's some Cahones right there, and a huge amount of trust in the structure of his boat, to be able to push it that far and go that fast in those conditions. And I had to chuckle when Alex held the Union Flag out while he was on the guard rail.

I have the Vendee Globe home page on my list of "Useful Stuff", but seriously, pop over to Alex's website at go like his page on Facebook and keep up with his bid to win the race, even with a damaged boat.

It's fascinating to see how hard he's pushing a huge boat like Hugo Boss. I've seen the boat in the Solent a few times and it looks a handful with a crew on board, never mind single-handed. It's massive, that huge black sail scything along the Solent, you can see it and recognise it miles away.

And he's a local lad too, give him all your support.

I doubt I'll see cheap foiling 20ft cruisers in my lifetime, but just think what a revolution they would be. Super-exciting and it'd shorten my 4 hour slog to Cowes massively.

Hmm, almost makes you wonder if bonding a couple of foils on the bottom of Sprite's Bilge keels will make her fly and go faster.

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