On the evening of May 27, 2010, the international fashion and lifestyle company Hugo Boss will be launching its new yacht in London. Skippered by Alex Thomson, the IMOCA 60 Class yacht (IMOCA stands for the International Monohull Open Class Association) will be christened 'Hugo Boss' at the East Wintergarden – in the heart of London's Canary Wharf financial area – at a lavish ceremony attended by 650 invited UK and international guests.
The new 'Hugo Boss,' which has been remodelled by the designer Juan Kouyoumdjian in a process lasting over four months, is significantly more powerful than her predecessor and other vessels in her class. She has been tailored specifically to the needs of her skipper, and built to sail solo around the world. The look and coloring of the yacht have changed from the former yacht, with the port side now white and the starboard side black.
Active in the sport of sailing since 2003, Hugo Boss AG supports British yachtsman Alex Thomson – who was born in 1974 – in his ambitious goals. These include his bid to win the Barcelona World Race in December 2010, as well as the prestigious Vendée Globe in 2012, in which the Briton will be sailing solo around the world in the new yacht. Of course, Hugo Boss also provides the Alex Thomson Racing team with its own collection of sailing wear.
Following the official launch, the yacht will be setting off for New York and The Hamptons, where she will be sailing with Hugo Boss guests on board.
Subsequently the boat will be returning to Europe, where in mid-summer the yacht will be sailing in the Mediterranean hot spots of Sardinia, Capri and Ibiza. There she will be taking part in a range of events.
The radical redesign was masterminded by famous boat designer Juan Kouyoumdjian, who worked closely with Thomson to optimise ease of use and to enable him to compete at the highest possible level. The most notable change consists of the two PODS (Oceanic Defence Systems) which replace the previous single cockpit and gives the boat a unique new look. In addition, the PODS improve the usability of the boat in a number of ways.
The launch marks the next phase of Alex Thomson’s campaign, which will see him spend some time getting to know the new boat in the Solent before embarking on a transatlantic crossing to New York. The crossing will give Thomson his first real chance to test the limits of the Hugo Boss, which is more powerful than any other boat in the IMOCA 60 fleet.
“We’ve been working hard over the past year to create this amazing boat and we’re really pleased with the result”, said Alex Thomson. “This is the most important part of the campaign for me. Getting the boat in the water and getting to grips with her for the first time is fundamental to the build up to the Barcelona World Race and our entire campaign."
Thomson will now undergo a rigorous training schedule, which will involve a transatlantic and Mediterranean sailing programme before heading to Spain for the start of the Barcelona World Race in December.
“We are extremely pleased to have launched at this early stage, enabling ourselves sufficient time to make any modifications before the race starts in December”, Thomson added.
Alex Thomson became the youngest skipper ever to win a round the world race in the 1998/1999 Clipper Race. He then moved on to the IMOCA Class where he now participates in all the major races of the World Championship.
In the solo round the world Velux 5 Oceans in 2006, Alex’s yacht Hugo Boss suffered keel failure forcing him to abandon ship in the Southern Ocean and retire from the race. Thomson's greatest achievement arrived in the Barcelona World Race 2007 when he set a new 24 hour monohull World Speed record in December 2007 covering an amazing 501,3 miles. With co-skipper Andrew Cape, Alex finished second in the race and will aim to go that one step further in the 2010 edition!
In 2008 Alex competed in the Vendée Globe as one of the race favourites. However, only 3 weeks before the Vendée was due to commence, a French fishing vessel collided with his yacht during delivery to Les Sables d’Olonne. His team fought against the clock to finish repairs in record time to achieve the impossible - and get Alex to the start line. Alex’s dreams to become the first Briton to win the coveted title were shattered after only 3 days racing when he discovered that Hugo Boss was letting in water. Devastated, Alex announced his retirement from the Vendée Globe.
Alex is determined to return and compete in the 2012 Vendée, and achieve his dream to become the first Briton to win this prize. The Vendee Globe means racing non-stop, single handed, round the world for 3 months. Known as the Everest of sailing, it is the ultimate sporting challenge. It has been dominated and won, in all editions, by the French. It eluded Ellen McArthur in 2001 when she finished in second place. Alex Thomson is regarded as one of very few who have the experience and focus to win this next race, and as one of only a handful of British sailors who will take part in 2012, Alex is Britain’s brightest hope of bringing home this coveted title for the first time.
Click here for more information about Alex
Click here to find out more about Alex’s World record
Yacht: Hugo Boss, Open 60.
Weight 10.5 tonnes
Length 18.28 m
Width 6.5 m
Airdraft 31.65 m
Depth of keel 4.5 m
Weight of keel 4.5 tonnes