sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Vendee Globe - Transcript of press conference with Alex Thomson
Vendee Globe - Transcript of press conference with Alex Thomson

'Vendeee Globe finish for Alex Thomson (GBR) / Hugo Boss after 80D 19H 23MN 43SEC / 3rd for podium'    Vincent Curutchet / DPPI / Vendée Globe ©    Click Here to view large photo

In the Vendee Globe, Alex Thomson sailed into the legendary canal, the artery into the heart of Les Sables d’Olonne this morning at typically breakneck speed. With more than thirty knots of wind and mountainous seas Thomson was in no mood to hang around.

Taking third place in the Vendée Globe, the solo non stop race around the world which has dominated his life for the last ten years and which he had twice failed to finish, Alex Thomson set a new non-stop round the world record for a solo British sailor, smashed the existing race record set by Michel Desjoyeaux in 2008-2009, and became only the third ever British skipper to finish on the podium.

His result exorcised many of the ghosts of his past failures, most particularly abandoning his Open 60 in 2006 in the South Indian Ocean when his keel feel off during the Velux 5 Oceans, retiring from the last two Vendée Globes – the 2008-9 edition after just 24 hours – and retiring from the 2009 Transat Jacques Vabre after hitting a floating object.

After 80 days at sea Thomson finally enjoyed the traditional Vendée Globe welcome afforded by the thousands who lined the banks of the canal. Three times he has loved the rousing send off on start day, but at last this was the welcome back that he had craved since he first set out on his Open 60 ocean racing career back in 1999.

Vendeee Globe finish for Alex Thomson (GBR) / Hugo Boss after 80D 19H 23MN 43SEC / 3rd for podium -  Vincent Curutchet / DPPI / Vendée Globe ©   Click Here to view large photo

In a warmly received press conference Thomson was thanked for his recent actions in moving to stand by friend and rival Jean-Pierre Dick, shepherding the French skipper who has lost his keel off Virbac-Paprec 3, through a night of brutal winds and big seas before heading north to the finish.

He spoke of the vital repairs he had to make to his hydrogenerators which kept his hopes of finishing alive, of the pleasure in staying with the faster, newer generation of IMOCA Open 60’s, doggedly hanging on the leaders. And at the end of it all, having finally realised his long held ambition, he made his French hosts smile when he confirmed that he had arrived dreaming only of ‘the golden arches’ longing for a Big Mac and lots of mayonnaise!


Replay: Alex Thomson's finish by VendeeGlobeTV

Was there a problem with your main sail?

No. Two and half days ago I gybed to come into Les Sables d’Olonne and the forecast was for two periods gusting 50 knots and given that I had just had to finish, with the big waves it was just easier to take the mainsail down and I didn’t have to worry about any accidental gybes.

Does this result make all the adversity and all the hard times worthwhile?

Absolutely, I have spent ten years of my life and ten years of my teams life trying to finish and do well in the Vendée Globe and today is a BIG day for our team. I am very proud of the way the boat was prepared apart from the problems I had with the hydrogenerator. I had very few other problems. I feel like I got the most out of the boat. I feel like I did a good job and that’s important.

Do you have any thoughts on François Gabart’s race?

It’s incredible to do the race in 78 days. Denis Horeau, the Race Director asked me if 77 days was possible and I said, ‘don’t be ridiculous’. But what a great team, Michel Desjoyeaux has basically done it again. I feel for Armel Le Clèac’h coming in second. He should be very proud. He made few mistakes. I feel very honoured to be here in third place after these two great guys.

Did you talk a lot with Mike Golding during the course?

No, Mike and I haven’t had very much contact at all. The first contact was by email just off the coast of Brazil and we have exchanged three or four emails since then. I had an email from Alessandro. When I am in a race it doesn’t feel right to have small talk with the other skippers. In the beginning, in the first month you are so busy you don’t really have time to contact anyone.

As you have had so many problems with your hydrogenerators and Javier Sanso is sailing successfully with no fuel, using solar panels, would you consider a solar panel solution for your next campaign?

Generating power is extremely important on an IMOCA Open 60 Javier Sanso is leading the way for our boats to become clean and it’s very admirable of him. When the next Vendée Globe happens we will look at solar, hydro, wind. We will look at all the options available and come up with a solution that will maybe get us all the way around the world most efficiently. That’s what we did this time. For this race, for us to go solar would have been a risk. We chose a solution that had some miles. We chose hydrogenerators that had been around the world already and we had heard good reports. We felt that we were taking a conservative option. I think we as a team made the right choice to take enough fuel for half the race. I still have a few litres in the boat. Maybe I went too heavy. Next time, we’ll just have to look. The great thing is that Javier is out there testing a solution. To be able to go around the world with no fuel will be a remarkable achievement.

Now that you have ticked the box of completing the course, is it now your ambition to win the Vendée Globe and bring the crown back to Great Britain in 2016?

Competing in the Vendée Globe and being part of a team that aspires to be in this race is all consuming. You give up your life to be able to do it and there are some fantastic positives with it and there are also some negatives as well. I love doing it and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. Whether I do 2016, I don’t know but I am sure that I’ll do the Vendée Globe again.

Vendeee Globe finish for Alex Thomson (GBR) / Hugo Boss after 80D 19H 23MN 43SEC / 3rd for podium -  Vincent Curutchet / DPPI / Vendée Globe ©   Click Here to view large photo

We hear an awful lot about the hard days but can you tell us about the great days and what goes on in them?

I love the special moments when the sun comes up, the stars are really bright, I love seeing the dolphins, the flying fish. That’s all cool. I like it but the great moments are when the scheds come in and you are making miles. And the bad moments are when you are losing miles. For me I am in this for the competition. It’s brutal, it’s tough and the positives are when you are doing well and that’s why I am in it.

Obviously you had issues with your hydrogenerators, did you ever think that you would not make it round? Tell us about your mindset when you were having to go through it all.

I knew that I would get around the world. There was never really a moment when I thought I wouldn’t get round. There were several stages each time I had a problem. First, of all get the boat back on the track and stop losing miles and then work out how to fix the problem afterwards. The second time it happened I was in the Southern Ocean so that making a repair in the next month or so was going to be very hard and I guess it seemed like it dragged on and on and on whereas for me I just had to wait. There was never a time where I thought I wouldn’t finish.

What is the best memory you have from this round the world race?

'The best memory from this round the world is to finally arrive in Les Sables d’Olonne and see the welcome. When you describe the start of the race they cant believe it, but so far I have never been able to describe the finish and I look forwards to now being able to tell people about it now.'

Will you learn to speak French for the next Vendée Globe?

I did take a French language CD with me on the computer, and they are still there! I ran out of power.

What advice would you give to young skippers looking to set out on a path to the Vendée Globe?

In England we are very fortunate in having the Artemis Academy for short handed sailing. They have supported it well, there are some good people coming through the ranks and I sincerely hope we see some more British entries coming through in the next Vendée Globe. But the popularity of what happens here is very different to what happens at home in Britain. And I was very lucky this race with our team, we managed to hook up with the BBC once a week and I spoke live with seven million people in the UK, and hopefully if we can increase the popularity and get more media coverage at home then we are more likely to have more international kippers in this race who are able to enjoy Les Sables d’Olonne’s hospitality

What has made the difference in terms of the lower attrition rate this time, does improved preparation contribute?

For me preparation is everything. In the last Vendée Globe we had 30 starters and 11 finishers and I think we all said that was not acceptable. That was too many people dropping out. The big difference between this and the last race is the level and professionalism of the preparation. And I know today we still have nine boats still on the course. We have had three accidents, two of them extraordinary with other boats and one with a floating buoy, so actually today only 25% of the boats of the Vendée Globe have not finished because of technical problems. I put most of that down to preparation. It is a real credit to the skippers, the teams, IMOCA and I am sure the organisers of the Vendée Globe must be very happy with the situation today.

Just describe how tough you found the race?

I think the hardest part of the race was from the start to Cape Horn. For me the Southern Ocean is so tough but the first part is so hard because you have not raced for weeks. Everybody is ‘balls to the wall’. Everyone is 100% and you just do not sleep. You struggle to sleep. And then you cant wait to get on the highway on the Southern Ocean, and you get on the highway and you remember how bloody dangerous it is down there, how isolated it is, how scared you are and that for me was the toughest part of the race.

And did you feel disadvantaged not to have a newer generation boat?

I have to say I did find it frustrating at times that every time I would get to a position which was good that they would just sail away from me. But that was a choice. We made a choice over the last four years and it was the wrong choice. And so we did not have a new boat for this edition. On the other hand for the first five weeks of the race I was in the lead group. And the way it made me feel better was I was thinking that the other skippers would be thinking ‘when is he ever going to bugger off’, why is he still here?’ I feel like I sailed my boat to 100% of its potential. I feel like I did a good job. I made mistakes but I feel very satisfied with that.

What was you arrival like, it is something new for you?

When I was coming in to the finish and the first boat came out and beeped a horn, I did not know what to expect after such a long time, but when you enter that canal with all those thousands of people who have made the effort to come and appreciate the effort you have done, you feel really good in your heart. And it makes it very easy to come back to lots of people.

Vendeee Globe finish for Alex Thomson (GBR) / Hugo Boss after 80D 19H 23MN 43SEC / 3rd for podium -  Vincent Curutchet / DPPI / Vendée Globe ©   Click Here to view large photo

And the level of stress for you, does it rise proportionately through the race?

For me the level of stress is high right at the beginning. You are not used to it. You have been sleeping in beds for too long. And there are lots of boats around and you just go, go, go. The first part of the race is most stressful. And for me, in particular, the Pacific Ocean was very stressful, just because of the weather conditions.

There have, again, been some keel problems, what do we need to do?

In the last Vendée Globe we had a problem with keels, and we thought we had fixed the problem, Unfortunately it seems we still have a problem and we need to sort the problem. To me it is not acceptable to have keels fall off boats any more. In the old days, not that long ago, keels used to stay with the boat for the whole of their lives. Now it seems it seems like keels are more disposable than their masts. So I really hope that after this race, when IMOCA sits down that we take some sensible decisions and make the keels last forever. Just to be clear I am not being critical of any team or any skipper. The problem is as skippers and teams we are trying to find an advantage where it is not interesting, there is too much risk involved. I hope we end up in a situation where developing keels and adding risk to our adventures does not happen.

And what are the plans for the future, for 2013 and 2014?

I don’t know yet. I think I will take a rest after this. We will sit down with our sponsors Hugo Boss and finding out what we do in 2013. We are not too sure at the moment.

You wanted a cheeseburger on your arrival, was that the sweetest cheeseburger you have ever had?

It was a cordon bleu cheeseburger, it really was fantastic. But I have to say I wanted a Big Mac. I have been dreaming of the Golden Arches.

Vendee Globe website

Vendeee Globe finish for Alex Thomson (GBR) / Hugo Boss after 80D 19H 23MN 43SEC / 3rd for podium -  Vincent Curutchet / DPPI / Vendée Globe ©   Click Here to view large photo

Vendeee Globe finish for Alex Thomson (GBR) / Hugo Boss after 80D 19H 23MN 43SEC / 3rd for podium -  Vincent Curutchet / DPPI / Vendée Globe ©   Click Here to view large photo


by Sabina Mollart Rogerson

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=106118

3:19 PM Wed 30 Jan 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
2012 Vendee Globe

Related News Stories:

31 Jan 2013  Navtec chosen by all three Vendee Globe podium finishers
31 Jan 2013  Vendee Globe - Mike Golding holds position against Le Cam
31 Jan 2013  Vendee Globe - Hugo Boss crosses finish in third
30 Jan 2013  Vendee Globe Race - Alex Thompson to finish career-defining voyage
30 Jan 2013  Vendee Globe Race - Gamesa struggling to stay afloat
30 Jan 2013  Vendee Globe - The end is near + Video
30 Jan 2013  Vendee Globe - Golding vs Le Cam battle continues
29 Jan 2013  Vendee Globe - Close together and exhausted in Les Sables d'Olonne
28 Jan 2013  Vendee Globe Race - Golding tilts at fifth place
28 Jan 2013  Vendee Globe - Mike Golding's message for winner Francois Gabart
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

The expansion of sailing into so-called developing countries, continues at the ISAF Sailing World Cup, Miami, with Cuba joining the 64 nation line-up encompassing 600 boats. The 2015 fleet on Biscayne Bay is a record turnout, for this second event on the Sailing World Cup Circuit ... [more]  

At exactly 00:01 on the 29th January 2015, TeamVestas?' VO65 left VTE - Voltri Terminal Europa en route to Persico Marine in the foothills of the Italian Alps. The boat is now safely secured in a purpose-built facility near Bergamo, awaiting full assessment and the beginning of the repair process. ... [more]  

ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami Day 3 - There's a world of difference between skiing a long, smooth run and skiing on moguls. Today, forget the waves, it was the breeze on Biscayne Bay that was 'moguls.' Shift upon shift upon shift upon shift. ... [more]  

Ioannis Mitakis (GRE), the 2012 Finn European Champion, ruled the roost in Miami today with two emphatic race wins and moves up to third overall. Giles Scott (GBR) sailed his worst day so far, but still leads with a five point gap on Jake Lilley, and 12 points over Mitakis as the event reaches its half way stage. ... [more]  

The International DN Ice Yacht World and North American Championships are being held in Kingston, Ontario (right in front of our office). For the Kingston Yacht Club, we skated out to the middle of the lake, and put together a little highlight piece for them to remember the event by. ... [more]  

Doyle Sails had more success last weekend in the Auckland Optimist Championships, taking first and second overall in the 110 strong Open fleet. Six countries were represented in the event, and young sailors came the length of New Zealand to compete in the regatta that is a ranking event for World and International team selection. ... [more]  

EFG's Star Winter Series rules in Biscayne Bay by Connie Bischoff, Miami, FL
The third Star Winter Series presented by EFG (SWS) and hosted by Miami’s Biscayne Bay was a shining success. Not only have all five regattas had stronger participation than last year but the final one, the Mid Winters, grew 35% with 45% of the sailors international (CAN, SWE, BRA, UKR, ARG, ITA and GER). ... [more]  

2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - Day 3 photos provided by Ocean Images. ... [more]  

Day 3 of ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Presented by Sunbrella marked the midpoint of North America’s biggest Olympic and Paralympic classes regatta. With bright sunshine and fresh breeze in abundance, the world’s top athletes in 13 classes were treated to the conditions that exemplify why Miami is a preferred international sailing destination. ... [more]  

It was windshift upon windshift upon shift upon windshift on Day 3 of the ISAF World Sailing Cup Miami sailed on Biscayne Bay Presented by Sunbrella, the premier regatta has attracted 599 boats and 768 sailors who were adjusting all day to one thing or another. If it wasn't the wind direction that was changing, it was the wind speed. ... [more]  

Following the success of the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series that concluded last week, the dates of next year’s event have been confirmed for 16-24 January 2016. With overseas competitors from 11 nations represented a large part of the 47-strong fleet overall at the 2015 event ... [more]  

Ben Ainslie Racing, the British Challenger for the 35th America's Cup, have shipped two foiling Nacra 20 catamarans to Bermuda and have become the first team to commence sailing operations at the Venue for the next Cup. The team conducted an initial training camp in Bermuda, last week. ... [more]  

North U kicked off its 2015 season of youth match racing clinics around the U.S. with a successful clinic hosted by the Texas Corinthian Yacht Club in Kemah, Texas on Galveston Bay near Houston. Forty high school and college sailors spent two-and-a-half days learning about match racing and training in Sonars on flat water and 6-12 knots of breeze. ... [more]  

A fantastic week of sunshine, warm weather, big breeze and competitive sailing is what sailors were treated to last week in Key West. Several Canadians left the bitter cold of the north to partake in the fun filled week and a few even brought home trophies. Here's a peek at the fun in the sun! ... [more]  

At ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, presented by Sunbrella, if the Chamber of Commerce had stayed up all night working at it, they could not have served up a better day for racing. ... [more]  

On day 2 of ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Presented by Sunbrella, the rainstorms of yesterday vanished but the excellent wind conditions remained in place on Biscayne Bay. A more conventional day of racing saw US Sailing Team Sperry athletes finish the day in the top 10 in 5 Olympic classes and 2 Paralympic classes. ... [more]  

Bringing Dragon Sailors from around the world to Antigua. Harmony Hall Yacht Club, with the support of the Antigua Yacht Club Marina and the Inn at English Harbour, will host the second Annual Antigua Dragon Yacht Club Challenge with nine races scheduled to take place over five days in fantastic Caribbean conditions on identical Petticrow Dragons. ... [more]  

There are so many ways that the Dongfeng Race Team could have lost the chance to win the light-air marathon from Abu Dhabi to Sanya in China. Leading from the first 24 hours to the finish, 23 and a half days later, 5,403 nautical miles sailed and eight different gulfs, oceans and seas, is not necessarily the most advisable way to try and take the spoils. ... [more]  

Sydney photographer, Michael Chittenden was on Sydney harbour last Sunday and captured these images from Race 4 of the NSW 18ft Skiff Championships ... [more]  

New Zealand short-handed sailor, Conrad Colman is on his second two handed round the world race, this time aboard the Spirit of Hungary with Nandor Fa sailing in the Barcelona Round the World Race: I had noticed a couple of chafing zones on the mainsail so I prepared some patches and the Dr. Sails flexible epoxy glue so we could drop the main quickly ... [more]  

2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami- Photos provided by Ocean Images. ... [more]  

Photographer Ingrid Abery was on the water at 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami and provided this gallery of images. ... [more]  

2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - It may have been a day late for Australia Day, but on the second day at the Sailing World Cup Miami, the Australian Finn sailors were on a charge with some sparkling performances. Giles Scott (GBR) still leads after winning the opening race of the day, while Jake Lilley (AUS) won the second and moved up to second overall. Ed Wright (GBR) is in third. ... [more]  

2015 Pineapple Cup – Montego Bay Race is set to begin Friday, February 6. The 32nd edition of the venerable Pineapple Cup – Montego Bay Race will start in Port Everglades, Florida, and send its 12-boat fleet on a challenging 811 nautical mile course to Montego Bay, Jamaica. George Sakellaris’s (Framingham, Mass.) 72-foot Shockwave will be the largest boat competing, so it should be interesting to ... [more]  

VX One momentum is growing with ever larger fleets showing the pure fun and easy performance of this true thoroughbred one design. ... [more]  

Last Friday, former Oracle Team USA team member, Matthew Mitchell issued a media release stating that he has lodged a complaint with the International Sailing Federation over the actions of a fellow crew member, Simeon Tienpont, and inaction by the International Jury for the 34th America's Cup, in San Francisco. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: A warm and colorful welcome for Team SCA into Sanya by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com NZL, Auckland, NZ
The all-female crew, Team SCA, arrived to a warm and colorful welcome including fireworks, Chinese dragons, orchid garlands and traditional costumes into the city of Sanya on Hainan Island in southern China early Tuesday evening (local time). 'It was a really different leg. I wouldn’t say it was hard in terms of the physical side but it just had lots of things coming at all angles ... [more]  

Touch2Play had the great fortune of participating in what would be the largest yet gathering of J88’s to date. Quantum Key West Race Week would serve as a chance to see how boats lined up against one another in conditions that covered the full range. For this event we had Rob and Sandy Butler, Steve Leibel, Keven Piper, Coleen Walsh and myself, Larry Huibers. ... [more]  

As the Barcelona World Race leaders race to the Crozet Islands, once again their paths have diverged – Neutrogena around 200 miles to the south-west of first-placed Cheminées Poujoulat on the water, and gaining around 40 miles in the past 24 hours. ... [more]  

For the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) will announce on Saturday (31 January) at 10:00 CET the final line-up of sports. ... [more]  

On a high octane first day of the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami on Monday (26 January) Giles Scott, Alison Young and the Paralympian Sonar trio of John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas saw the best possible start to their 2015 sailing seasons with double race victories. ... [more]  

On the opening day of racing at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, presented by Sunbrella, it was sunny and bright. It was storming and raining sideways. It was sunny and bright. ... [more]  

On the opening day of racing at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, presented by Sunbrella, it was sunny and bright. It was storming and raining sideways. It was sunny and bright. ... [more]  

RC44 World Championship Leg 1 - RC44 Valletta Cup preview
ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - US Sailing Team Day 1
ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami -Finn class -testing conditions on Day 1
ISAF Olympic classes regatta Miami 2015 images by Ingrid Abery
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Alvimedica wins first podium place in Sanya
Volvo Ocean Race: Dongfeng scores historic victory for China
Volvo Ocean Race: Dongfeng release first DroneCam video from Leg 3
Volvo Ocean Race: Chinese team set historic first with home port win
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Vestas Wind arrives on time in Genoa + Video
America's Cup - Virgin considers backing Ben Ainslie, BAR
Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race - Changes
Alpari World Match Racing Tour - Monsoon Cup preview
Barcelona World Race - A game of chase
Quantum Key West Race Week: Four GC32's make spectacular USA debut
Volvo Ocean Race – Frostad says Caudrelier proving them wrong *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race - Last day drag race to Sanya
Volvo Ocean Race Leg 3 - Tense onboard Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing
Volvo Ocean Race Leg 3 - Dongfeng Race Team pushing hard!
Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 3 Finish - Video - Delayed feed
2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - Countdown begins
Volvo Ocean Race: Donfeng set to create a piece of sailing history   
Barcelona World Race - First of the iconic Great Capes has been passed   
Classic 18fters racing on Sydney Harbour   
Volvo Ocean Race - Can Dongfeng still hang on for a Sanya win??   
Stephanie Roble, 2014 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year   
Barcelona World Race - Taking advantage   
Oakcliff Awarded Joe Prosser Award at US Sailing NSPS 2015   
20 Nations head for 2015 St.Maarten Heineken Regatta   
Volvo Ocean Race - Less than 500 miles to go   
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Fantastic finish   
Barcelona World Race: Weather beacons launched midrace   
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 5   
Mount Gay Round Barbados Race – Gala prizegiving marks end of event   
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 5 images by Ingrid Abery   
Volvo Ocean Race Leader - Dongfeng - the right place at the right time   
ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship - Notice Of Race online   
Volvo Ocean Race: Changes to Team Vestas Wind crew   
McDougall+McConaghy Moth Worlds: Highlight video released   
America's Cup: Oracle crew mate lodges complaint against Tienpont   
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 4 images by Ingrid Abery   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL WAS US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT