HUGO BOSS has suffered severe damage after being struck by a fishing vessel.
At 2.30am this morning Alex Thomson and his crew onboard the Open 60 yacht Hugo Boss were struck by a 60 foot fishing vessel. Hugo Boss was 2 miles outside the harbour of les Sables d'Olonne when the incident happened. Hugo Boss was waiting to transfer some of the technical team onboard at daylight having just crossed the channel from their homeport of Gosport, UK ready for the start of the Vendée Globe.
HUGO BOSS was stationary with only its mainsail up when the fishing vessel struck. The race boat was visible with its navigation lights, trim lights and a strobe light on. Its radar and AIS systems were also activated and working.
The fishing vessel, registered in France, struck Hugo Boss forward of the cap shroud on the starboard side, severely holing Hugo Boss and bringing the mast down. The mast and sails were cut away from the boat before they motored into les Sables d'Olonne to have the damage assessed. Also onboard at the time of the incident with Alex was Boat Captain, Ross Daniel and Rigger, Giles Waterhouse. No-one onboard was injured.
'I'm devastated, but I'm glad everyone is ok' Alex Thomson, skipper Hugo Boss.
Damage to Hugo Boss is currently being assessed.
Sailing with Andrew Cape (currently navigator onboard PUMA in the Volvo Ocean Race) Alex and his Finot Conq designed Hugo Boss finished second in the 2007/8 Barcelona World Race. During this race the pair set the current 60 foot monohull speed record at 501.3nm with an average speed of 20.9 knots. Both Alex and Hugo Boss were in excellent shape and ready for the start of the Vendee Globe.
The Vendée Globe is described as the Everest of Sailing, a single handed nonstop race around the globe. This year's race has attracted a record entry of 30 boats. www.alexthomsonracing.com
Vendee Globe - http://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/