There was further emotion in Les Sables d’Olonne this Wednesday morning with Alex Thomson crossing the finish line on Hugo Boss at sunrise to take 3rd place in this 7th Vendée Globe. It was beautiful, majestic and moving, with the public, as always, paying homage to this great sailor.
Alex had been waiting for this moment for the past ten years. He’d dreamed of crossing the finish line, which had escaped him on two previous attempts. This time he came good with the added bonus of a podium place.
It’s the ultimate reward for unfailing tenacity; tenacity he shared with his Mentor, Sir Keith Mills, who has placed his trust in him since the purchase of his first IMOCA in 2003.
For the past ten years he’s made sacrifices and it’s aboard Hugo Boss, Roland Jourdain’s former boat and winner of the Route du Rhum that Alex steps up onto this highly coveted podium. It’s a great story, which testifies to the quality of our boats, our ability to make them last and evolve, and to the talent of our skippers.
It needed Alex’s talent to remain in contact with the latest generation boats, to keep up with the crazy rhythm set by Gabart, Le Cléac’h and Dick. Constant commitment and an unbounded desire to succeed were required to cross the finish line.
A few days earlier, Jean-Pierre Dick entrusted him with this third place. Alex made good use of this; a just reward which pays tribute to his seafarer’s gesture of support for Jean-Pierre during some tough times off the Azores.
Alex is the third British sailor to make the Vendée Globe podium, after Ellen McArthur and Mike Golding. It is indeed the skippers of the World who write the history of this fabulous race and IMOCA has every intention of making sure that continues.
Alex is also the IMOCA Class’ second administrator to make the podium after Armel le Cléac’h. We can congratulate ourselves for that and we very much believe in our future. Managed by these exceptional sailors, IMOCA is steering the right course!
Many Thanks to Alex Thomson and Sir Keith Mills; together we are building our future.
Luc Talbourdet, IMOCA President:
“Congratulations Alex, perseverance pays off!
3rd in the Vendée Globe after a 2nd place in the Transat J. Vabre 2011 and a 4th place in the Transat BtoB, Alex is one of the reference sailors in the IMOCA class.
His performance is typical of the participation by the sailors of the English crown and epitomises the success of the IMOCA class’ internationalisation.
Well done Alex!”
Sir Keith Mills*:
"What makes this race very special, are some very special skippers, some very special boats and some fantastic support here in Les Sables d’Olonne and in France.
This is the most extraordinary sporting event in the world and we need to tell the world how amazing this event is so that we can attract more and more international competitors."
*Since October 2012, IMOCA has entrusted the management of its commercial rights to OSM, a company set up by Sir Keith Mills.