Alex Thomson chats to about Hugo Boss' refit

Alex Thomson’s yacht Hugo Boss was Roland Jourdain’s original Sill which was designed by Marc Lombard and launched in 1999. Since he’s had her Thomson has totally re-fitted her above and below decks and had her tailor made to suit the sort of abuse that will be thrown at her over the next three months during the Vendee Globe.

Down below one of the immediate things to catch the eye was the lack of any form of navigation table, all the navigation and electronic equipment and computer screens are mounted on main cabin forward bulkhead.

In typical Hugo Boss/Formula 1 style Thomson has a natty racing car seat mounted high on a track which allows it to slide, rotate and recline in the centre of the boat. The seat built of carbon-fibre, weighs just 12 kilos and should provide some form of comfort during what will undoubtedly be an incredibly uncomfortable voyage.

Chatting about changes to the boat Thomson said: “We’ve done a lot of work upgrading her. For example we’ve added 500 litres of water ballast forward. We’ve increased the length of the daggerboards by 25 per cent to make them more efficient. The mast’s had staysail stay lifted by a metre and a half to increase the sail area by 15-20 sq metres putting it line with the other boats. We’ve generally reduced the weight.

“At the max beam the boat’s been optimised to allow the sails and all my gear to be stored as far out as possible. It does mean however, I have to manually lug it from one side of the boat to the other.

“On deck all the deck gear fitting have been changed including adding a spoiler for all the communications gear.”

With just three days to go Thomson assured me that although down below the work to the salvage pump looked fairly major it was just the final touches. But will it all be ready for Sunday? In typical Thomson laid-back style he concluded: “Fear not, everything will be ready for the start!”