A sneak preview of the sinister-looking new Open 60 that replaces the boat Alex lost in the Southern Ocean


Here is the much-discussed Hugo Boss, Alex Thomson’s new Open 60. It replaces the yacht he had to abandon and which shortly afterwards sank in the Southern Ocean last year. The new boat has been much talked because, typically of Alex, it was rumoured to be full-on speed machine with a real difference.

Hugo Boss 2 was built in Lymington shrouded in secrecy, but I spied her in Gosport this weekend right after her launch. You can see now why I called this boat the class’s Darth Vader. Chief among the ideas Alex was trying to keep under wraps is this sinister-looking double cuddy arrangement in the cockpit. The purpose is to help reduce the build weight of Hugo Boss.

Farr Yacht Design started the trend for a central tunnel and winch for halyards and sheets, but with Hugo Boss designers Groupe Finot have gone one stage further and made it an open channel between the two cuddies, with lines led through the largest rope organiser Spinlock have ever manufactured. The twin-cuddy arrangement, along with the two wheels and protective fairing outboard, makes the boat feel a bit like she ought to be a catamaran.

Finot have developed these themes to make the boat look and feel very macho and aggressive, with lots of beautiful varnished carbon fibre. There’s even a little Hugo Boss logo into carbon hull at the stern. The curves and blister coachroof styling that Finot pioneered and were once de rigeuer on Open 60s has gone. This is an angular design, with chines on deck and on the hull. And the new Boss looks very wide aft.

Hugo Boss is to undergo her 180° inclining test in Gosport later this week and will be rigged and carry out sea trials next week. I’ll be sailing her shortly, and there will be a full report in September’s YW.