Alex Thomson's Hugo Boss, abandoned in 2006 when the keel head broke, has been found 10,000 miles away after 9 years drifting in the Southern Ocean
These photos of the shipwrecked hull of Alex Thomson’s Hugo Boss were taken in February in Patagonia during a kayak expedition by Chilean adventurer Cristian Donoso. Donoso discovered the yacht nine years after Thomson abandoned the yacht in a last-minute rescue and over 10,000 nautical miles from where the yacht was last seen.
Thomson abandoned the boat 1,000 miles from Cape Town during the solo Velux 5 Oceans race and was rescued by Mike Golding in the Southern Indian Ocean in November 2006. The section of the canting keel head that to attached the rams snapped off so that the keel was swinging freely.
Read Mike Golding’s dramatic retelling of how he carried out the rescue and how it very nearly went wrong.
He and his team agreed that keel failure was imminent, and Mike Golding in Ecover returned into headwinds to make a dramatic and difficult rescue.
The discovery nearly a decade later shows that the main part of the hull travelled over 10,000 nautical miles round the world on wind and currents to end up in a remote part of the Bernardo O’Higgins National Park in Chile. The hull would seem to have survived because the keel did, indeed, detach from the hull. The cockpit area has also broken off and the mast, deck hardware, standing and running rigging is all gone.
Stewart Hosford, managing director of Alex Thomson Racing says: “We could not believe it could go so far when we assumed it had sunk! To date, we not been contacted by anyone, and it is owned by the insurance company, but of course if it needs to be removed or dealt with we will support that in whatever way we can and offer assistance.”