Alex Thomson and Pepe Ribes, skippers of the IMOCA 60 HUGO BOSS, which was leading the Barcelona World Race, this evening lost their mast overboard at 21.02 GMT. The yacht was reaching in moderate conditions when there is reported to have been a rigging failure and the mast fell overboard and broke. It spells another cruel end to a circumnavigation quest for Thomson and his Hugo Boss team.
Briton Thomson, 40, and Spaniard Ribes, 43 will now cease racing in the Barcelona World Race 2014 -2015. The Hugo Boss skippers and the shore team are currently evaluating how to get the boat to the nearest landfall, which is likely to be Salvador de Bahia in Brazil, nearly 400nm from the boat’s current position.
Stewart Hosford Managing Director of Alex Thomson Racing said this evening ‘After such a promising start to the 2014-2015 edition of the Barcelona World Race- this has come as a great shock. We have been preparing for this race for over a year, but unfortunately in offshore racing this type of failure sometimes happens. I now just want the skippers to get to safety and to recognise that they, and the team are very upset that this has happened, and to thank our team and our partners for their support. Alex and Pepe were doing a superb job in this race and having spoken to both of them – they are devastated that this rig failure has ended their race.