Alex Thomson's Open 60 Hugo Boss has been dismasted in the Southern Ocean 21/2/06

At approximately 23h30 GMT Sunday 19 / Monday 20 February Alex Thomson, skipper and owner of Hugo Boss, called his shore crew to inform them that the Open 60 had just been dismasted with himself and four crew members onboard. The yacht was sailing on a broad reach in 25 knots of wind with one reef and the solent.

Nobody was injured in the incident, and within a few short hours the boat was sailing under jury rig. Preliminary investigations by Alex and boat captain Simon Clarke, suggest there is only minor additional damage and the boat is now making reasonable speed, heading for South America. Alex has plenty of water and provisions on board and the yacht is now expected to reach Chile in 10-15 days.

At the time of the dismasting Hugo Boss was at the end of the second week of a Southern Ocean crossing from Melbourne to Uruguay, en route to continue its corporate programme for sponsor Hugo Boss in the USA. The boat is currently 1,800 miles from land and since the initial call Alex has been in regular contact with the shore crew, and the Marine Rescue Co-ordination Centre at Falmouth and the Chilean Coast Guard have been alerted.