Alex Thomson makes his return to ocean racing since retiring from the Vendee Globe in November

British round-the-world sailor Alex Thomson will taking part in this year’s Rolex Fastnet Race, onboard the newly re-fitted Open 60 Hugo Boss.

Joining him onboard will be former Olympic skier and adventurer Graham Bell, Sir Keith Mills (Head of British America’s Cup campaign Team Origin) and Rob Greenhalgh, twice veteran of the Volvo Ocean Race and recently crowned Skiff World Champion.

Navigator Andrew Cape will also join the crew for the race. Andrew recently completed his sixth lap of the planet alongside Rob onboard Puma Ocean Racing during the last edition of the Volvo Ocean Race. He is also no stranger to Alex Thomson or Hugo Boss, after securing second place in the Barcelona World Race with Alex in 2007.

The Fastnet starts on Sunday 9 August from Cowes on the Isle of Wight. The 600 nautical mile race will see a fleet of 300 head along the English Channel and out towards the famous Fastnet Rock on the Southern tip of Ireland, the fleet will then turn around and head back to the finish in Plymouth.

Novice sailor Graham Bell commented: “I am excited about the prospect of sailing with Alex and his crew for the Fastnet, I am certainly in great company and hope that everything goes to plan. This is certainly one of the most adventurous things I have ever done.”

This will be the first race onboard Hugo Boss since Alex was forced to retire from the Vendée Globe in December last year. The Open 60 has undergone a full re-fit at Endeavour Quays in Gosport. “I’m really excited to get back out racing again,” explained Alex. “I think we have a great crew lined up, and it will be fantastic to have Capey (Andrew) step onboard again. I am sure Graham will enjoy every minute of this historic race, seeing the Fastnet Rock for the first time is one of those special moments in sailing that I’m sure he won’t forget. I’m looking forward to a good race and hopefully a good result.”