Alex Thomson arrives in Gijon and explains his plans for a re start of the 5 Oceans Race 25/10/06

Well, not quite the start to this race I had imagined but there’s nothing like a bit of drama to keep everyone gripped.

I finally made it into Gijon shortly before midnight last night. Even close to the port, the sea was huge and it was extremely difficult to moor up. I can’t tell you how pleased I was to see Clarkee out on the pilot boat, ready to help me in. Initially I had hoped to be able to repair the damaged headsail but it very quickly became obvious that it’s beyond repair. We have been frantically trying to source a replacement one with the help of North Sails and I’ve spent much of today focussing on that.

If all goes to plan, I hope to be ready to leave Gijon by tomorrow [Wednesday] evening, although it still doesn’t look like there’ll be much of a break in the weather.

The conditions have been completely heinous and all the boats have taken a real battering. Yet again I am filled with enormous respect for my fellow competitors and at the same time I share the disappointment and frustration I know Mike, Unai and now Robin will be feeling.

I would like to just say a word of thanks for how supportive everyone has been and hope that I’ll just be able to crack back on with it tomorrow.

Keep sending me those positive vibes!