Alex Thomson's new Open 60 undergoes 180 degree capsize test 3/7/07

Last Friday, a week after the new Open 60 Hugo Boss was launched from Berthon’s Marina in Lymington, she completed her 180 degree capsize test. Alex Thomson was on board with two other members of the team.

An interesting excercise and one which Thomson was glad to put behind him: “As Capey, Pascal Conq and I got into the boat, a crane was attached to the bottom of the keel and the boat is hauled up until she is upside down. Once there we had to prove we could get out of the escape hatch and then cant the keel and right the boat. I felt pretty nervous about this, and it was horrible as the boat was being turned upside down because you have no real concept of where the boat is because it is so dark. There was a small amount of light coming in through the windows, but all you would be able to see through there is fish!! I was also a little worried because our deck layout would keep the boat quite stable in this position, although Pascal was very confident! The righting went well, but it took a lot of keel and it was very violent, I was happy to open the hatch and get outside I can tell you.

“Next step is to do our 90 degree test and weigh the boat in the build up to her public unveiling on the 11 July, but unfortunately we are being hampered this week by the bad weather. ”

Thomson talking about the new boat how it compares with his previous Hugo Boss said: “Although I have spent a lot of time overseeing the build in the last few months, I was surprised by how high she floated in the water, and how big she felt. This boat has significantly more freeboard than my last one (which resembled a submarine rather than a surface floating vessel at times) and she is significantly wider, which is where the power will come from. Engineered by Paolo Manganelli at SP Engineering, who together with Jason and the build team, have created a boat that is also 25 per cent lighter, which will make a hell of a difference to performance.”