A radically different Hugo Boss is put in the water for the first time - see images

Alex Thomson’s sailing campaign got underway today (Thursday 13 May) when the new HUGO BOSS IMOCA 60 took to the water at Endeavour Quay, Gosport giving the yachtsman a chance to see what his new boat is capable of. Thomson’s latest race yacht has been undergoing a dramatic redesign over the last four months and today’s launch was the first time she has been fully unveiled.

The redesign has taken place under the guidance of renowned boat designer Juan Kouyoumdjian, who has worked closely with Thomson to optimise the ease of use and to allow him to compete at the highest possible level. The most notable change is the two PODS (Oceanic Defence Systems) which replace the old single cockpit and gives the boat a unique and extraordinary new look.  In addition, the PODS add significantly improved usage features that are designed to improve the capability and usability of the boat in a number of areas.

The launch marks the next phase of Alex Thomson’s campaign which will see him spend some time getting to know the boat in the Solent before embarking on a transatlantic crossing to New York. The crossing will give Thomson his first real chance to test the limits of HUGO BOSS which is apparently more powerful than any other boat in the IMOCA 60 fleet.

“We’ve been working hard over the past year to create this amazing boat and we’re really pleased with the result”, said Alex. “This is the most important part of the campaign for me. Getting the boat in the water and getting to grips with her for the first time is fundamental to the build up to the Barcelona World Race and our entire campaign.”

Thomson will now undergo a rigorous training schedule which will involve a transatlantic and Mediterranean sailing programme before heading to Spain for the start of the Barcelona World Race in December.

“We are extremely pleased to have launched at this early stage, enabling ourselves sufficient time to make any modifications before the race starts in December”, Thomson concluded.

HUGO BOSS will be unveiled in all its glory at the official boat christening on Thursday 27 May 2010 in London.