Brian Thompson and Will Oxley complete TJV qualifier aboard Pindar 17/10/07

Brian Thompson and Will Oxley, co-skippers of new state-of-the-art Open 60 Pindar last night completed their 1,000 mile qualifying sail for the Transat Jacques Vabre race. The team is now making last minute preparations before delivering the boat to Le Havre, for the start of the double-handed transatlantic yacht race, which begins on Saturday November.

Thompson, who was recently appointed full time skipper, and Oxley, his co-skipper for the transatlantic race, will be competing aboard Pindar. The team, which was announced last month, began its qualifying sail from Gosport, the Team Pindar base, early on Thursday morning. The duo sailed south-west to round Ushant island, on the north-west tip of France and then continued south to the Spanish coast, before returning to the Solent via Ushant.

Brian Thompson, 45, from Cowes, Isle of Wight commented: “Will and I had a great qualifying sail, we’re really pleased with how Pindar performed and are confident that we are well prepared for the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre. Although we started our qualifying sail in fickle winds early on Thursday, the wind filled in as we made our way across the Bay of Biscay, and we experienced a great downwind ride back down the English Channel to home. I’m very excited about the TJV and can’t wait to line up against the excellent fleet competing in this year’s race. There’s certainly going to be a battle on and we’ve got a great British turn out – five boats within an 18 boat fleet.”

The 2007 Transat Jacques Vabre is Open 60 Pindar’s debut offshore race. Team Pindar also has a second entry in the race, Pindar 40, skippered by Jo Royle and Alexia Barrier, the only all-female entry in the Class 40 fleet. The race starts on the 3 November from Le Havre, France, and finishes in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, approximately two weeks later.