Alex Thomson records fastest 24 hour run in the solo Velux 5 Oceans so far 10/11/06

Since crossing the equator on Wednesday 8 November, Alex Thomson has enjoyed a rip-roaring ride through the South Atlantic. At 0520 GMT today Thomson recorded the fastest 24-hour run in the race so far, clocking up 346.4 nautical miles at an average speed of 14.4 knots. With opportunities to make gains ahead, the chase is on to catch third-placed Kojiro Shiraishi (JPN), who was passed by Mike Golding (GBR) late last night.

Here is Thomson’s latest report from the race track

“Sorry I didn’t get round to sending a report yesterday. I actually really enjoy scribbling down some thoughts about how it’s all going and knowing that you are all following my progress, but on Wednesday evening I seemed to be busy right through the night and didn’t actually get my head down until 6am!

“So, what’s been happening out here in the glorious South Atlantic? Since crossing the equator on Wednesday the progress has been excellent and I cannot believe I am so far south already. Maybe my initiation of ‘George the Bear’ as I crossed the equator has brought me the fair winds it was supposed to! Err?actually I do have a small confession to make… I know this is a solo race, but I actually have three companions onboard – George who’s a member of the RNLI, Stephen from Newbridge Junior School in Portsmouth and St John from St John’s Primary School in Alverstoke.

“The two school bears were given to me when pupils from both schools came to the Southampton Boat Show to look around Hugo Boss, find out about the race, and try my lovely freeze dried food! A big thank you to all the kids who have been e-mailing me – keep them coming! Then there’s George from the RNLI, an organisation that is completely funded by voluntary donations. It’s a fantastic organisation, saving thousands of lives every year and I’m taking George with me around the world to try and raise awareness. At the end of the race he will auctioned off to raise funds. You can follow his progress at

“But back to the equator story – before crossing the equator the bears drew lots to see who would be inducted into the Court of Neptune, and George’s name was drawn. Some of you may have caught us on BBC News 24 as I filmed the ceremony, and Neptune must be happy because since then the winds have been great and the latest positions have just come in and it seems I have been the fastest for the last 24 hours. That’s a big bonus as I did not expect to make miles at this stage but hey I’ll take any miles I can get at the moment!

“Yesterday was relatively easy sailing for me, as the boat could be pretty much left to its own devices. Hugo Boss revels in hard reaching conditions and that is what we have been experiencing over the past 24 hours. I have almost felt redundant – she just has not needed me apart from the odd ease of the mainsheet or a minor trim on the headsail, so I’ve been taking the opportunity to catch up on some sleep and generally chill out a little.

“Keep the e-mails coming in – I have been complaining to the team that I haven’t received as many as I did during the Vendée Globe! I know there have been some challenges in tracking the boats’ progress on the official site but hopefully these have been resolved now and on you can now check out the progress each skipper makes compared to the last position report and in the last 24 hours.

“Enjoy your weekend!”