Alex Thomson at the Dusseldorf Boat Show yesterday chatting about Barcelona World Race plans 24/1/07

Alex Thomson was at the Dusseldorf Boat Show with Ellen MacArthur yesterday speaking about the new double-handed, non-stop Barcelona World Race that starts on 11 November this year. During his speech Thomson highlighted how important the race will be for him following his dramatic rescue by fellow competitor Mike Golding in the Southern last year see rescue video clip here.

Thomson chatting about his return to the Southern Ocean and the development of his new boat said: “Obviously I’m nervous about heading back into the Southern Ocean again this winter, but for me the Barcelona World Race will be a great confidence booster. Psychologically, to be able to go back there with a second person on board is good for me and I’m looking forward to getting out racing again.

“We are currently concentrating on getting the new boat ready and hope to launch her at the end of April. The new boat is our current priority, and our first race will be the Gotland Rund in Sweden this July. We have tried and tested a number of systems on the old boat which we have been able to use in our development of the new Hugo Boss. Hopefully, she’ll be on the pace with all the other new IMOCA Open 60s. The quality of her build is second to none, which will show in her reliability.”

“The most important factor for Capey (Andrew Cape) [Thomson’s co-skipper] and I in preparation for the Barcelona World Race will be getting as much time on the water sailing together as we can. Individually, making sure that our physical fitness is outstanding will be very important. Mentally, being together in a confined space with just one person for so long could be quite full on, but we are both aware of this from the outset so we can make sure it won’t be an issue.

“Capey has experience across the board in many different types of sailing, from America’s Cup to the Volvo Ocean Race to shorthanded sailing. The fact that he’s a professional navigator plus his personal motivation and drive makes him a great guy for me to be sailing with in this race. We want to race together as a democracy – sharing the decision making and racing the boat to our full potential.”