Alex Thomson announces co-skipper for next year's Barcelona World Race 27/9/06

Hugo Boss sponsored solo skipper Alex Thomson (GBR) has today announced his co-skipper for the two-handed Barcelona World Race as Australian sailing veteran Andrew Cape.

Starting on 11 November 2007, this gruelling race non-stop around the world will cover 25,000 miles over three months, across the planet’s most hostile oceans. The Barcelona World Race is the second of three round the world yacht races which Thomson will take on in the next three years; the first being the single-handed Velux 5 Oceans, which begins on 22 October 2006.

Managed by OC Events, part of the OC Group that includes Ellen MacArthur’s Offshore Challenges Sailing Team, and the organising authority of the Barcelona-based FNO, the Barcelona World Race will be contested onboard high performance IMOCA Open 60s. Thomson, 32, holds the current 24 hour solo monohull World Speed Record onboard these yachts and has a new state of the art Open 60 currently under construction and due out of the shed in April 2007.

Cape (aka ‘Capey’), aged 44 from Lymington, is one of Australia’s most talented and experienced sailors and navigators. He has sailed three Whitbread/Volvo Ocean Races, most recently aboard movistar and then Ericsson in the 2005-2006 race, and competed as navigator with winning America’s Cup team Alinghi. He has raced both double-handed and single, competing in the Mini Transat 1999 and the Mini Fastnet which he went on to win. The combination of Thomson and Cape highlights one of the aims of the Barcelona World Race which is to unite the world of solo sailing with the professional fully crewed world.

Thomson commented: “When I selected my co-skipper for the Barcelona World Race I knew I wanted to sail with someone who I would learn something from. As a solo sailor you have to be a jack of all trades and navigation is one area where I would like to learn more. Capey is one of the world’s most experienced offshore navigators and a hugely talented sailor. I believe we will make a strong team and have a lot of fun in the process.”

Thomson and Cape have been training together in the lead up to the Velux 5 Oceans Race and are collaborating over the build of Thomson’s new Finot Conq design yacht. The boat is being built in Lymington, where Cape is in a perfect position to oversee the build while Alex is away at sea.

Cape said: “I wanted to sail with Alex because he has a great program in place. He has an excellent sponsor in Hugo Boss, with a brand new boat to be built for the Barcelona World Race. On a personal level I admire Alex’s drive, ambition and professionalism. He has a great sense of humour and personality which is obviously extremely important for a race of this duration.”

Cape continued: “The Barcelona race brings together the aspects of yacht racing that best suit me. The skills of optimising a new build, long term strategy, meteorology and endurance are where my experiences and successes lie. Being two-handed enables the yachts to be sailed much harder without the reliance on self steering systems. I am doing this race because I believe that Alex and I can win and we will certainly give it our best shot.”