It’s not often you have a genuine real-life hero living in your midst. But we all do here in the shape of round-the-world sailor Alex Thomson. He survived the psychological and physical demands of 80 days alone at sea, no mean feat itself. But he went on to claim third in the Vendee Globe race. Since then the plaudits have flooded in – including from Hollywood A-lister Ewan McGregor – all of them richly deserved. So that’s why today we’re encouraging as many people as possible to make the effort tomorrow to give him the welcome home he has definitely earned. Alex will lead in a procession of boats in the racing yacht Hugo Boss from Spinnaker Fort from 11am, passing Portsmouth Harbour along the way before heading into his home port at Gosport.
And we want a big crowd to pack the route to make sure Alex feels the support he so richly deserves.
It really was a tremendous achievement. Besides his undoubted talent on the water, it’s great to see he hasn’t forgotten the influence his home had on his success. As he says of Gosport, his base for the past 25 years: ‘It’s the perfect place. ‘It’s part of the package that makes the team successful. ‘I love the town, the fact it’s close to the water and it’s got a great beach and history.’ So let’s all get out there and really bang the drum for our very own sailing superstar, Alex. The Vendee Globe only takes place every four years and, who knows, we may never see another of his kind in this area again.