ROUND-THE-WORLD yachtsman Alex Thomson has revealed what he will do to relax after his exploits in the 74-day Vendee Globe endurance race... go on a sailing holiday.
The Gosport sailor came second in the race, finishing on Friday afternoon. It was the joint best performance by a British sailor in the event, after Dame Ellen MacArthur also came second in 2001.
Thomson has now revealed what happens, next saying: ‘My wife has booked our dream sailing holiday together in the Caribbean.
‘She has promised we have double beds, flushing toilet and fridge, freezer and lots of beer and rum. We are off to do that.’
Having now had a little time to discuss future Vendée Globe plans with his wife Kate and his core team, he said he is now eyeing up a win.
‘Third last time, second this time,’ he added. ‘It is obvious what we need to do. What I need to do is to have a competitive campaign to do it again and the level of commitment from my family, from my team, from my team’s families. It means we need the right funding, but the most important thing is the people and the very next thing is the funding.’
Reviewing the emotional videos of his finish and return into the famous Les Sables d’Olonne channel, Thomson explained: ‘For me in the race I always feel it is very important not to think about the finish until it happens.
‘Anything can happen right up until the finish line. Mike Golding lost his keel 50 miles from the finish. Even when I am 20 miles away, I am still not really telling myself I am about to finish. All the emotion, all the work you have put in, all the stress, it is not really over until that line. And then it just feels like the responsibility is lifted off your shoulders. I am not even sure you are really aware of the responsibility. Having to sleep with one eye open, you are constantly thinking of what can happen next.’
The race was won by Frenchman Armel Le Cleac’h. At one point it was looking like a close finish as Thomson broke a world record in the final week, travelling 536.8 miles in 24 hours. However, the final burst of speed was not enough to see him overhaul Le Cleac’h.
Jérémie Beyou is expected to cross the finish line this evening to take third place.
Of his ‘decompression’, his recovery since finishing Thomsonsport said: ‘It takes a few months to recover. I will be a few months in the gym. My gluteus maximus has turned to a gluteus minimus. I have got no quadriceps muscles any more.
‘I am in pain walking around. Physically it is going to be lot of work.
‘I am sleeping quite well. I normally sleep for only one or two hours for quite a long period after the race. I feel pretty exhausted. I really felt like the tank was empty this time. I actually have put weight on my stomach. My weight will have dropped though because you lose big muscles like your quads and your glutes, my legs are terrible, there is nothing there.
‘One of the problems I did not tell people about is where the jib sheets come down through a block on the deck, the pulley where the rope does a 110 degree turn, stopped working about six weeks ago. And so I was dragging the ropes through the sheave. And I actually feel like my shoulder has moved forward in the socket.’