Alex’s first race voyage since globe-trotting

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AS A round-the-world skipper, he’s used to long voyages crossing the globe.

But Gosport-based Alex Thomson swapped his usual route for a race round the Isle of Wight on Saturday.

It was the first competitive race he had competed in since coming third in the Vendee Globe, which saw him travel the world in 80 days.

He said: ‘It was a great feeling to be back onboard Hugo Boss and sailing competitively again, and I’m really happy with my time which is a personal Round the Island best for me.

Alex won the Open 60 class in four hours and 12 minutes.

He added: ‘It was very windy, much more windy than we had expected as it was very gusty off the back of the island, but it made it very exciting.

‘The Round the Island is a special race to be part of – it’s sailing’s version of the London Marathon.

‘The sheer number of boats on the start is an incredible sight to witness and the atmosphere is always fantastic.’

He commended Sir Ben Ainslie’s record-breaking sail.

He said ‘Ben Ainslie breaking the record by 16 minutes is just awesome.

‘It’s a massive achievement, particularly as he has done it on a relatively small 45ft catamaran.

‘Like many of the sailors here, Ben was sailing in memory of his good friend “Bart” Simpson, so it’s especially poignant that he managed to break the record in such style.’