‘Fearless’ sailor is revered by fans far and wide

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ALEX Thomson fans travelled from far and wide to catch a glimpse of the solo sailor.

Steve Brown, 62, made the trip with family from Poole, in Dorset.

He said: ‘We are club sailors, I have followed the Vendee Globe for many years.

‘It’s amazing what Alex has achieved; but he’s also fearless; sitting in the southern ocean, doing speeds of 25 knots.

‘It’s the hardest challenge in the world, some sports are over in days or hours, yet this was over 74 days.’

Couple Robert and Linda Jones came from Oxfordshire.

Robert, 63, said: ‘We are just amazed by what Alex has done. The strength he has got, and the bravery, is amazing.

‘To sail alone like that is unbelievable.

‘It’s very cold but we are here to show our support and would have been here whatever the weather.’

David Williams, chief executive of Gosport Borough Council, said: ‘I am a very low-level, amateur sailor myself; and I can barely comprehend the challenges he faced.

‘It’s a phenomenal feat. We have such a pot of British sailing talent at the moment, and so much of it is focused on this stretch of water; Portsmouth Harbour.’