Thomson will step up Fastnet pursuit

HugoBoss IMOCA Open 60 race yacht skippered by Alex Thomson during the start of the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race. Picture: Lloyd Images

ALEX THOMSON is upbeat about his Fastnet prospects in the IMOCA class.

Thomson, from Gosport, and his co-sailor, Nicholas O’Leary moved into ninth place, within just 20 miles behind the leader SMA.

Conditions were not favourable for the foil assisted Hugo Boss.

But that should change when they have rounded the Fastnet Rock.

Around 400 boats started the popular 600-mile race in Cowes.

Thomson is due to finish late on Tuesday night, or early on Wednesday morning.

Technical Director, Ross Daniel, said: ‘Alex and Nin are sailing the boat very well and are happy onboard.

‘The boat was designed for competing in reaching conditions in the Vendee Globe, and will always struggle upwind.

‘From the start to the Fastnet Rock we will be upwind all the way, but the opportunities will come after we have rounded the Rock when we should have fast downwind sailing conditions.’

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