LAUNCHED earlier this year, the IMOCA 60 Hugo Boss captained by Alex Thompson which was participating in the double-handed Transat Jacques Vabre race from Le Havre to South America had to withdraw from the race and was heading for La Coruna when high seas and strong winds made Thompson call for assistance on October 31.
Both he and co-skipper, Spanish sailor Guillermo Altadill were rescued by a helicopter crew from the Salvamento Maritimo, the Spanish Coastguard as their boat appeared to be sinking. The two men were forced to jump into the sea so that they could be winched up to safety in the helicopter.
The Hugo Boss which was inexplicably turned over by a wave, did not sink and has now been recovered by members of the Alex Thompson racing team and towed to La Coruna where they will be investigating the causes of the damage and correcting any faults.
On his website, Alex Thompson said “I have never experienced anything like it. I was asleep and woke up to a boat upside down rapidly filling with water. Guillermo and I responded together as a team to the difficult situation and now that my boat’s back safely we can focus on our Vendee Globe campaign as a team. We have overcome problems before and I am as determined as ever to succeed.”