For the Briton Alex Thomson, one of the favorites of the race, the Vendée Globe 2020, it’s over. He retired on Saturday 28 November after a damage to his starboard rudder (part of the rudder), less than a week after having had structural problems on his latest generation boat. “The decision is made: unable to repair his starboard rudder”, Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) “abandons the Vendée Globe” and “will head for Cape Town”, announced the race management.
The Welshman gives up for the third time in five appearances. He had already retired in 2004, then in 2008, before finishing third in 2012-2013 and second in the last edition (2016-2017). The 46-year-old skipper was one of the big favorites of the Vendée Globe, a non-stop solo round-the-world race that has always been won by a Frenchman since its creation in 1989. He had crossed the equator. in the lead ten days after departure.
A brand new boat
For his fifth participation, Thomson was at the helm of a brand new black and pink boat, of the latest generation, which can almost fly thanks to the foils (large lateral appendages). His boat, which is part of a fleet of eight new sailboats, is fitted with electronics and is the only one to have a completely enclosed cockpit. Since November 22, Thomson had been carrying out repairs to alleviate structural problems. Friday evening, he was trying to get back into the race when he noticed the damage to the rudder.