With a time frame that exceeds 24 hours, Alex Thomson has smashed the singlehanded monohull transatlantic record from New York to Lizard (Cornwall). After departing from New York on July 17th, it took him only 8 days, 22 hours and 8 minutes to cross the Atlantic ocean.
Before that, the world record for more than 10 years had been held by Bernard Stamm, a Swiss sailor who managed to cross the same 2800 nautical miles in 10 days, 55 minutes and 19 seconds. “The first part after leaving New York was great with weather conditions in our favour, but things started to slow down getting closer to Carnwall,” said Alex Thompson after landfall.
Another aim of the British sailor was to get home in time for the 2012 London Olympic Games Opening Ceremony in order to support Chairman and good friend, Sir Keith Mills. “When I set off I had no idea if I was going to be able to do it. And it has been hard. Lack of sleep, broken instruments on the boat and constant exposure to the elements has really taken it out of me. But it’s such a good feeling to have beaten it by such a great margin,” said Thomson.
The record was a perfect warm up for the Thomson’s true objective for the 2012 season – to become the first Brit to win the single-handed round-the-world race, the Vendée Globe, aboard his 60 foot monohull, Hugo Boss. “This record attempt was also a training exercise for the Vendée Globe,” said Alex. “We felt this record attempt would put me under real pressure and stimulate race conditions”. The race, considered the Everest of sailing, will start in November from les Sables d’Olonne (France) and will go around the world without stopping. So far, only 50% of attempts to complete the race have been successful.