Alex Thomson and Pepe Ribes pair up on Hugo Boss for the Barcelona World Race
When British skipper Alex Thomson revealed today in Barcelona that his successful sponsorship with Hugo Boss will continue for a further four years, it was confirmed that both the 2014-15 Barcelona World Race - the two handed non stop race around the world - and next June’s 2014 Ocean Masters New York to Barcelona race will be key events on his programme for the IMOCA Open 60 Hugo Boss.
(See video | See interview) Thomson, who broke the solo monohull record across the Atlantic last summer when he was preparing for the solo Vendée Globe, will be partnered on the double handed challenges by the very experienced Spanish sailor Pepe Ribes.
The Barcelona based sailor finished fourth in the last edition of the Barcelona World Race and set the first record for the transoceanic course from New York to Barcelona at 12 days 6 hours 3 minutes in April 2010. Ribes has completed four laps of the planet on the fully crewed Volvo Ocean Race and has been a key member of two America’s Cup campaigns.
After finishing second on the first race sailing with Andrew Cape, Alex Thomson had to sit out the last edition in 2010-11, but returns to the Barcelona World Race with a huge appetite for success, ready to put all of the learning and experience accrued over the lead up to, and during the solo Vendée Globe race round he world in which he finished third overall in February.
Announcing the ongoing support of Hugo Boss for another four years, continuing a sponsorship relationship which goes back to 2003, Thomson said:
“It is such great news but we have all worked so hard for ten years to get here and so it feels just great to know we are able to continue and take on these races.”
Underlining the importance of the new Transalantic race, the Ocean Masters New York to Barcelona Race and his fondness for the Barcelona World Race he said:
“ Second place in the inaugural Barcelona World Race and missing out on the second race, for sure the Barcelona World Race represents unfinished business for me and I am really looking forward to getting my teeth into it.”
The partnership with Pepe Ribes is one which he is relishing:
“ Pepe comes with a great reputation and a real breadth of experience. He works hard and is a good communicator. He has experience working with bigger teams and I think brings something important with all of his Volvo race experience. I am sure there are many areas he knows much more than I do and he has a reputation for pushing the boat hard and pushing himself hard and these are important for me. He has done the Barcelona World Race before and so he knows what it is all about.”
Thomson realised one of his long held ambitions when he stood on the podium of the Vendée Globe solo round the world race, but the Barcelona World Race represents a pinnacle event for him, a race which he has great affection for, as he does racing two handed:
“ The thing about the Barcelona World Race and racing two handed, for me, is that you are physically pushing yourself and the boat to 100 per cent all the time but mentally there is the support of having a man there with you, at your side backing each other up. You can sleep and you can eat and I enjoy company. I like the challenge of sailing solo but I am a gregarious, social person and so having someone with me is great. You push harder and have a man to help.”