Four years after taking second place in the last edition, Alex Thomson will not win his first Vendée Globe this year.
The British skipper, who is among the favorites of this edition, gave up on Saturday, November 28, having failed to repair the damage affecting his boat, announced the organizer. “The decision is made: unable to repair his starboard rudder”, Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) “Abandon the Vendée Globe” and “Will proceed to Cape Town”.
The Welshman gives up for the third time in five appearances. He had already retired in 2004 and then in 2008, before finishing third in 2013 and second in 2016-2017.
In the lead after ten days of racing
The 46-year-old skipper was one of the big favorites of this solo, non-stop round the world race, which has always been won by a Frenchman since its creation in 1989. He had passed the equator in the lead ten days after departure.
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 side appendages). Her boat, which is part of a fleet of eight new sailboats, is fitted with electronic installations, not to mention the fact that she is the only one to have a completely closed cockpit.
Since November 22, Thomson had been carrying out repairs to alleviate the structural problems he was facing. Friday evening, he was trying to get back into the race when he noticed the damage to his rudder.