Alex Thomson on record-breaking Vendée Globe course
British solo sailor Alex Thomson has set a new national record for sailing from the equator and back to the equator of 68d 14hr 53min. That is nearly three weeks quicker than the old record set by Mike Golding.
Thomson is also inside the record schedule of 84 days set by the 2012 winner of the Vendée Globe round the world race but still lies fourth as he heads for the Doldrums before crossing the north Atlantic to the finish in Les Sables d’Olonne.
On his third attempt, Thomson, 38, has come of age but, like horse racing’s Grand National steeplechase, the Vendée course is littered with potentially disastrous fences. Ahead of the start he said his number one goal was the finish. His management of himself and his 60-foot Hugo Boss has paid dividends so far.
He has less than 3,000 miles to run and should be one of four to break the current record of 84 days set in 2008-09 by Michel Desjoyeaux.
Still leading is François Gabart, by about 100 miles from Armel le Cléac’h with Jean-Pierre Dick third. But Golding is closing down on the man in fifth place and by Friday morning
Brazil became the second country after Sweden’s all-woman team to announce an entry for the restructured Volvo round the world race starting next autumn in Alicante and takes the port of Recife takes over from the long-established Cape Town as the first stopover.
The full route for the fleet of identical 65-footers will not be announced until all the ports have been individually introduced but the organisers may have again to find a way of taking what is hoped to be a minimum of eight boats out of the water in the Indian Ocean and through the pirate-threatened waters of the Gulf on their way to Abu Dhabi.
There is likely to be another China stop and Auckland is the sailors’ Anzac favourite. Negotiations are believed still to be underway in North America and it is possible that Volvo’s home town of Gothenberg will again host the finish.
In Italy, a case brought by the city of Venice and its mayor, Giorgio Orsini, claiming damages from the America’s Cup Event Authority after a second of two World Series regattas scheduled for April was postponed drifted into horse trading.
After delaying Thursday’s morning hearing to allow further attempts at an out of court settlement the afternoon saw a further delay until 30 January. The mayor is seeking re-election in March.
Weymouth silver medallist in the 470 dinghy, Stuart Bithell, who has split with helmsman Luke Patience as Rio will favour lighter crews, will skipper a Rochdale-Chester pair with Chris Grube to bid for the high performance 49er slot.
Latest in Sport
Sky Sports and BT Sport announce Premier League live matches for 2015/16 with Man United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool in action
Wimbledon 2015: Dustin Brown knocks Rafael Nadal out of the championship
Football kits 2015/16: The good, the bad and the downright worst new shirts from around the world for next season
Chelsea 2015/16 home shirt leaked again as new picture appears online
Dustin Brown: Who is the world number 102 who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbledon?
- 1 Michelle Watt's father says TV presenter killed herself because she was in constant pain
- 2 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 3 'Help me I'm trapped in a factory' messages keep being found on bottles of vitamin water
- 4 North Korean defector flees to Finland 'with evidence of chemical testing on humans'
- 5 Greek debt crisis: The photograph that conveys the despair of Greece's elderly
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture