Thomson abandons plans to rejoin round the world race

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The Independent Online

British yachtsman Alex Thomson has abandoned plans to try and rejoin his 60-foot Hugo Boss in the Atlantic. Thomson was due to start the Barcelona doublehanded non-stop round the world race on New Year's Eve, but underwent an appendectomy 48 hours before the start.

His place alongside New Zealander Andy Meiklejohn was taken by Wouter Verbraak of the Netherlands. Thomson's partner Kate then gave birth to a son, Oscar, who was diagnosed with a heart problem.

That condition is now stable and Thomson has been cleared to rejoin the yacht, but has decided to remain alongside his partner and son, who is being monitored by Southampton General Hospital.

The race is led by the French pairing of Jean-Pierre Dick and Loick Peyron, who are moving into the southern hemisphere. In second are Michel Desjoyeaux and Francois Gabart, who are due to make a quick stop in Recife, Brazil, to repair the sacrificial bow section crumpled in a collision with debris.

Dee Caffari and Anna Corbella are ninth, with the Hugo Boss pair 12th. The fleet has been reduced to 13 after the dismasted Jean le Cam and Bruno Garcia retired.