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Saturday 19 November 2016, 19h04
News > Alex Thomson - Down but not out

Vendee Globe leader Alex Thomson's speeds may have dropped this evening after a collision with a submerged object in the South Atlantic but he is still charging along at the head of the fleet.
Thomson suffers damage on train ride south

Sailing aerial images of the IMOCA boat Hugo Boss, skipper Alex Thomson (GBR), during training solo for the Vendee Globe 2016, off England, on September 16, 2016 - Photo Cleo Barnham / Hugo Boss / Vendée GlobeImages aériennes de Hugo Boss, skipper Alex

Thomson's technical director Ross Daniel said theBritish sailor was frustrated by the damage to his yacht's starboard foil but that he would do all he could to hang on to the top spot.

Alex Thomson im Training
The damage means Thomson will have to sail the rest of the race with only one foil but this evening he was still notching up speeds of more than 18 knots. “We spend years pre-Vendee Globe trying to mitigate risk but hitting something in the water is something you have absolutely no control over – it's very frustrating,” Daniel said. “We always knew that there was a risk that a foil could hit something so we took it into account with the design of the boat. It can sail with or without the foil, so it's not the end of the world, but obviously one tack will now be faster than the other. ?Alex is going to have to change the way he sails depending on what tack he is on. At the moment there is just the stump of the foil left so Alex will remove that once the weather allows and he will be back up to speed again. Luckily for us the majority of port sailing in this race is down to Cape Town and thereafter there's a lot of starboard. If we were mid-fleet it would be a different story but we've got a nice gap at the front.”
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