New Team Volvo for Life member

Alex Thomson joins Volvo's elite sailing squad

Thursday March 31st 2005, Author: Jo Grindley, Location: United Kingdom
Volvo Car UK has announced their support of Open 60 sailor Alex Thomson. He now joins ranks with the likes of double Gold Medallists Shirley Robertson and Ben Ainslie as a member of Team Volvo for Life, and an ambassador for the Volvo RYA Keelboat Programme.

All 24 of the Volvo RYA keelboat members have been invited to spend the day with AT Racing on Saturday 2 April at their base in Haslar Marina, Gosport, where Alex will impart some of his solo sailing expertise and explain how the team at AT Racing operate and support his racing programme.

Alex has offered the chance for selected Volvo RYA Keelboat programme members to sail, crew delivery trips and possibly race during the 2005 season on Hugo Boss' on which Alex currently holds the singlehanded monohull 24 hour record.

Hugo Boss
has undergone a complete refit and will this year be competing at Kiel Week, Gotland Runt, Rolex Fastnet Race, Maxi Worlds and the 2006 Sydney Hobart Race, along with making appearances are the Monaco Grand Prix and Skandia Cowes Week.

"I am really keen to work with the Volvo RYA Keelboat Programme sailors, to give them the opportunity to experience sailing on 'Hugo Boss', and the thrill of solo sailing." said Alex.

Alex first came to prominence at the age of 25 when he became the youngest skipper ever to take line honours a round-the-world yacht race when he won the 1998-9 Clipper Race. Following that early success, in 2000 he won the Round Britain & Ireland Race on an Open 50 Sail that Dream in a record time which still stands.

In 2003 he came second in the Transat Jacques Vabre with Roland Jourdain on the Open 60 Sill and later he set a new 24 hour World Speed Sailing Record for solo monohulls, covering 468 nautical miles at an average boat speed of 19.5 knots. Alex was forced to retire from the 2004 Vendee Globe due to major gear failure and now his sights are firmly set on competing and winning the 2008 Vendee.

"'Team Volvo for life' is an inspirational team of individuals who represent the very best of British sailing talent, so Alex Thomson, who already holds the Solo Sailing 24 hour World Speed Record in a monohull boat, is a perfect addition to the team. He will be an inspiration to the up and coming young keelboat sailors in the Volvo RYA Keelboat Programme," said Sarah Rees, Sports Marketing and Sponsorship Manager, Volvo Car UK.

Other shore based training for Volvo RYA Keelboat sailors in April are:
Volvo Ocean Race HQ,

Andy Hindley, Race Director, will provide a tour of VOR HQ and give a talk on VO70 boat design, onboard technology, how the boats link with the media.

Stuart Quarrie,

Stuart Quarrie will give a seminar including; navigational tips, working out lay lines, tidal flow, and advice for specific locations such as the Solent.

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