Thomson's new Olympic crew
Four Team Volvo for life sailors have taken up the offer to race with Alex on 'Hugo Boss' during 2005; 49er double medallist Simon Hiscocks will compete in the Gotland Runt Race. 470 silver medallist Nick Rogers will race his first ever Rolex Fastnet Race. Double gold medallist Shirley Robertson is to compete in the Maxi Worlds in Sardinia and Paul Goodison will make the step up from Laser sailing to compete in the notorious Sydney-Hobart Race.
Nick, Paul and Simon all spent two days training aboard Hugo Boss. Paul Goodison enjoyed his maiden Open 60 voyage. "Sailing on Hugo Boss was such an amazing experience, pretty frightening but wicked fun. I have never been so fast on a yacht, hitting 28 knots boat speed was quite remarkable, while trying not to get swept off the deck. Sailing a big powerful boat of this size is quite different from a Laser, also having to work in a team. It was a great experience and there is an opportunity to explore a whole new area of sailing that I am unfamiliar with."
Simon Hiscocks said, "sailing on the Open 60 is a world away from Olympic 49er racing. Hugo Boss is set up for offshore, singlehanded racing, where speed over a long distance is the key to success, manoeuvres, even simple ones such as tacking take a considerable length of time. On the 49er we practice manoeuvres like tacking until they can be performed with our eyes shut in a milli-second!
"With its swing keel and water ballast tanks Hugo Boss is an incredibly powerful machine not unlike the 49er however it doesn't fall over and keeps going up, over and generally through waves! For me it is a unique experience, one to broaden my horizons and experience a different aspect of our unique and varied sport."
Alex Thomson welcomed his new crew members onboard Hugo Boss. “It was great to have Simon, Paul and Nick onboard Hugo Boss for two days training for the Gotland Runt, Fastnet Race and Sydney Hobart Race. We managed to try virtually every sail in the wardrobe and all the Team Volvo for Life sailors had a chance to drive the world's fastest 60ft race yacht. I had one of the most extreme sailing experiences of my life with our small spinnaker up in 38 knots of wind with the boat sitting at between 26 and 28 knots - not for the faint hearted!”
Gotland Runt Race, Stockholm, Sweden 3-6 July
Rolex Fastnet Race, Cowes, Isle of Wight 7 August
Sydney Hobart Race, Sydney, Australia 25 December