Thomson's return

Former Clipper Round the World race winner gets back into sponsored sailing.

Thursday June 5th 2003, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom
Hugo Boss has announced its sponsorship of a new high tech Farr 65, aptly named HUGO BOSSto compete in the 2003 Rolex Fastnet Race.

Hugo Boss has had a long history of sport sponsorship, from it’s 22 year long relationship with McLaren Mercedes Formula One motor racing team, to golf and tennis sponsorship. However this is the company's first foray into the world of yacht racing.

The Yacht

The new Hugo Bos is hi-tech yacht being built by Hamble Yacht Services for the Portsmouth-based company Formula 1 Sailing which owns four Farr 65s originally constructed for the Millennium Round the World Yacht Race. The new Hugo Boss is also a Farr 65 but has a 12ft taller, more efficient fractional mast made in carbon fibre by Formula Yacht Spars in Lymington.

The keel and mast modifications coupled with a full wardrobe of UK Carbon Tape Drive sails have been designed to maximise performance across the board under the IRC handicap system. With these modifications the performance increase, compared to the existing Farr 65s, is enormous and Hugo Boss will make the boat a contender for winning the Rolex Fastnet Race on corrected time.

The crew

Skipper of Hugo Boss will be Alex Thomson, founder of Formula 1 Sailing and the youngest skipper ever to have won a round the world race, who commented: ‘With such a strong heritage of sport sponsorship it is extremely exciting to be chosen as the first team to represent hugo Boss in yacht racing. And to be competing in the Fastnet on this particular yacht is thrilling.’

Thomson's sailing team will be 22 strong and will be made up from his successful 2001 Fastnet team that raced on one of the original Farr 65s. In 2001 they finish 3rd in Class 0A and 14th overall on corrected time (even after a disaster struck when their 500kg boom smashed to the deck in the middle of the night and they spent three hours heading off course while fixing it).

The team again includes experienced helm Scott Leith, a 1996 Olympic trialist for New Zealand in the 470 class and this time around Alex's brother David, more used to record breaking speed onboard maxi catamarans, will be a strong addition to the team in the bowman position. Alex Thomson himself is no stranger to offshore racing, being the youngest skipper ever to win a Round the World Yacht Race, and the current holder of the Round Britain Monohull record. The remainder of the team too, are all very experienced yachtsmen.

The Gear

Utilising the expertise of Gore-Tex Ocean Technology in storm proof outerwear, Hugo Boss has developed a range of clothing specifically for this race. From high performance outerwear to lightweight, fair weather gear the range also includes dry yarn jersey base layers, super micro fleeces as well as on-shore clothing. All of which will form part of the Hugo Boss Green Label active sportswear collection.

Hans Schmitt Managing Director of Hugo Boss UK Ltd commented: “Hugo Boss are completely committed to Alex and his team and will do everything we can to ensure that they are fully equipped for this challenge. Yacht racing is a new and exciting venture for Hugo Boss, we are sure it will be a very successful one.”

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