Third boat lucky

Mark Lloyd / Hugo Boss
Alex Thomson talks us through the radical changes he's made to his new Hugo Boss
Following on from Roland Jourdain’s Lombard-designed Sill, then his Finot-Conq designed black, twin companionwayed monster for the last Vendee Globe, so Alex Thomson has unveiled his third IMOCA 60. The latest Hugo Boss is the Juan Kouyoumdjian design that Brian Thompson sailed in the last Vendee Globe as Bahrain Team Pindar. Thomson acquired his new boat last year on the basis that he believes it to be a more competitive option than building anew. While older generation boats like the ex-Pindar have been grandfathered, the latest amendments to the IMOCA 60 class rule limit the power of new boats by for example having a 29m maximum rig height and a maximum righting moment of 32 tonne metres. Pindar is acknowledged as the IMOCA class’ most powerful boat and not in a minor way – it is substantially heavier, more beamy and with a taller rig, etc. Compared to the 32 tonne metre righting moment of the latest IMOCA 60s, it is 44 tonne metres! Over the winter the new Hugo Boss has been in the shed at Green Marine being substantially reworked. Most evident is that deck has changed radically. No longer is there the conventional cabin top. At Green’s the original deck was cut off from the mast aft and its replacement is now effectively flush back to the last 15% of the boat where there is a short (fore and aft) cockpit and twin ‘pods’, the aim being to change the boat from being one aimed to be sailed across the Atlantic doublehanded or with crew to a configuration better suited for single or doublehanded racing. The pods are a development of Thomson’s ground breaking catamaran-style twin companionway arrangement on the previous Hugo Boss, with all the lines running back from the mast in between them. Having seen them last night,