Phew - he's in...

Mark Lloyd /
Alex Thomson and others tell of Hugo Boss' third place in the Vendee Globe
After three attempts at trying, Alex Thomson aboard his trusty Farr-designed Hugo Boss, has not only finally managed to finish a Vendee Globe, but has done so in style. His silver IMOCA 60 arrived in Les Sables d’Olonne at dawn yesterday, completing the podium following Sunday’s arrivals of Francois Gabart on MACIF and Armel le Cleac’h aboard Banque Populaire. While Thomson’s first attempt in the 2004-5 Vendee Globe was blighted when his gooseneck fitted broke leaving an unwelcome hole in the deck just as he was entering the Southern Ocean, prior to the 2008-9 race Thomson suffered a collision with a French fishing boat and after pulling out all the stops to effect a repair he started the race only to suffer another collision this time with an unidentified floating object in the Bay of Biscay. “I spent 12 years of my life and my teams’ life trying to compete and do well in the Vendee Globe and today is a BIG DAY for our team,” Thomson, 38, told the assembled crowd on his arrival. “I am very proud of the way that the boat was prepared. Apart from the problems with the hydrogenerator, I think I got the most out of the boat and did a good job. That was important.” Thomson’s is the third British podium place in the Vendee Globe following on from Ellen MacArthur’s second place behind Michel Desjoyeaux in the 2000-1 race and Mike Golding’s third after Vincent Riou and Jean le Cam four years later. There was also considerable relief for Thomson’s long term backer, business partner and mentor, Sir Keith Mills: “I am so pleased for him because he’s been working so hard to get to today. I’ve had so many phone calls at 3am with rigs that are down, or keels that are off or disasters