British solo round the world sailor Alex Thomson will be joined by a host of talent
onboard the newly re-fitted Open 60 HUGO BOSS for the 2009 Rolex Fastnet Race.
Joining him onboard will be former Olympic skier and adventurer Graham Bell, Sir
Keith Mills (Head of the British America's Cup campaign Team Origin and founder of
the Air Miles International Group) and Rob Greenhalgh, twice veteran of the Volvo
Ocean Race and recently crowned Skiff World Champion. Navigator Andrew Cape will
also join the crew for the race. Andrew 'aka Capey', recently completed his sixth
lap of the planet alongside Rob onboard PUMA Ocean Racing during the last edition of
the Volvo Ocean Race. Capey is no stranger to Alex Thomson or HUGO BOSS, after
securing second place in the Barcelona World Race with Alex in 2007. Completing the
crew line up is the man who will be preparing the boat for the Fastnet Race, HUGO
BOSS boat captain Ross Daniel.
The world famous event will kick off on Sunday 9th August from Cowes on the Isle of
Wight. The 600 nautical mile race will see a fleet of 300 head along the English
Channel and out towards the famous Fastnet Rock on the Southern tip of Ireland, the
fleet will then turn around and head back to the finish in Plymouth.
Graham who is a totally novice sailor will undertake a sea survival course ahead of
the race. The race has been running for 89 years and attracts a range of sailors of
all levels. It was brought to national attention in 1979 after an extreme storm
swept through the Irish Sea, 15 crew as well as 4 from the trimaran shadowing the
race and two from a cruising yacht, tragically died. Only 85 boats finished, 194
retired, and 24 boats were abandoned.
"I am excited about the prospect of sailing with Alex and his crew for the Fastnet,
I am certainly in great company and hope that everything goes to plan. This is
certainly one of the most adventurous things I have ever done," said Graham.
This will be the first race onboard HUGO BOSS after Alex was forced to retire from
the Vendée Globe in December last year, the Open 60 has undergone a full re-fit at
Endeavour Quays in Gosport.
"I'm really excited to get back out racing again. I think we have a great crew lined
up, and it will be fantastic to have Capey step onboard again. I am sure Graham will
enjoy every minute of this historic race, seeing the Fastnet Rock for the first time
is one of those special moments in sailing that I'm sure he won't forget. I'm
looking forward to a good race and hopefully a good result," commented Alex.
The Fastnet Race will take place on 9th August, starting at Cowes and finishing in
Plymouth. The first boats are expected to finish on 11 August, weather dependent.
The current course record is held by Mike Slade's 100-foot super maxi ICAP Leopard
standing at 1 day, 20 hours, and 18 minutes.