Alex Thomson in Cape Town

Briton Alex Thomson arrived safely in Cape Town and formally withdraws from the Vendée Globe

After irreparable damage to the helm halted participation in the Vendée Globe, British sailor Alex Thomson has arrived safely in Cape Town.

It took him almost seven days to make the 1,800-nautical-mile journey to port, navigating with a single rudder. Thomson after 19 days was forced to stop competing.

From Cape Town, Thomson said: “Certainly I am relieved to be back on dry land, but I have very mixed emotions today. I am still coming to terms with what happened, and obviously I am completely devastated that this is how the race ended. for us.

“But as I said before, it is in our most difficult moments that we find our greatest strength. Now we have to get up and move forward, and I have no doubt that we can do it together as a team.

The 46-year-old from Hampshire was one of 33 skippers to start the Vendée Globe on 8 November.
The iconic regatta has already seen several boats suffer technical failures, collisions or fall victim to tropical storms and changing weather conditions.

“Over the last week or so we have been reminded how difficult this race is. I’ve said it over and over again, but there really is no sporting challenge in the world as tough as the Vendée Globe. I have such admiration for any skipper that take on this regatta. My thoughts are with those who, like us, have had their regattas interrupted. And I wish the rest of the skippers a safe passage and a good race. I will be watching closely.

“My arrival in Cape Town marks our retirement from the race. To all who have sent messages, a big thank you. I have been overwhelmed by the support we have received. It means a lot to us, it really does.

“Right now, I’m looking forward to taking a shower, getting some sleep, and going home to my wife and beautiful children.”