BARCELONA WORLD RACE - Alex Thomson Racing (ATR) and sponsor, HUGO BOSS are pleased to announce that their new boat is complete and on the water as of 4 April 2014.
Previously named Virbac Paprec 3, this boat has an impressive history which includes placing 4th in the 2012-2013 Vendee Globe after losing its keel, 1st in the 2010-2011 Barcelona World Race, 2nd place in the 2011 Rolex Fastnet, and 1st place in the 2010 Transat Jacques Vabre.
ATR acquired Virbac Paprec 3 for Alex Thomson and Pepe Ribes to compete in the upcoming 2014-2015 Barcelona World Race. The team have spent some time refitting and modifying the boat to include a new keel and HUGO BOSS branding. The boat is simply known as ‘HUGO BOSS’ and the ATR team look forward to taking the vastly improved speed machine out on the open ocean from Gosport, UK to Rhode Island, USA next week in preparation for the New York to Barcelona (NY-BCN) race in June.
The new boat is set to depart 22 April 2014 to Newport, Rhode Island where the OCEAN MASTERS New York to Barcelona Race will take place on 1 June 2014. This will be the first event run by Sir Keith Mills’ Lausanne-based Open Sports Management (OSM), commercial rights holder to the IMOCA class and will be supported by the Fundacio per la Navegacio Oceanica Barcelona (FNOB) and the Royal Spanish Sailing Federation (RFEV).
The start of the transatlantic race itself will be off North Cove Marina on Sunday, 1st June. Competitors will sail pass the Statue of Liberty before exiting New York Harbour. The 3700 mile course crosses the North Atlantic, passing through the Strait of Gibraltar and into the Mediterranean, where crews will have to negotiate a tactical 525 miles along the Spanish coast before reaching the finish.
The prize giving will be held in Barcelona on 20 June 2014. En route competitors will be out to better the 12 days, 6 hours and 3 minutes course record set by Alex Pella, Pepe Ribes and Stan Schreyer aboard the IMOCA 60 Estrella Damm in 2010.
The ‘HUGO BOSS’ boat will be led by Pepe Ribes and American co-skipper, Ryan Breymaier upon Alex Thomson’s announcement that he will be unable to take part in the NY-BCN race this year due to his wife’s pregnancy and conflicting due date.
Alex said: “This is a bittersweet situation for me; although I am disappointed that I cannot take part in the NY-BCN, I am thrilled that we will be having our second child. I had committed to competing before the official race date had been announced but it turns out that my wife’s due date will conflict and my family must come first, so, as to disrupt the team as little as possible, a replacement co-skipper had to be found. We searched long and hard but found Ryan Breymaier, who will now accompany Pepe Ribes as co-skipper.”
Alex will be with the boat for its delivery to Newport and up until its departure to Barcelona.
ATR’s new American co-skipper, Ryan Breymaier will now complete the NY-BCN alongside Pepe Ribes and is excited about having the opportunity. Ryan said: “I feel so fortunate to have been selected by Pepe, Alex and the rest of the team to take part in this race. I feel honoured to be the only American participant and plan to make both my country and teammates very proud.”
Finding the right co-skipper to accompany Pepe was a challenge and Stewart Hosford, Managing Director of 5 West and ATR commented: “This was not an easy task; finding a compatible co-skipper that has the skill, personality and mind-set to match the rest of the team is quite a challenge. That said, we have selected Ryan, are confident in his ability, and look forward to welcoming him to the team.”