Dec 12

Helly Hansen


Dec 12




Dec 12

Front Covers Hugo Boss – Alex Thomson Racing


SH Dec Cover Hi res

Nov 12

Great Cup 32

Dubai, United Arab Emirates 25º05’25″N 55º06’41″E

Photo assignment for The Great Cup.

Dubai – GC32 Launch Day
You can feel as prepared humanly possible, but launching a new boat is never an easy job, but finally we made it!
After 11 months of hard work with a fantastic design, engineering and build team, the GC32 sailed its first miles on the warm waters of Dubai.
Surrounded by super sailors F18 World Champion Thijs Visser, F18 vice World Champion Karel Begemann, F18 legend Bastian Tentij, Olympic Sailor/Coach & X40 Sailor Hugh Styles, Moth World Champion Josh McKnight, F18 Sailors Olivier Witteveen, Tim Shuwalow & Jason Waterhouse, we worked hard days and nights at the Dubai International Marina in front of the amazing landscape assembling, splicing ropes, and generally playing boats and winding the structure up to load test everything.
Right from the first day sailing, the GC32 demonstrated its personality, with a very stiff platform giving amazing acceleration. We were all astonished at how quick the boat was out of the box. Many of the complex areas such as foil control systems worked perfectly well from day 1 and the boat has already demonstrated that it will be a great class racing boat that rewards tidy crew work and focused helming. She is so quick, safe with great sailing behavior remaining well on top of the water with bear aways easily accomplished. The double S foils and L Rudders give an amazing new turbo button adding more righting moment (horse power) or more lift.
The boat has excelled our expectations. With only a few optimizations needed to make the boat perfect. We discussed those changes with our build partners and we should be back on the water within 3 weeks for the final signoff for this new one design class.
It has been an honor to work with such a team. I would like to thank the entire sailing team for their dedication to make this happen. The whole team at Premier Composites that have been supporting us in many many ways during the entire launch. We could have not made it happen without them. Southern Spars, North Sails, Heol composites and OnDeck have all gone the extra mile as well in order to ensure the success of this exciting new class.
Lastly I want to thank Andrew Macpherson, he has been coordinating all the operations to deliver the boat on the water. Well done!

Words: Laurent Lenne CEO The Great Cup

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GC32Racing

Nov 12

Vendée Globe Race Start Day

Les Sables d'Olonne, Vendée, France 46º29’08″N 1º47’23″W

Photo assignment for Alex Thomson Racing – Hugo Boss.
Alex Thomson Racing Hugo Boss Vendée Globe Race Start Day.

What an unbelievable day! The Vendée Globe is a phenomena. This morning I woke at 6am and as I was leaving the apartment at 6.30 I could hear a huge crowd gathering with horns blowing and people chanting. It is like a crowd of people gathering at the coliseum in ancient Rome to see the gladiators parade into the arena with the same excitement and energy, and it feels like to me – a thirst for seeing those about to sacrifice themselves to unknown perils..
The team were due to meet at 07.30 and when I arrived just after the 7am the whole team were already onsite and working – this is it!
We gathered together on the hospitality boat with 100 guests and Alex arrives at 8.00. He takes a good breakfast, a weather briefing to finalise the strategy for the Biscay exit and the Portuguese coast and then a physio session and some time with his sports psychologist. At 9.30 he is ready. He says goodbye to his one year old son Oscar and his wife Kate and that is the hardest part. I walk the docks and I see all the skippers arrive with many of them with red eyes from saying goodbye to their families and children and the atmosphere is charged like nothing I have ever experienced in sailing or sport before. First I say goodbye to our team friend Gutek from Poland who received his boat from us 7 weeks ago and has spent literally a few days sailing in preparation for this most extreme of sailing challenges. He is a tough guy but this morning you could see the emotion on his face – and maybe not an inconsiderable amount of fear.
So as the boats leave the dock we take Alex to the race boat where he does a couple of quick TV interviews and the lines are cast off. The most impressive part of the Vendee Globe is the trip of 1 mile down the canal to the open sea. The quay walls are lined with what must have been 400,000 spectators and they do not simply clap and wave – they roar their heads off and chant in appreciation of the brave skippers. As soon and we rounded the corner and I heard the roar the tears were very close. The crowds hang onto every piece of space and there were people in the water and standing on the top of chimney stacks with a deafening cauldron of sound as we exit the canal.
As we reach the end of the canal we take the journalists and our sponsors off the boat as the sea becomes rough and Alex is left with the technical team to make the final preparations. Ross, Clarkee, Rachel, Guillermo, Will, Capey and I stay to the end to set everything up for him and set him on his way. The sea was very rough out in the Biscay today and with a weather front passing over with lots of cloud and rain the Vendee Globe offered us up a foreboding seascape for the start of this epic race. At 15 minutes to the start the sails are set the boat is positioned and Ross, Capey, Rachel and I jump into the support boat and say our goodbyes. I guess when you work on something like this for 3 years and you imagine all the things you will say to Alex as you say goodbye, at the end these clever words of motivation are not necessary and simply a hug, a “love you man” and “come home safe” are all that are really necessary and meaningful. A few wet eyes and it is done – he is off!
Just before the 4 minutes to the race start when the gun sounds, the last remaining crew Clarkee, Will & Guillermo give him a quick hug, and with no time to get the rib alongside, simply step over the side of the boat into the Ocean. We pull them out of the water and he is alone.
A good start, conservative, middle of the fleet, in clear air and we follow him closely on our support boat as we pass by thousands of other spectator boats with (on my last count) 12 helicopters from various TV networks thundering overhead. We follow the boat far out to sea to make sure he does not get tangled with any other spectator boat and eventually soaking wet and seriously bounced around, I look at Ross and he at me and we know it is time. We wait and follow him for another 10 minutes and then I make the call – time to go. So, we buzz alongside, and we shout out Good luck Alex – and he simply turns and gives us a quick wave before going back to helming and looking ahead. In all the time we followed on the support boat (maybe 2 hours in total) I did not see him look back at us behind him once, he knew we were there, but kept his eyes forward and out to sea. And that is it, you turn for home and leave him sail off and meet his own destiny.
For now, the next stage of the journey starts, we communicate with him through email, video and phone and we support him on his journey. We also, as a team get together and have a huge party and celebrate all the work that we have done to get to this point – but shhhhhh, we don’t tell Alex about our party tonight.
Vendée Globe – most special sporting event on the planet (IMHO).

Words: Alex Thomson Racing Team Director: Stewart Hosford
Twitter: @stewarthosford

Nov 12

Open 60 Alex Thomson Racing Hugo Boss – Onboard

English Channel, England, United Kingdom, 50º01’31″N 2º47’47″W

Photo assignment for Alex Thomson Racing – Hugo Boss.

Boss à Nova – Alex Thomson ready for the Big Dance.

As the impressive fleet of 20 IMOCAs and their skippers have now assembled in Les Sables d’Olonne for the imminent start of the Vendee Globe, Alex Thomson and his silver dance partner, the Hugo Boss Farr-designed Open 60 share a special spotlight. There are perhaps several reasons for this, the boat itself sports an impeccable paint and branding motif in classic Hugo Boss fashion, the shore team is always well choreographed and on point, and Alex himself is quite a unique character, intense and focused while maintaining a jovial personable aura and an irresistable smile. One of three British skippers in this years edition, Alex is no stranger to the open ocean and is considered a favorite of the fleet despite some formidable competition. The 38 year-old skipper is well rehearsed for this solo around the world performance having recently broken the West to East Ambrose Lighthouse to Lizard Point Under 60ft Single-Handed Monohull Record by more than 24 hours. And as you can see from this onboard photo series, Alex is both an instructor and a dancer, a man of many moods and styles, included but not limited to: The Waltz, The Swing, The Grind, The Ballad, The Bird, The Monkey, The Swim and The Wetusi. With fierce moves like this, the team of Hugo Boss will inevitably tear up the global oceanic dance floor. Put on your dancing boots…

Words: Fred Eagle

Oct 12

Open 60 Alex Thomson Racing Hugo Boss – Aerial

English Channel, England, United Kingdom, 49º31’34″N 4º40’07″W

Photo assignment for Alex Thomson Racing – Hugo Boss.
Only one more month to go!!

Aerial photo-shoot of the IMOCA Open 60 Alex Thomson Racing Hugo Boss during a training session before the Vendée Globe in the English Channel.
The Vendée Globe is a round-the-world single-handed yacht race, sailed non-stop and without assistance.

Sep 12

Onboard the MOD 70 Race for Water during the European Tour.

Marseille, France 43º15’16″N 5º19’17″E

Onboard the MOD70 Race for Water, during a training session before the Marseille City Race, part of the MOD 70 European Tour, skipper Steve Ravussin.

Sep 12

Thomas Coville & SODEBO

Marseille, France 43º15’16″N 5º17’46″W

“Ground Control To Major Tom …”
With barely enough time for the average astronaut to recover from the impressive round-the-world victory onboard Groupama70 in the Volvo Ocean Race, capitaine Thomas Coville is recharged and at it again onboard his faithful red Sodeb’o maxi-trimaran. The weeks ahead will see the Sodeb’o seacraft slicing through the ocean at full kip chasing new reference times to add to her impressive stable. First on the agenda, Thomas and his machine are attempting the singlehanded multihull TransMed record which is currently held by Pascal Bidegorry at the helm of Banque Populaire V. This attempt will be followed directly by the solo multihull Cadiz-San Salvador passage, a speed record quite familiar in the Sodeb’o universe seeing as Thomas has held the best time from 2005-2008. He would like nothing more than to reclaim this record from Francis Joyon before the close of 2012. We wish Thomas and the team only the best wind and waves for this ambitious program.
As is evident in this latest gallery of training and stress-tests, Thomas and the Sodeb’o spacecraft are well dialed in and up for the challenge… no matter what the atmosphere.
Blast Off sequence commencing in 10…9….8……
Words: Fred Eagle

Transmed Records:
Multihull Record fully-crewed : 14 hours 20 minutes and 34 seconds (May 2010)
Multihull Record holder: Pascal Bidégorry (France) sailing Banque Populaire V
Monohull Record singlehanded: 1 day 21 hours 20 minutes and 29 seconds (June 2009)
Monohull Record Holder: Kito de Pavant (France) sailing Groupe Bel

Sep 12

HYDROPTÈRE in San Francisco

San Francisco Bay, California, United States of America 37º40’30″S 122º15’54″E

Photo assignment for l’Hydroptère.
Like a wild animal circling the territory waiting to pounce on it’s prey, l’Hydroptere DCNS is currently in San Francisco training on the Bay while they wait for the ideal weather window to attack the Transpac record from Los Angeles to Honolulu. These Northern California sessions have been extremely beneficial for the team and allowed Alain Thébault to share his incredible magic carpet with colleagues, media repesentatives, and members of the SF sailing community. These photos are some of our favorite from the past week, featuring guests such as America’s Cup luminaries Paul Cayard, CEO of Artemis Racing and Luna Rossa helmsman Paul Campbell James. Record setting kiteboarder Robbie Douglas has also been invited onboard for several runs, the only man to achieve a faster speed on the water than Alain and his team. With the way things are looking, the existing Transpac record has much to fear from the soaring wings of the mighty hydrofoil.
Words: Fred Eagle