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Sir Robin Knox-Johnston congratulates Hampshire sailor

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first man to sail solo non-stop around the world, has congratulated Alex Thomson on his podium finish in the prestigious Vendee Globe, the only single-handed non-stop round-the-world race.

At the age of 25 Alex Thomson became the youngest skipper to win a round-the-world race when he led Ariel to victory in the 1998-99 edition of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, which was founded by Sir Robin to enable people from all walks of life to experience the challenge of ocean racing.

Alex Thomson, from Gosport, completed the Vendee Globe today in Les Sables d’Olonne, France, 80 days after leaving on his record-breaking circumnavigation, finishing in third place behind Frenchmen Francois Gabart and Armel Le Cleac’h.

Congratulations to Alex for joining the exclusive list of solo circumnavigators. The significance of his achievement is better understood when it is appreciated that three times as many people have been into space as have sailed solo around the world

– Sir Robin Knox Johnston

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Skippers named for Vendee solo race

Hampshire's Alex Thomson
Alex Thomson before the start of his last Vendee Race attempt, in 2008 Credit: PA Wire

Twenty yachtsmen - including three Hampshire skippers - have been named for the 2012/2013 Vendee Globe race. Alex Thomson, Sam Davies and Mike Golding will sail single-handedly around the world in 50 days time.

Hampshire's Sam Davies
Sam Davies taking part in her last Vendee Globe attempt in 2008 Credit: PA Wire

The event starts in the French village of Les Sables d'Olonne on November 10th and sails around the world from west to east via the three major capes of Good Hope, Leeuwin and the Horn.

There is a long slide down the Atlantic, then across the Southern Ocean, Indian Ocean and the Pacific. Then, it's back up the Atlantic, finishing from where it all started.

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