CYOB meets Alex Thomson and Hugo Boss

The Hugo Boss Cropped


June 28, 2018

The Hugo Boss “The Hugo Boss”, Credit all photos: Amelia Morris

Mid-June, Alex Thomson Racing was on a Promotional Tour with Hugo Boss that stopped through Toronto. CYOnboard was invited, and I was ready to hop aboard, combining my two main loves (sorry boys): sailing and fashion.

The day was windy, to the delight of Alex, who’d been told quite the contrary. Once aboard I had to notice the Hugo Boss co-ordination that tied Alex, his team and his Racing Yacht together. Fashionable sailing gear, though important, aside, what struck me most was Alex’s willingness to spend time teaching the group about his Yacht, and his racing. Alex isn’t just for show; he is a smart, talented sailor and a humorous Brit.

Alex Sailing





“Alex in his element”

Alex competes in the around the world Vendee Globe, in the high-speed, extreme IMOCA 60 class. He placed, third in the 2014/15 race, second in the 2016/17 race and is preparing for first place on the upcoming 2020/21 race. The Hugo Boss is made of carbon fiber, and so light it is incredibly tender. Don’t let its size deceive you, this is not cruiser. The Yacht is meant for one thing and one thing only, speed. Now Alex has learnt some things along the way, he no longer brings 100 tea bags with him, settling for a measly 2 as he simply cannot drink it, breaking all British stereotypes, as it interferes with his sleep routine.

The race, for Alex means approximately three months alone on the Hugo Boss, eating freeze dried provisions, and sleeping 20-40 minutes every 2-4 hours. So how on earth (or why!) does he do all this? He describes it as a “massive self-management exercise”. Physically, Alex trains for his sleep routine three weeks prior to the race. What about being all alone, in some of the most extreme conditions? He has a ton of mental techniques to self-manage the psychological impact of the race. He rarely gets to speak with his family and team, essentially spending the three months on his own. But Alex still manages to have a laugh, and to our delight ran up the mast for us, one of his rather infamous pastimes.

Alex Up Mast “Alex climbing up the mast”

Back to the glam, we managed to reach 20 knots whipping around the lake and taking in the city skyline behind us.

Cityline Sail









“Nothing beats this view”

The Alex Thomson Racing Team runs more smoothly than a well-oiled machine; these boys know what they’re doing! However, we all got to drive the amazing boat.

Alex at Bow





“Alex directing the team”

The sail lasted for two hours and we were all disappointed to return to shore. However, being greeted with Mimosas and a 3-course gourmet meal helped us wipe away our tears rather quickly.

Over lunch we got to chat with Alex himself, the Hugo Boss team, and the Alex Thomson Racing Team learning how it really takes a village to make this collaboration possible. The Alex Thomson Racing/Hugo Boss partnership has existed since 2003 and is a much-envied collaboration.

Lunch is served!The event was beautiful, but it was the Alex Thomson sailing the Hugo Boss Yacht that stole the show.

Lunch is served!

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