Thomson before the start of the Vendée Globe in 2012
|Born||18 April 1974|
|Parent(s)||Peter and Jan Thomson|
|Relatives||Twin sister Sarah, younger brother David.|
Alex Thomson was helped early in his sailing career by Sir Keith Mills, the British businessman who ran London's victorious bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games and set up with British America's Cup campaign TEAMORIGIN. With Mills' backing, Thomson broke into the professional solo sailing circuit at a young age.
Thomson's Clipper Race win in 1999 made him the youngest skipper ever to win a round-the-world yacht race. As of February 2016 he still holds this record. He is an around the world solo sailor, and holds the 24-hour world speed sailing record for solo mono-hulls (537 nautical miles at an average speed of 22.4 knots).
Sponsored by Hugo Boss he took part in the Vendee Globe 2004/05 but was forced to retire after damage to the carbon fitting that attached the boom to the deck. He also started in 2008, but had to retire from the race after a cracked hull. He was third in 2012 and second in the 2016 edition. During the latter edition, Thomson set new fastest reference times from Sables d'Olonne to the Equator (9 days 7 h 02 min) and Cape of Good Hope (17 days 22 h 58 min).
However, 13 days into the race Hugo Boss's starboard foil broke after hitting an unidentified floating object, therefore hampering Alex's progress throughout the rest of the course. Of note, most of the race takes place on port tack, that is, the boat would have made good use of the missing starboard foil. Despite his foil and anemometer/autopilot problems, Thomson finished the race with the second fastest time on record - 74 days 19 h 35 min 15 sec, 16h behind Armel Le Cléac'h.
In the 2019 Transat Jacques Vabre race, Thomson's $7.7 million racing yacht was struck by a submerged object, forcing Thomson and his co-skipper Neal McDonald to make repairs in order to stabilise the boat.