The 18.28 metre IMOCA 60 racing yacht Hugo Boss has hit the water for the first time.
Destined to compete in the Vendée Globe round-the-world race, the carbon fibre yacht was designed by Alex Thomson Racing in collaboration with naval architect VPLP.
Named after title partner Hugo Boss, the yacht was built by Jason Carrington close to the racing team’s Gosport HQ in Hampshire.
The two-year build involved a team of 100 naval architects, engineers and builders and more than 50,000 hours of construction.
Key features include a streamlined bow, state-of-the-art hydrofoils and extensive solar panelling across the deck and coach roof which, the team hopes, will allow them to complete the 2020 race without the use of fossil fuels.
The eye-catching yacht also features a striking black carbon hull with florescent pink detailing on the coach roof, keel and rudder. The colour scheme, which is a first for the IMOCA class, was devised by designer Karim Rashid.
Chief executive of Alex Thomson Racing, Stewart Hosford, said: “This sport is no longer just about qualified naval architecture and competent ocean racing. It’s a design and engineering challenge at the highest level. It’s about bringing together the best in the world in every single area, in the relentless pursuit of excellence, of perfection.”
Thomson and his team will now carry out a period of commissioning and on the water testing before the boat is officially launched and christened in September.
Hugo Boss will then debut at the Transat Jacques Vabre race in October before Thomson undertakes the New York to Vendée race solo in June 2020. The Vendée Globe will take place in 2020.
Alex Thomson remains the youngest skipper to win a round-the-world yacht race after triumphing in the 1998/1999 Clipper Round-the-World race. He has previously used his IMOCA 60 sailing yachts to perform some seriously impressive stunts.