Hugo Boss sailing with Alex Thomson at the Rolex Middlesea Race in Malta

Hugo Boss and its local retail partner VF Group Malta will be hosting the world-class sailing champion, Alex Thomson prior to his competing in the Rolex Middle Sea Race aboard the HUGO BOSS Racing Yacht.

Starting from the Grand Harbour in Malta on the 21st of October, Thomson will be racing the high-speed Imoca 60 class, which has been sponsored by Hugo Boss for now over a decade of success.

Alex Thomson is one of the most appealing yachtsmen of his generation, being the youngest to win a round-the-world race along with setting three sailing world records. Most recently in the 2016/2017 Vendée Globe, he cemented his reputation with a podium 2nd place finish.

At a Q&A session, sponsored by HUGO BOSS today, Malta Today asked Alex how he compared the Rolex Middle Sea Race to larger races he had competed in. Most races he had competed in, he said, were ocean races, which weren’t handicapped.

“They have designed the fastest boat” and the first over the finish line wins the race, he added.

Alex went on to explain that the Rolex Middle Sea Race had boats with a handicap, which is a “challenge in itself”. Handicaps were made for average boats, with average widths, depths and sails, but his boat, he said, was “not average in any way at all”.

The wind played a crucial role, said Alex, when referring to the Rolex Middle Sea Race. Wind conditions can very from zero to 40-50 knots, which is a technical challenge for even the most experienced sailor.

Alex explained that their boats were designed for round-the-world races, with designers producing 50 virtual hulls. Conditions have also been studied for the past 20 years, so as to get an accurate average for wind speed and direction. During the Rolex Middle Sea Race, however, “any type of wind condition” is expected, he added. 

Hugo Boss has sponsored Alex Thomson since 2003, boasting one of the most successful and durable partnerships in the sport of yachting. As an internationally successful organization, Hugo Boss has become synonymous with fashion and lifestyle, outfitting Alex Thomson and his team with high-performance clothing for every imaginable type of weather condition, as well as with high-fashion apparel for all their formal events and functions. The Hugo BossImoca 60 serves as a brand ambassador strengthening the perceived association between Hugo Bossand sailing while promoting the company's spirit of modernity, elegance and confidence.

The Rolex Middle Sea Race, an event of prestige and grandiosity is a staple for local industry in Malta and one of the world’s most renowned yachting events. This October, the 38th edition will commence, hailing 53 yachts from 20 countries. Taking place in the ‘Crossroads of the Mediterranean,’ the course has been described by Cognoscenti as the “most beautiful in the world” with its spectacular seascapes, rugged islands, active volcanoes and raw beauty.

About Alex Thomson

Alex Thomson holds the record as the youngest yachtsman ever to win a round-the-world race. He won this accolade when he triumphed in the Clipper Round the World Race in 1998/99.In 2003 Thomson made a spectacular debut in the world of solo sailing by breaking the distance world record. In 2008 he claimed second position in the Barcelona World Race, setting his second distance world record in a monohull. In 2013 he finished the Vendée Globe in third place. Alex and his team are now in the final stages of preparation for the 2016 Vendée Globe, where Alex has his sights set firmly on becoming the first Brit to win in the history of the race.


The new IMOCA 60 is one of the world’s fastest modern racing monohulls. This racing yacht has been developed by Konstantin Grcic & the Alex Thomson Racing Team and has been built at Green Marine in Southampton.

Compared to the previous HUGO BOSS yacht there are many innovations in the design. More time has been spent on hydrodynamic research and testing than ever before, leading to a highly optimised hull and foil package. The new boat features a wing mast and lifting daggerboards.  It is significantly faster thanks to the foil assistance provided by the dagger-boards, something never seen on a HUGO BOSS boat. This yacht is designed to be as light as possible and yet strong enough to withstand extreme weather.

This new generation of IMOCA 60 will allow Alex to break all previous speed and records. Functionality and speed are key design aspects; the honeycomb patterned deck is built from light, strong Nomex, clean carbon surfaces optimize strength and weight. The first entirely black sailing yacht in the world was made possible by functional pigments with heat-reflecting properties developed by BASF. All this mirrors the core values of the BOSS brand – the unique combination of innovation, craftsmanship and engineering.


• Designer: Konstantin Grcic [focused the aesthetic design]

• Dimensions: length: 18,28 m draft: 4,5 m

• Weight: 7,5 t [5% lighter as the previous HUGO BOSS boat]

• Top speed: 35 kts

• Construction time: 40 000 hours [30 people working in this project]

To support Thomson’s participation, VF Group and HUGO BOSS have planned a series of initiatives in the run up to the start of the Rolex Middle Sea race, all of which are being supported by Veuve Clicquot and global partner Mercedes Benz.


In its sports sponsorship activities, HUGO BOSS focuses primarily on the four sports of sailing, soccer, golf and Formula One racing, which reflect the brand’s values including dynamism, perfection and precision. The partnership between the Group and the Alex Thomson Racing team began in 2003 with the legendary Rolex Fastnet Race along the English coastline. In 2004 HUGO BOSS became the official lead sponsor of the racing team. The IMOCA 60 yacht has been sailing under the BOSS logo ever since. In addition, HUGO BOSS outfits Alex Thomson and his team with high-performance clothing for every conceivable type of weather, and also wardrobes them with high-fashion apparel for all of their formal events and functions.


VF Group operates leading businesses in fashion retail, clothing manufacturing, outdoor media, contemporary design lighting and furniture distribution, along with real estate development. The company found its beginnings over forty years ago as a small tailoring shop on the island of Malta. Although VF Group has grown exponentially it remains true to its roots as a family business upholding its founding values of dedication, ambition and innovation. Its vision is to inspire people through crafted quality-driven products and services, whilst remaining committed to aesthetics and design. The fashion retail division carries a portfoli of globally-renowned brands, namely BOSS, Samsonite and French Connection, with Valentino, Dolce &Gabbana, DSquared2, Alberta Ferretti, Jimmy Choo, Zegna, Moncler and Burberry represented exclusively by luxury concept store SARTO.

Follow Alex on: