THE SKYWALK WITH ALEX THOMSON
Successful stunts require precision time; so, timing means everything to Thomson. "At 100m - that is your limit for opening up a parachute so, if I was to drop out of the sky or something was to go wrong, I could be seriously injured," Thomson explains.
ABOUT THOMSON: British skipper Alex Thomson is a major talent in international match racing. In addition to competing in the high-speed extreme IMOCA 60 class, Thomson has been sponsored by HUGO BOSS since 2003, making their enduring relationship one of the longest and most coveted in sailing and sports sponsorship history.
Thomson is passionate about all things wind-powered, so kite surfing was a natural choice when planning to complete a trilogy of stunts that began with the Keelwalk in 2012. Videos of the Keelwalk - a challenge which involved Thomson walking along the orange keel of his racing yacht, whilst heeled over and sailing at hight speed - and the Mastwalk - which saw Thomson climb the 30-meter mast of the HUGO BOSS and dive from the very top into the water - have now been viewed by more than 4.5 million people worldwide.
Thomson embodies all that WATCH IT! holds dear - a willingness to stand apart from the herd, a commitment to the effort and dedication to the task at hand, as well as the countless hours spent achieving his dreams.
“The previous two stunts that we carried out - the Mastwalk and the Keelwalk - were so successful that, as a team, we just knew we couldn’t stop there. We were all in agreement; we wanted to do something even bigger and better,” Thomson explains.
In his third daring stunt, the Skywalk, Thomson found himself chasing the HUGO BOSS yacht upwind using a 10 metre kite. He then attached himself to a line in the water, fixed to the top of the mast. The speed of the yacht propelled him 280 feet in the air - higher than London’s Tower Bridge and double the height of the yacht. At the peak of his flight, Thomson released himself, and, using only the kite, expertly controlled his descent back down to the water. He landed the kite board in style, whilst wearing a perfectly cut, water-resistant BOSS suit.
Thomson will compete in the pinnacle event of the Ocean Masters race Calendar - the Vendee Globe - later this year, a race which begins on November 6th. The nonstop, solo, unassisted, round-the-word race takes approximately 80 days to complete. Thomson finished third, in the last edition of the race, back in 2013. This time around, he is determined to the be first Brit to win the prestigious title.
Check out this story in our 2016 Spring/Summer magazine - in stores May 2016!