The Clarisse Cremer affair could have a resounding follow-up with the intervention of an ocean sailing superstar: Britain’s Alex Thomson, the Boss who revolutionized modern ocean sailing with his style. A post of a few lines was published on the skipper’s social media, announcing the purchase by the company 5 West Ltd , owned by Thomson, of the Imoca 60 Banque Populaire formerly Apivia.
This is the boat that has been until now owned by Charlie Dalin, dominant for the last 4 years, and now purchased by Banque Populaire for Clarisse Cremer. As known, however, the sponsor withdrew, overwhelmed by controversy after the decision to fire Cremer after her pregnancy. And so Alex Thomson enters the picture.
Clarisse Cremer. Alex Thomson takes the field.
The iconic Welsh sailor announced his retirement from ocean racing 2 years ago, a return in fact seems as unlikely as ever. During these two years, however, Thomson remained inside the racing world, in the role of consultant and coach to skippers with ocean projects.
According to French newspaper Le Figaro, Thomson’s move with the purchase of the boat leads directly to an agreement with Clarisse Cremer to support the skipper ahead of the 2024 Vendée Globe. The French newspaper gives it as done, but there has been no official confirmation on the matter from those involved yet.
The Cremer to date has not yet completed qualifying for the round-the-world race, but still has the Transat Jacques Vabre in November and a few other Imoca 60 class races to hit the mark. From the Vendée Globe organizers, the possibility is described as open.
Will it then be Britain’s Alex Thomson who will put the Frenchwoman back on track after the huge controversy sparked by Banque Populaire’s decision? The feeling is that we will find out very soon.