Open 60 Shuffle. Hugo Boss Racing Buys Pindar. Pindar Moves East.


In case your communications people haven’t told you yet, Twitter is emerging as the source for breaking news in sport. Some of it is rumour, some of it is pure misdirection, but some of it is genuine news that is faster than any other media. Yesterday, news that Hugo Boss Racing had bought the Open 60 Pindar, hit Twitter before most other places. It wasn’t on Alex Thomson’s own feed – that hasn’t been updated since the 29th of August, but increasingly, media and bloggers are beating the traditional media to the punch.

There are two stories here. One is the purchase of the boat by Hugo Boss Racing, and the second is Pindar’s change of direction – away from the Open 60 to concentrate on a ‘new project’ in the Middle East.

Hugo Boss Racing Buys the Open 60 – Pindar.

The Pindar IMOCA 60, which conforms to the new IMOCA regulations, is one of the most powerful in the IMOCA fleet. Alex Thomson said:

“I believe that power equals speed, and so it makes sense to buy the most powerful boat in the fleet. I believe that it will really suit my sailing style and that the true potential for this boat has yet to be achieved. I think I can push the boat to the limits that it was designed for. I am very excited to start sailing on her, and see what she and I are capable of over the next three years. The Barcelona World Race will be out first major race together and I will be hoping to go one better than last time!”

OC Group CEO, Mark Turner, who runs the Open60 programs for BT and Artemis said – via Twitter….

RT @PYL: Alex Thomson vend Hugo Boss et rachète Pindar http://tinyurl.com/nz7hwe. Alex needs more power? ***

The sale is perhaps not surprising, given the relationships involved. Sir Keith Mills has been a long time backer of Alex Thomson Racing and Mike Sanderson and Juan K (both key members of Mill’s TeamOrigin) were involved in designing the Pindar boat.

As a result of the purchase of Pindar, Alex Thomson Racing will sell it’s current IMOCA 60 Hugo Boss (built in 2007).

Pindar Focusses on the Middle East.

Following on from Pindar’s relationship with the Kingdom of Bahrain, Team Pindar will now focus on a new sailing programme and in the next few weeks will ship two Volvo 60’s out to the Middle East, to embark on a corporate hospitality, team-building and boat charter initiative. Based in the Kingdom of Bahrain, the boats will provide a platform for bespoke marketing opportunities at key locations throughout the Gulf and will be managed by Team Director, Nick Crabtree, who has developed extensive contacts in the region.

Chairman of the Pindar Group, Andrew Pindar OBE commented:

‘It is with mixed feelings that we are selling the Open 60. It has been an amazing journey and we are sad to see her go, but equally delighted she is going to a skipper (Alex) and team who will maximise her true potential. The opportunities in The Middle East offer a new direction for Team Pindar and sit well alongside our activity with Ian Williams on the World Match Racing Tour.’

Team Pindar’s Team Director, Nick Crabtree commented:

With Ras al-Khaimah set to host the America’s Cup next year, there is a tremendous feeling of excitement and intrigue about sailing in the region. We witnessed firsthand, in Bahrain, the enthusiasm generated by following Brian Thompson’s epic journey in the Vendée Globe and we are delighted about having a physical presence, which will enable us to develop unique sailing experiences throughout the Gulf.’

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*** Twitter jargon translation. RT = Retweet, meaning that the post was originally made by PYL (who in this case is Pierre-Yves Lautrou. Putting @ in front of a name makes it linkable in Twitter. Twitter for Business Tips brought to you by Pilote Sport