Local MP Caroline Dinenage yesterday sent her support to Gosport yachtsman, Alex Thomson who was forced to retire from the Barcelona World Race on Wednesday night.

Alex is a major talent in international yacht racing and has competed in world famous events including the Clipper Race, the Vendee Globe and the Fastnet Race. On 31st December 2014, he and co-skipper, Pepe Ribes began the Barcelona World Race in their yacht, HUGO BOSS. Unfortunately, on Wednesday night a rigging failure led to the yacht being dis-masted and forced the pair out of the race whilst in lead position.

During Questions to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Caroline said:

"Will the Minister join me in sending both our support and our condolences to Alex Thomson from Gosport, the yachtsman who was dramatically dis-masted last night while leading the Barcelona World Race. Fortunately none of the crew were hurt but in a place like Gosport where we have a world class marine scene, he is one of our true champions."

Responding on behalf of the Government, Helen Grant MP replied:

"I'm very very sorry indeed to hear about that and my thoughts and prayers go to him and his family and friends."

Speaking outside the Chamber, Caroline said:

"This is really devastating news for Alex, Pepe and the rest of the HUGO BOSS team but we are extremely proud of them for doing so well in the first part of the race and look forward to supporting their future endeavours."