Brian Thompson made it into the history books by becoming the Briton with more multihull sailing miles than any other Briton today. A vastly experienced and successful offshore racer, Brian Thompson has been racing the two and three-hulled speed machines for twenty years and has notched up an impressive twenty-five sailing records, setting him apart from every world class sailor on the grand prix circuit.
Lincolnshire born Brian started sailing in Ruislip Lido, Middlesex, at the age of 3, he learnt to sail in small dinghies where racing and winning were firmly embedded. From a young age Brian displayed his now renowned traits of focused, determined and unflappable. After team racing at University of Warwick whilst studying for his Economics Degree, Brian traveled the world skippering private yachts, before focusing his career in short handed racing.Thompson’s first big result was the 1992 Estar singlehanded Transatlantic race in which he set a record of eighteen days in Class 5, a record which has remained unbroken, with his own 35’ trimaran ‘Transient’.
For eleven years Thompson sailed over 100,000’s miles with American adventurer, Steve Fossett, first aboard his ORMA 60 trimaran ‘Lakota, and then the 60ft Americas Cup catamaran ‘Stars and Stripes’. In 1999 Fossett’s maxi catamaran PlayStation was launched, and immediately took the 24 hour record. PlayStation entered ‘The Race’, starting from Barcelona.
In 2001 Brian fulfilled a long-held dream of doing the Mini Transat race from France to Brazil. Not ever satisfied with only scoring world records, he raced aboard ‘Kingfisher’ with Nick Moloney in the EDS Atlantic Challenge, finishing with first line honours.With these 2 short handed Trans Atlantic races completed, Brian went back into big teams and maxi multihulls, and throughout 2002 acted as co-skipper and coach for Tracy Edwards’ Maiden 2 (ex-Club Med). With Brian’s expert knowledge of giant multihulls the team broke 4 World Records in 4 months including the prestigious 24 hour record, which Brian had held previously with PlayStation, taking the target up to 694 miles.
In 2003, Brian achieved 3rd place in the Transat Jaques Vabre, and following on from this achievement, in 2004 brought offshore sailing's biggest prize and the culmination of Brian's career to date; the fastest around the world non-stop speed sailing record.
In 2005 Brian furthered his victory tally and skippered his own team aboard the maxi catamaran Doha 2006 in the Oryx Quest, a non-stop around the world race which started and finished in the Gulf state of Qatar.
Brian was part of the 2006 winning Volvo Ocean Race team, when he was asked aboard Mike Sanderson's ABN AMRO ONE as helmsman during the southern ocean leg from Cape Town to Melbourne.On his return Brian became skipper of the 'Artemis' IMOCA 60 which completed the Route du Rhum single-handed transatlantic race. Brian finished in sixth place amongst the most competitive fleet yet seen in the event.
In 2007 Brian joined Pindar to campaign the new IMOCA 60, designed by Juan Kouyoumdjian, the most powerful IMOCA boat ever built. Renamed ‘Bahrain Team Pindar’, the Vendee Globe was the boat’s first ocean race and Brian finished a credible 5th out of 30 starters, having to overcome a whole host of technical problems to get around the global racetrack nonstop to join the handful of people who have achieved this feat. Brian has now sailed on more IMOCA 60s than any other Briton!
Following on from his success in the Vendee Globe 2012 and having always wanted to compete in every major offshore race, Brian just has a couple of items left on the must do list. Then it would be a full house of all the major races.
In terms of the event to do again, it is the Vendee Globe 2012, certainly the Everest of all challenges on our Blue Planet and Brian will pushing for a podium place.
Brian continues to race and train on the grand prix and retains his role with IMOCA alongside the Advisory Group. Along with his corporate employee engagement work and charity work, Brian as the British Record Breaker, Campaign Team Lead, Business man and father continues to be an inspiration on the sailor circuit.