Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Storm forecast delays homecoming for sailor Alex Thomson

Alex Thomson Image copyright PA
Image caption Alex Thomson finished second in the Vendee Globe race at Les Sables d'Olonne

An event to mark the achievements of sailor Alex Thomson in the round the world Vendee Globe race has been postponed due to forecast storms.

Thomson, who is based in Gosport, was due to sail from France to Portsmouth Harbour this weekend after finishing second in the race last month.

But organisers called off the event as heavy rain and gale force winds have been forecast.

They said the event will be rescheduled for 11 or 12 February.

Bangor-born Thomson, 42, crossed the line 15 hours, 59 minutes and 29 seconds after winner Armel le Cleac'h - who set a record time of 74 days, three hours and 35 minutes.

Thomson had threatened to overtake Le Cleac'h with 309 miles left of the race before a malfunctioning autopilot ended his challenge.

He has now matched Dame Ellen MacArthur as the best British competitor in the Vendee Globe. She finished second in the 2001 race.

Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption Thomson has now completed the Vendee Globe for the fourth time

Thomson is expected to sail his boat Hugo Boss, surrounded by a flotilla of craft, in a parade down The Solent into Portsmouth.

Hundreds of fans are expected to attend the celebrations in the city and at Thomson's team base at Haslar Marina.

Organisers said full details of the rescheduled celebrations will be announced next week.

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