British skipper, Alex Thomson, has been awarded the prestigious French National Order of Merit (Ordre national du Mérite) by French Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Jean-Pierre Jouyet.
In recognition of his services to the sport of sailing during a career spanning more than 20 years to date, Thomson was given the rank of Knight (Chevalier) of the National Order of Merit.
He received a medal and certificate in a ceremony, held Thursday, 13 June at the French Ambassador’s Residence in Kensington Palace Gardens.
Throughout his career to date, Thomson has conquered some of the demanding ocean races in the world, breaking multiple records along the way.
The father-of-two – who is based in Gosport on the south coast of England – remains the youngest skipper ever to have won a round-the-world yacht race.
He also holds the British solo, unassisted round-the-world monohull record, which he set in 2017 when he finished second in the gruelling Vendée Globe – ‘the Everest of sailing’ – in just 74 days, 19 hours, 35 minutes.
Thomson’s life-long ambition is to become the first Briton ever to win the Vendée Globe, recognised as one of the most challenging sporting endeavours in the world today.
Having achieved third and second place finishes in the previous two editions of the race – which takes place every four years – the HUGO BOSS sailor will seek to make history in 2020-21 by winning the race.