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BOSS Watches announce Graham Bell's participation in the Rolex Fastnet Race aboard HUGO BOSS

London/Thursday 6 August 2009 /PRNewswire/ — BOSS Watches and Alex Thomson, Skipper of HUGO BOSS are pleased to announce that Graham Bell, former Olympic skier and adventurer will be part of the crew aboard HUGO BOSS for this year's landmark anniversary of the Rolex Fastnet Race. BOSS watches and Alex have set Graham the challenge of competing in one of the world's most challenging sailing races that will test both his physical and mental strength.

Graham Bell, a total novice at sailing, will undertake a sea survival course ahead of the race and will sail alongside record breaking sailor Alex Thomson, youngest ever skipper to win an around the world race. They will be joined by a host of talent onboard the newly re-fitted Open 60 HUGO BOSS for the 2009 Rolex Fastnet Race, including Sir Keith Mills (Head of the British America's Cup campaign Team Origin and founder of the Air Miles International Group). Also stepping onboard for the race will be Rob Greenhalgh, twice veteran of the Volvo Ocean Race and recently crowned Skiff World Champion, Andrew Cape completed his sixth lap of the planet alongside Rob onboard PUMA Ocean Racing, and the man who will be preparing the boat for the Fastnet Race, HUGO BOSS boat captain Ross Daniel.

Says Graham, "I am excited about the prospect of sailing with Alex and his crew in the Rolex Fastnet Race. I am certainly in great company and hope that everything goes to plan. This challenge will definitely take me out of my comfort zone. As everyone knows I have done some amazing things on the slopes, but this is by far one of the most daunting things that I have ever undertaken".

This will be the first race onboard HUGO BOSS after Alex was forced to retire from the Vendée Globe in December last year, the Open 60 has undergone a full re-fit at Endeavour Quays in Gosport.

"I'm really excited to get back out racing again. I think we have a great crew lined up, and it will be fantastic to have Andrew Cape step onboard again. I am sure Graham will enjoy every minute of this historic race, seeing the Fastnet Rock for the first time is one of those special moments in sailing that I'm sure he won't forget. I'm looking forward to a good race and hopefully a good result," commented Alex.

As a celebration of the continued partnership with Alex Thomson, BOSS watches has ensured that the new HB-229 mirrors key features on the yacht, designed by Alex himself. Boasting a quartz chronograph movement on carbon fibre dial, the watch features orange accents and also luminescent hands for a high contrast, practical display. Each member of crew aboard HUGO BOSS will be presented with a new HB-229 that they will put through its paces during the race.

The Fastnet Race will take place on 9th August. The 600 mile race will see a fleet of 300 head along the English Channel and out towards the famous Fastnet Rock on the Southern tip of Ireland, the fleet will then turn around and head back to the finish in Plymouth. The first boats are expected to finish on 11 August, weather dependent. The current course record is held by Mike Slade's 100-foot super maxi ICAP Leopard standing at 1 day, 20 hours, and 18 minutes.


For further information please contact:

Marcus Braybrook at APR Communications
T: 020 7351 2227 E: mbraybrook@aprcommunications.com

Jo Grindley at Into the Blue
T: 01983 247 286
E: jo.grindley@intotheblue.biz

For further details on the Rolex Fastnet race visit www.fastnet.rorc.org or www.yachtingworld.com


Note to Editors:


On 11 August, 303 yachts left the Solent at the start of the 1979 Fastnet Race, the biggest fleet ever in what at the time was still considered one of the greatest ocean race challenges. They left with a forecast of light to moderate west-north-westerly winds with no gale warnings. Just three days later, after an extreme storm had swept the Irish Sea, 15 crew as well as 4 from the trimaran shadowing the race and two from a cruising yacht, had died. Only 85 boats finished, 194 retired, 24 boats were abandoned, of which 19 were recovered. This was and still is, the greatest disaster in ocean racing history.