Hugo Boss campaigned by British sailor Alex Thomson brings global exposure to the brand through his involvement in the Vendée Globe



500 million people will see an image of the yacht and it will be called “Believe in Jesus”. In the last edition of the Vendée Globe 87% of the French population watched the start live. The Vendée Globe has substantial media coverage in more than half the world’s countries.

Half a billion people will see an image of “Believe in Jesus”. This can be a beginning. There are so many young celebrities today, in sport, music, cinema and art who believe in Jesus. We can harness this during and after the sailing event.

To place the Vendée Globe in perspective; it is billed, and rightly considered, as the toughest sporting challenge in the world. Twice as many people have flown in space than have sailed solo non-stop around the world since the first success of my friend Sir Robin Knox Johnston in 1968/69. This is media worthy.

Imagine in a few years to come a world cup final, or similar event, where many of the players take off their tops and reveal T shirts with “Believe in Jesus”. Or a Taylor Swift, or James Blunt concert when this happens. Now, if you don’t know who Taylor Swift or James Blunt are, think of their equivalent from 50 years ago, Dusty Springfield and Eric Clapton, and if you don’t know who there are, then, well, never mind!

The Scottish Vendée Globe 2020 team will invite every primary and secondary school in Scotland to follow this, week by week, as a sporting event. In turn they will be introduced to “Believe in Jesus”. This in turn, hopefully, will encourage some and their parents to enquire further.

There will be intense global media coverage over an eighteen-month period, during the qualifying stages, the event itself and aftermath. The anticipation is a world-wide ecumenical self-perpetuating movement “Believe in Jesus”. Individual churches throughout the world can use the initial impetus to further outreach in their own community.

It is possible “Believe in Jesus” through the Vendée Globe can be the mustard seed, the seed, to create something so worthwhile. Here in Scotland with vision, passion and energy we can start a re-awakening about our church in our country.

Now what about solo sailing? I’m not exactly in the first flush of youth, but youth is not a time of life, it is a state of mind. Although it is a single-handed journey, I know I will not journey alone.

I appreciate this sailing event does carry an element of risk. I have received support from not only the sailing community, but also many in my church.

I have found in the past when sailing solo,.. there is a mixture of fear, apprehension, with exhilaration and a calm, and a oneness of body, soul and mind, a oneness with nature and the elements. The overall picture is hard to describe, on one hand it is that sinking feeling as a school boy facing the head master for 6 of the best and on the other, a peace, like no other peace I have ever experienced in life. A sunrise, a sunset, dolphins, whales, seagulls, flying fish, the sheer vastness of the ocean.

The other great advantage of solo sailing is; if you make any wee mistakes there is no-one there to notice. The downside, I suppose, if you make a big mistake there is no-one there to help!

I have been privileged to meet many solo round-the -world sailors, and they all have one thing in common – a humility, a spirituality, a willingness to give something back, there is no hesitation to help another to achieve what they have. What a great way to see life.


Copyright: Believe in Jesus Vendée Globe 2020/21