Mercedes-Benz, alongside HUGO BOSS, is the new co-sponsor and technology partner for Alex Thomson Racing, one of the leading off-shore racing teams competing in the Ocean Masters World Championship.

The new racing yacht is made completely of carbon fibre with a nomex core. The paint which was developed by BASF in collaboration with Mercedes-Benz is characterised by an infrared-reflective effect; significantly reducing temperatures onboard whilst still being painted completely black.

The hull and deck have been coated in this innovative paint finish. VPLP/Verdier and the Alex Thomson Racing Team designed the HUGO BOSS racing yacht which has had its unique aesthetic design created by Konstantin Grcic, a world renowned industrial designer.

Alex Thomson will be competing on board the yacht for the first time in October during the Transat Jacques Vabre Race. The new co-sponsorship represents an expansion of the international cooperation between the Mercedes-Benz and HUGO BOSS brands.

“We are delighted about the partnership with Alex Thomson Racing and HUGO BOSS. All three partners share an enduring aspiration and passion to excel,” said Dr Jens Thiemer, Vice President Marketing Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars.

“It is part of our worldwide marketing strategy of establishing co-operative arrangements with carefully selected people and brands to win new customers for the brand.”

The IMOCA 60 racing yacht HUGO BOSS will take part in the Ocean Masters Championships – a racing calendar reserved for the world’s most cutting edge sailing yachts.

“Having Mercedes-Benz as a core partner of our team is a big step forward for us in terms of marketing and partnerships but also in terms of using the incredible Mercedes-Benz expertise and technology innovation in one of the world’s most demanding technical sports – we welcome them to the team and look forward to a long and successful partnership,” enthuses Stewart Hosford, Managing Director at Alex Thomson Racing.

Infrared-reflective paint: acid test in extreme conditions on the high seas

Apart from state-of-the-art carbon-fibre technology, which makes Alex Thomson’s boat five percent lighter, a totally new paint finish also comes into play. The black paint developed by BASF in collaboration with Mercedes-Benz originates from the colour “XCool”.

It reflects infrared radiation, preventing the inside of the yacht from becoming too hot. In addition, the fibre composites of the hull of the yacht are exposed to markedly lower temperatures, ensuring that the integrity of the hull structure is not affect by heat exposure. In forthcoming yacht races, the paint will prove itself under extreme conditions on the high seas.

“This paint based on functional pigments is not just suitable for yachts and ships, but also highly interesting to the automotive sector. Therefore, we have been involved in the development process at BASF from the very start and have conducted extensive testing of this paint on our vehicles. Our intention is to use it on various models over the next few years,” says Martin Bremer, Head of Colour and Trim, Mercedes-Benz Design. Because the vehicle interior heats up considerably less, there is a lower requirement for cooling by the air conditioning system. This will have a particularly positive effect on fuel consumption in countries with high average temperatures, at the same time reducing vehicles’ CO2 emissions.




About Alex Thomson

Alex Thomson is the youngest yachtsman to ever win a round-the-world race. When he triumphed in the Clipper Round the World Race in 1998/99, he set a record he still holds today.

In 2003 Thomson made a spectacular debut in the world of solo sailing by breaking the distance world record.

In 2008 he claimed second position in the Barcelona World Race, setting his second distance world record in a monohull. Following this, he focused completely on the world’s toughest single-handed yachting race: the Vendée Globe in which the competitors sail 26,000 nautical miles (46,300 km) nonstop around the world.

In 2013 he finished this classic in third place. Alex Thomson is making his intentions clear as his sights firmly set on a podium position in the next Vendée Globe starting in November 2016. Alex will compete onboard his fastest and lightest racing yacht, HUGO BOSS.

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