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University helps preparations of British sailing star

Sports Science academics from the Sports Performance and Rehabilitation Unit at the University of Chichester put British sailor Alex Thomson through a gruelling series of tests as part of his preparations for the 2012 Vendée Globe solo round the world race in which he came third.

It is the fourth occasion that Alex has visited the University, and his second time being tested using the specialist facilities. The tests were performed by Dr Peter Cunningham, with Dr Stephen Myers also present.

Reflecting on why he continues to return to the University, Alex said: “In terms of the facilities, there is everything that you could possibly want here; you can trust the equipment, and the staff here are second to none.”

In total, three tests were carried out on Alex, starting with sub-maximal and maximal tests on the Concept 2 rowing machine to assess cardiovascular fitness, moving on to assess his strength-endurance on the Concept 2 Dyno, and finally an anthropometry assessment.

As Stephen explained, “the tests were carried out as part of the on-going monitoring of his physical training programme. The results of the tests will allow that programme to be adapted as required to ensure it remains progressive and addresses any areas of weakness. Alex's physical training programme forms an integral part of his preparation for the gruelling sport of offshore sailing, with perhaps the Vendée being the ultimate test".

“It is important to identify any areas of weakness in the training regime because the effectiveness of the training really can mean the difference between winning and losing.”