Quick nap proves costly for sailor Alex Thomson in Route du Rhum race

    British skipper Alex Thomson removes a fisher net from his Hugo Boss sailboat off Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe, on November 16, 2018, prior to crossing the finish line of the Route du Rhum solo sailing race.

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    • Briton Thomson was leading transatlantic race

    (CNN)After 11 days and about 3,500 nautical miles at sea, Briton Alex Thomson was primed to win the solo transatlantic Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe race when his boat hit a patch of rocks approaching Grande Terre island.

    What was even worse he'd overslept.
      Thomson -- who like many sailors sleeps in 20-minute bursts throughout the day -- had forgotten to charge his shockwave watch, specially designed to release an electric shock to wake him up.
      Instead, the 44-year-old from Gosport, England awoke to the thud of a damaged stern, bow and foil on the starboard side of his 60-foot Hugo Boss yacht -- and the pangs of a broken heart.
      "It's a real shame for me and the team to be in the position that we are in," an emotional Thomson told reporters on Friday.
      With no choice but to start his engine to escape the rough terrain, Thomson triggered a 24-hour penalty and has all but dashed plans for a champagne celebration.
      Although he crossed the finish line in Pointe-a-Pitre on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe first on Friday, the penalty means Thomson will likely place out of the top three finishers of the race which began on November 4 off the coast of Saint Malo, in northern France.
      "The jury has decided that I have a 24-hour penalty which will mean I will not win the race," he accepted.
      "How do I feel about that? Well, I think that is very fair because I don't think I should win the race after hitting Guadeloupe."