Please select your home edition
Edition
Pantaenius - Worldwide Support

Vendee Globe Race - Gamesa struggling to stay afloat

by Emily Caroe on 30 Jan 2013
Mike Golding keeps steering Gamesa towards the finish despite being hampered with keel problems - 2012 Vendee Globe Mark Lloyd/ DDPI/Vendee Globe © http://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/
Vendee Globe Race 2012-2013. Mike Golding onboard Gamesa has been working for the past 24 hours to resolve an issue with his keel. Investigations over the side of the boat with a camera yesterday evening revealed that the front fairing of the keel olive has been lost. With only ten days remaining for this, Golding's fourth Vendée Globe, solo, round the world race, a solution needs to be sought immediately to ensure Golding can reach the finish line in Les Sables d'Olonne, France.

Gamesa Boat Captain Graham Tourell explains, 'Mike discovered this late yesterday whilst trying to use the bilge pump which empties into the keel box. The pump didn't work and this then led Mike to the keel box which he found was full of water, over the level of the keel head and the rams.

'There is a lot of turbulence at the front of the keel and without the fairing, water is being driven up into the keel box, faster than the water can drain out by the Venturi system.

'Last night Mike used a horseshoe life ring which he cut up and wedged in the front of the keel to stem the flow, which initially worked, but then was popped out by the turbulence. At this point Mike had to rig up the boat hook to brace it in place, which worked for a period of time, but ultimately that came free as well.

'Even at this late stage of the race, this is possibly a race-ending situation; several of the boat's vital systems are in close proximity to, or directly plumbed into the keel box, which normally has a negative pressure inside it. If the water level and pressure is not reduced, the rubber gaiters which seal the hydraulic ram could burst and the boat could flood, shorting various electrics, or causing other system failures including potentially irretrievable engine damage.

With the finish line almost in sight, Mike is doing everything he can to find a solution which will ensure he can complete his race. After five hours upside down in the keel box, Mike hopes that he has found an adequate solution.

An exhausted Golding commented, 'I took advantage of a hole in the wind [light air], to heave-to and get the keel box lid off and pass a section of anchor warp [rope] out of one side of the keel plate and into the other. This actually reduces the cross sectional area of the aperture and thereby, I hope, reduces the pressure inside the keel box and the water level.

'Having studied the images I took underwater, I was surprised to see that the front fairing plate was missing especially as it was extremely well fitted and protected and so can only assume that this has happened either due to the boat's continual slamming or is the result of a UFO impact in the past 48 hours.'

While the loss of the fairing will ultimately slow the boat slightly, Golding is hoping that his solution will hold, protecting vital boat systems, and allow him one final opportunity to continue his battle with Jean Le Cam [SynerCiel] for fifth position.
Mike Golding Vendee Globe Race

Related Articles

Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
Pantaenius – Smooth sailing is more than a favourable weather forecast
Pantaenius get ready to launch into their fourth year operating in Australia As Pantaenius get ready to launch into their fourth year operating in Australia, we get to see why they continue to grow their happy crew of customers. Sitting down with Pantaenius Australia’s MD, Jamie MacPhail, you immediately get a sense that the smooth sailing is a direct result of both their unique product and the marketplace’s willingness to embrace the better mousetrap
Posted on 27 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Thou doth protest too much, me thinks
And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen about now. At any rate, it is simply an adaptation of Lady Gertrude’s original line. We merely seek to use it as a way to demonstrate that when there is a lot of brouhaha going on, the smoke screen ultimately ends up as a lovely, colourful flag as to the real intent behind it.
Posted on 18 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Volvo Ocean Race appoints stadium racing pioneer as new CEO
Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Today his appointment has been confirmed.
Posted on 31 Mar
Guy Nowell - Yellow 660Barz Optics - FloatersBakewell-White Yacht Design