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Vendee Globe - Golding on Gamesa's progress and PRB retirement

by Emily Caroe on 26 Nov 2012
Mike Golding, Gamesa - 2012 Vendee Globe Gamesa Sailing Team
Vendee Globe – On Sunday, 25 November at 16:25 GMT, Mike Golding commented on the retirement of Vincent Riou on PRB: 'I crossed close to Vincent onboard PRB last night as he headed west assessing the possibility of repair following the collision with an adrift buoy.

'It’s hard to pass so close by his position, knowing how much work it has taken him and his team (and all of us) just to be out here, knowing also how crushed his sprits and expectations will be at this moment - it is very sad - and every fibre of you just wants to stop and offer him help.

'He and I may well not be on each other’s Christmas card list, and to be frank I have little to offer that could really help, but it just feels this should be the spirit of a mega race like the Vendée where if you cut to the bone of it we are always each other’s last line of support.

'Perhaps the clincher, though, is that I could not give, and he could not accept any help, as this would constitute outside assistance – we would be disqualified from the race. There is a saying in England 'the law is an ass'. Perhaps at times like these, it would help if our laws would allow it [to offer assistance]. It just seems so wrong to leave a man behind.'

Sunday 25 November Radio Vacs. Transcript of conversation with Mike Golding 12:04 GMT:

'To be honest, hearing the damage, if anyone could have repaired it, it would have been him, but it would have been a pretty hard job. These things are hard to fix. It's very sad for him and sad for the race. He was one of the real contenders.

'I think he [Vincent] is experienced enough to have had a few disappointments in his career, it is a sport where technical problems can let you down, but this time it is made more frustrating by the fact that it is a little bit of junk in the ocean. If he had been 10 yards to one side, he could had continued his race. Fate wasn’t on his side this time and it wasn't mean to be. He has a few days to get into where he needs to be and get his head around it.'

Sunday 25 November 2012 08:00 GMT:

Sunday will be just another day on board Gamesa as Mike Golding descends down the South Atlantic making relatively easy miles to the south east, working around a dominant high pressure system which is giving steady, rather than fast, sailing.

Speaking by satellite phone this morning, he commented, 'We were reasonably fast for most of the night but it is now overcast and the breeze is down again. It’s been steady progress, but it is just a long slog around the high, taking the rotation of the breeze as it comes. It is fine, it is straightforward and you have to be grateful for the easy miles but I am really now just wanting to get down and attack the south. I'll be looking forward to this kind of sailing on the way back.'

Golding has taken time to watch a few movies over the first couple of weeks at sea on this Vendée Globe and has read one book, The Family Way by Tony Parsons, and has started William Horwood’s memoirs The Boy With No Shoes.

'I’ve been reading the ‘tree’ version. I like a proper book, ' he joked this morning.

'Just now, I think about the days by where I am, I could not tell you its Sunday unless I look. Every day is just the next new day and I watch time go by, by where I am.

'Looking ahead it’s hard to see what the next opportunity will be. I am disappointed to see the miles ahead to the leaders, but then that was going to happen. There is the high ballooning across, but it is difficult to see if that will slow them or me. The timing will be critical and at the moment it is not clear. It could go either way.

'I crossed tracks with PRB [Vincent Riou’s boat was damaged when it hit a large semi-submerged buoy and he is trying to effect repairs] which was slowly headed west. I saw him on the radar. And that’s the thing, seeing the number of boats which have been injured already, and so that is one reason not to be too worried to be 300 miles or so behind at the moment, we know a lot can happen.

'Any thoughts of a record must be gone. We are on the long way round here and have spent a lot of time on the wind. This is looking like a 90 dayer to me at the Vendee Globe website

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