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Southern Spars

Vendee Globe - Golding takes some pain

by Emily Caroe on 30 Dec 2012
Mike Golding, Gamesa - 2012 Vendee Globe Mike Golding Yacht Racing © http://www.mikegolding.com
In the Vendee Globe, Mike Golding has been taking some pain, making a move to the south on what he feels is presently the unfavoured gybe as a future investment trying to find more breeze as he tries to move away from the worst of a high pressure ridge.

After passing the New Zealand Gate, Golding was just seven miles ahead of Switzerland’s Dominique Wavre on the early morning ranking today at 0500hrs UTC. Though there is now 100 miles of lateral separation between the two and Mike has subsequently gybed back, the differential is still virtually the same.

'It’s been a pretty horrible period going on the ‘wrong’ gybe [feeling like he is sailing away from the next mark] but in the end I have followed the routing option. That involves taking some pain but I can see that Dominique had gybed too and the files show he should have less wind and so I am hoping I will be OK against him.

'Really with this high moving south, it is just about mitigating the slow down. The high will go forward too, ultimately, and might even catch Jean Le Cam. When we are behind it, we should be moving reasonably quickly and can maybe come in on the back of it a bit.

'It has been quite busy with a couple of gybes and sail changes. To be honest the sail changes were hardly very glamorous. I had a couple of snarl ups. I don’t think that is down to tiredness in particular. These are things that I’ve maybe done 100 times and they go like clockwork but sometimes these things happen.

'It has been quite a busy period. Physically I am OK, but you do feel the fatigue. You need to be in harmony with the boat, in the rhythm of the race and with the weather. But when you get out of phase a bit then it is easy to get into a virtuous circle. For sure I think that when you are ahead then things go well and feel easier, but I would bet that the guys who are chasing the leaders feel themselves to be working harder, doing more and finding it harder than the guys in front. When you are chasing it is hardest.'

Vendée Globe Live Interview with Mike Golding 12:05 GMT:

How are things? You have gone a little further south and seem to have made a gain back?


I think it is going to be a slow recovery, but hopefully I'll get back some or all or more of what I lost. I've come south and I am in good pressure, the only thing that is wrong with the pressure is that I don't have a great wind direction, I am not pointing straight at the next gate, but the direction is changing but it is very slow, and the faster I go, the slower it is changing. It is a complex thing to work out whether it is a gain, a small gain, but hopefully there will be a gain.

How are you feeling? Seven weeks at sea, is fatigue setting in? Is this the stage where you have to be careful how you manage yourself?

Sure I people talk a lot about sleep, but the broader fatigue which starts to grind in around this time, we have been working at the boat for seven weeks, they are very heavy boats and there is a lot of work to do so consequently fatigue is your enemy. It is a very difficult one to judge really. I am not talking about sleep, but a general running down of your system, which takes a lot more than a sleep to recover. I think it is really important to keep sleeping well, maintaing a steady rhythm with your body and hopefully once you get back in the Atlantic, there is a sort of relief of being on the way home, but right now, it is a tough time.

Tell us a little bit about what you are eating. Are you pretty sick of the menu of freeze dried food by now?

I am pretty sick of freeze dried food right now! I was pretty sick the first time I had it! I still have a reasonable selection, but you never have enough, enough treats and all the nice things seem to disappear. I have quite an unregulated system which is probably bad as you end up eating all the nice things. Right now you are taking stock of what you have to take you to the end and what you don't have enough of and how you spread it out.

Are you a big fan of music on board, does it motivate you?

I have my iPod onboard and I have all my music on there. I just put it on shuffle and let it run. Everything I have saved I have actively chosen so it is all music I like, a wide selection. I do enjoy it, I don't have it in the background all the time. Right now we are gliding along in a good wind speed, but with the Code sail, so the boat is quite edgy and I don't like using it then, I like hearing what is going on so I can respond accordingly.

Mike is due to appear on Vendée Globe Live at 12:05 GMT today. Vendee Globe Mike Golding website

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