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Southern Spars - North Technology

Vendee Globe - Mike Golding overslept aboard surging Gamesa

by Emily Caroe on 10 Jan 2013
Mike Golding, Gamesa - 2012 Vendee Globe Mike Golding Yacht Racing © http://www.mikegolding.com
Sixty miles south of the Falkland Islands this morning, Mike Golding can reflect on a good night’s work with Gamesa in the groove and making good miles, even if he does feel he overslept slightly.

In truth, Golding’s oversleep was by minutes not hours. But it is an insight into how sensitised the solo skipper becomes to small changes in boat speed when he is asleep, that he was on deck in minutes when he felt his boat was overpressed and on the edge of control.

'The breeze has eased back – perhaps there is an effect of the island but I should be far enough away – but I had 23-25kts through the night with pouring rain but the boat was moving well. I had a little oversleep and the boat was really powering along with the bow down and the pilot struggling a bit and so I was on deck, angry with myself, and I think I did the fastest change to the Solent ever. But to be fair I think I was only asleep for an extra few minutes. And looking at it afterwards it is fine, I was wanting to stay away from the islands bit.

'But Cape Horn was a very long session. First there was a lot of manoeuvres, then the Le Maire Strait, overall it was a very long period so I feel I have been a bit overtired. As soon as we get clear of the Falklands I am going to catch up a bit. I’m still a bit jaded.'

Mike is at 178 miles behind Jean Le Cam, who went to the west of the island group whilst Golding is going east, but he feels he can still reduce that deficit.

'I think he will be struggling a little in a bit and has to come this way. We have a long runway in this breeze. Longer term our weather is reasonably complicated. It is not as bad as for the guys in front. It is good with this lateral separation with Jean, it would certainly be good to get back to 100 miles.

'But overall I’d take more nights like the last one, the boat was going well, under Genoa and then Solent, the tiller was hardly moving at all and that is always a good sign.'

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