Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars

Vendee Globe - Brutal 48 hours for Golding, Gamesa

by Sara Blackwell / Emily Caroe on 6 Dec 2012
Mike Golding on board Gamesa, 2012 Vendee Globe Mike Golding Yacht Racing © http://www.mikegolding.com
In the Vendee Globe, after a brutal 48 hours of tough, unstable conditions, big, untidy seas and winds which varied massively in strength, Mike Golding is consolidating this morning in slightly lighter winds making 13-14kts as he tries all he can to stay in touch with the leading group of five.

His primary objective has been to stay in the same weather system as the leaders who are about 400 miles to the west of the Crozet ice gate, while Golding is now some 530 miles behind the leading boat, Banque Populaire and 360 miles behind Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss. But a high pressure ridge has started to catch Golding and his immediate rivals, seventh placed Jean Le Cam and eighth Dominique Wavre and so their speeds have dropped and there is a real risk that they will continue to lose miles to the leading group. A high pressure is building ahead of them but the evolution is not clear how much that will affect them.

Update with Mike Golding 5 December 2012 16:00 GMT (Emily Caroe):

How have the last 24-48 hours been?

It's been not so much frustrating, but quite worrying at times. Last night was a lot better, a big improvement. It's just a lot of stress on the boat, a lot of stress on me and the guys around me, there were some quite exceptional waves there in amongst that lot. You have to remember that this is the area of the World where the largest waves ever have been recorded, so it is not surprising you see the odd biggie!

Last night was quite a lot better, the breeze calmed down and then it was just a question of knowing when to break out the reefs and change sail, but to be honest, I did that fairly quickly and I think I was just ready to keep the boat going. We have got the pressure on at times to try to do something to mitigate the worst effects of the high pressure that is coming, to see if we can't do something to stop the rot which seems to be happening over the last week with the leaders, in a sense, who are moving away from us.

You did manage to get some sleep and a hot meal?

I have eaten and rested. It was pretty hard to rest last night because conditions were changing, I was trying to push more south and I would like to push further south, but because we are in the influence of this high the wind is not stable, as we steer generally by the wind, it is very difficult when the pilot is following the wind and the wind is shifting 40 degrees. You can't really follow a strategy if you are just zigzagging your way through the ocean, so it does mean that you have to monitor it, retrim the sails, rather than just following the wind wherever it goes.

One or two small problems with the boat?

'The leak in the transom comes from one of the interceptor fittings and it is really hard to fix. You could probably fix it in five minutes in the dock, but because you are sailing all the time it is quite hard to fix. The furler reel came adrift and did some damage to the bow, took a few chunks out of it, but I don't think it is anything serious. I think I have got away pretty lightly in fact. There is nothing there causing me any big problems, but it is really indicative if the fact that we have had absolutely no problems at all and now suddenly we have got three or four little ones and I think that is indicative of the tough conditions. The boat is getting an absolute pounding. If there is a problem with the boat, these conditions were going to find it.

Summary of the evolution of the weather over the next 24-46 hours as you move towards the next gate?

The high is basically extending out a ridge. What always happen is that the high in the south atlantic moves to the east and squeezes underneath South Africa, underneath the Cape of Good Hope and then pops out again before the Indian Ocean and continues to move east towards south of Australia.

So what we are seeing now is that we are in that region and we are sailing in that region and the high from the Atlantic is extending out a ridge, squeezing through underneath South Africa and will pop out and settle in the East Indian Ocean.

The problem we have got is that we are trying to escape the worst effects of it by pushing south and the gate is where it is likely to be where the high will form and maybe stop its track eastwards. The problem for us is we first of all have to avoid the extending ridge but also when we approach the gate, the gate might be a windless zone. Now, at one point it looked like the leaders were going to get caught by this too which presented an opportunity for a compression, a good compression of the fleet, but yesterday it started to look different and in fact it looks like the leaders will continue on relentlessly. Today it is kind of less clear and there is still a possibility that the leaders will have trouble getting away from the gate. They may get to the gate quickly, but they may have trouble sailing away from the gate. Unless they are prepared also to head very deeply south, way outside of the race circle. And to be honest they haven't shown any inclination to do that in their strategy so far. So it is going to be an interesting 24-48 hours of the race to see how it all pans Vendee Globe Mike Golding website

Bakewell-White Yacht DesignInSunSport - NZSouthern Spars - 100

Related Articles

America's Cup - Arbitration Panel Hearing over Kiwi Qualifier for July
ACEA CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. In a yet to be published interview in Sail-World, America’s Cup Events Authority CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. This is the first official indication that the three person Arbitration Panel had even been formed, however Sail-World’s sources indicated that it had been empanelled since last January, possibly earlier.
Posted on 27 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
The importance of being Alive
Since buying the stunningly pretty Reichel-Pugh canting keel 66-footer, and re-naming her Alive, Since buying the stunningly pretty Reichel-Pugh canting keel 66-footer, and re-naming her Alive, the team have lined up for a lot of things, won plenty and nabbed a record, as well. She’s presently in a yard in the Philippines having a minor refit in readiness for the Australian season. It will commence with the upcoming Brisbane to Keppel and then head sharply into this year’s Hobart.
Posted on 10 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
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