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Vendee Globe - Gamesa in footing mode + Interview with Mike Golding

by Emily Caroe on 26 Jan 2013
Mike Golding, Gamesa - 2012 Vendee Globe Mike Golding Yacht Racing © http://www.mikegolding.com
Vendee Globe 2012-13 skipper Mike Golding is in typical upwind trade winds conditions, very bouncy, bumpy seas with his sheets on Gamesa slightly cracked, eased a little, as he chases Jean Le Cam in fifth, 52 miles ahead. Le Cam continues to sail faster than Golding by over one knot.

As the leader is due to finish the Vendée Globe this Sunday, the British skipper confirms it is not a great stage of the race for him.

'I’m in footing mode right now and it is very bumpy, I am just crashing around a bit and it is going to stay like this for a while and so I had better get used to it! It is very difficult for me to see how I am going to catch Jean, I did it before by making strategic choices and so I have to wait until I get that chance again. Meantime it is very frustrating but I am pragmatic about it. It does look messy further on but my problem such as it is at the moment is trying to land a decent sized weather file because at the moment we are crashing so much that the link cuts off, so I can only get small files. Tactically there is not much I can do.

'This is not a great point of the race when the winner is getting close and finishing, because you just want to get there and get off at this stage. I have to say I don’t like it, but I have some time to adjust to it.

'I had a nice e-mail from Alex Thomson [Hugo Boss] which, among other things, acknowledged that if they had not inserted the Crozet Gate he would have been back here with us, which is a nice thing to say. He has sailed well and I am sure will keep his feet on the ground, on the level about his race. We both now just need to bring it home safely. I believe I can get Jean but that would be a bonus at this stage, I need options.'

26 January 2013 12:05 GMT : Vendée Globe Live interview:

Mike, describe the conditions you are experiencing today?
Once we broke free of the Doldrums we have been on the wind in fairly strong conditions. I am reefed and on a small headsail in quite a sharp sea, so lots of slamming, it's very wet on deck and very warm in the day. There's really not much I can do to catch Jean [Le Cam] at the moment, I have to wait for a strategic option.

Do you see any strategic options opening up before the finish?
There will be strategic options before the finish, but in this section of the course, which is just a long, on-the-wind section, there won't be any options for several days. We are talking further ahead, four or five days ahead. I can't say there will definitely be options, but looking at the weather forecast longer term it looks like complex getting through the high pressure and that is probably good for me as it probably provides me with those options that I might need.

On a more personal level for you, how are you finding this last week. Are you getting more pressure from England, family and friends and sponsors, or have you got your mind set, focussed on the last week of racing?
Just focussed on the last bit of racing. I just want to get the horse back in the stable.

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