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sail-world.com -- Vendee Globe - Tumultuous times on board Gamesa

Vendee Globe - Tumultuous times on board Gamesa    
Wed, 5 Dec 2012

In the Vendee Globe, times have been tumultuous for skipper Mike Golding on board Gamesa. Mike discusses the ongoing battle with the conditions.

21:00 GMT: Update from Mike from onboard Gamesa:

A really horrid 24hrs running/reaching in dreadful, huge waves. The boat has, and still is, taking a serious pounding in these conditions. Only small things have actually broken such as the gennaker furler drum which detached itself from its stowage position and has done some damage to the bow – probably only cosmetic but there could be some delamination – I’m not concerned as this is a strong bit of the boat. One of the daggerboard covers has come off and broken which means the forward leeward ballast fills and needs continual emptying. The leak in the transom is much worse and I had a good amount of water building up which, with the bouncing and pounding, has leapt over into the next bulkhead – I could shut the door but I like to see what’s happening.

'Everything else, keel system, rig sails deck gear and me have taken real punishment: this is a true Cape of Good Hope experience - and there is no escaping from it. It’s just a function of the wind and massive seas which are so large because of the Agulhas current which is setting against the wind. The water is warm and has both flying fish (normally unseen in the South) and Portuguese Man-O-War jellies in it – worth dodging when they arrive in the cockpit trailing stingers everywhere!

'The predicted fleet compression looks now like it will become a serious extension by the lead pack – disappointing - I need to work the boat to the max, in spite of the conditions - just in case the high comes in slower/faster and allows me to squeeze through. Seems doubtful now – but still worth a go.'

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4 December 2012 08:00 GMT:

After a rough night in challenging sea conditions, Mike Golding is making good progress this morning having passed the west end of the Aiguilles ice gate around midnight.

'We went from the Code 3, to the 7 and one reef then two reefs. I wiped out twice, badly. It was not so much because we were over the range of the sails but just the big seas, the sea state was bad, and the waves just meant we lost it twice. We probably had around 30 kts but getting the right sail combination was not easy. There is a lot a crashing and banging at the moment.

'This was in the forecast, a bit more than expected in the gusts. When we wiped out there was a spike of 40kts and a big shift in direction. So it is not very conducive to fast sailing and we have had to back off just a little.'

Golding is back up to sixth place, 472 miles behind the leader Armel Le Cléac’h and is more than 30 miles ahead of rival Jean Le Cam on SynerCiel.

Vendee Globe website
Mike Golding website

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by Emily Caroe



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