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Vendee Globe - Good speeds for Mike Golding

by Sara Blackwell on 3 Jan 2013
Gamesa - Vendee Globe 2012-13 Gamesa Sailing Team
In the Vendee Globe, continuing to move SE at good speeds, Mike Golding has increased his lead over his Swiss rival Dominique Wavre to 85 miles.

Golding has slowed slightly this morning but has been consistently quicker than Wavre over the last 24 hours but appears to be moving into better wind pressure than the boats which are lined up behind his course, Wavre’s Mirabaud and Javier Sanso’s Acciona 100% Eco Powered. The Spanish boat is 140 miles behind which means that Golding has also opened some 10 more miles on Sanso.

Next gate for Mike is the final one of the course, Pacific East, which is 915 miles ahead with Cape Horn and the departure from the Pacific at 2200 miles or about 5 ½ days away.

02 Jan 2013 Live update Mike Golding 12:05 GMT:

How are things onboard Gamesa just now?

Pretty bumpy and we are getting squalls through of up to 30 knots. We are generally making pretty good progress and are also not too far away from pointing at the mark, so making reasonable progress down the track.

Give us a general picture of how the weather is now and down the track? It looks like you are getting some more wind?

Yes, we are sailing into a depression and then another one comes in behind so, we have a succession of little depressions which are heading south east and they give us a boost along towards the next gate. In this particular area the sea state isn't very pleasant because the systems are going diagonally across so consequently we have a nasty cross sea which makes it hard to run at full speed. It means that you occasionally get a pretty big slam. At the same time, it is nice to be making good progress down the track.


You could see quite a lot of wind in these lows?

Certainly up to 35-40 knots is possible, so it depends which model you look at, of course. But right now it is pretty much fitting in with the EC model.

And relative to the boats in front and behind? Is this going to be good for you?

I think so, yes. It is a reasonably direct route to the gate, it seems like I am going to get listed and at the moment it seems to be doing what the file says it is doing. Certainly for the last few polls, I have been in stronger pressure, which is partly down to the big dial down I did away from the gate, which was kind of forced, but it got me in first to the boats behind who are just slightly down on windspeed. As a consequence, I am making some small gains and maybe even a small gain ahead with Jean.

Is there anything you have to do in terms to repairs on the boat or small jobs, or is everything pretty good just now?

Unfortunately, my radar has decided to play up and I can't work out why. I went up the rig yesterday and took the radar scanner off and checked the plugs and put them across everything I did, but it is a bit more difficult to do anything more than that, but everything else seems to be working. But not having a radar at this point is not ideal, and gives me a lot of concern approaching Cape Horn and with all the ice that is present. So that is my priority, but to be fair, there isn't much more that I can do. It is a complicated device. I have checked all the things I can check, or that I can repair, so my team are working on seeing if there is anything else I can do to keep that working.

Other than that, no, everything else is ok and the boat is in good shape.

Any aches and pains coming to bear, or are you in good shape?

Yes, very good shape. Everything is good, it is very cold at the moment, very cold. You are looking at the GPS and anything south of east is bad and anything north of east is good! So, at the moment, we are still trucking south quite fast, so probably expect to get colder with the increased wind, that is going to make it very very cold and uncomfortable onboard.

And Mike none of us aren't getting any younger, do you feel the cold more than you did ten years ago?

I think that is almost certainly true! I had a back injury which actually occurred during the first Vendée in 2000 and ended up with me having spinal surgery and when it gets cold like this, I tell you, it is not very nice. So I have had some back pains, but I am OK, I have learnt to manage it, I've had advice from the Doctor. Generally, in terms of the workload and the fatigue, I am sure I am more susceptible being four years older than the last edition. I am doing ok, I feel alright and I am surrounded by two 50 pluses either side of me, so we have a 50 plus race going on!

You have lots of tea and coffee left?

Not so much coffee. I am having to reduce back on the coffee and have more tea. You drink an enormous amount of teas and coffees because your sleep cycle is so broken up you end up having at least one or two coffees each time you are awake. And you are awake and asleep many many times a day so, as a consequence you go through absolutely huge quantities of both.

There are other consequences, you have to then relieve yourself in the bilges?!

[laughs] Not quite that bad, but if it is too freezing outside, as long as there is plenty of water across the boat, you can just pee in the Mike Golding Vendee Globe website

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