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Vendee Globe - Mike Golding on what's next for Gamesa

by Vendee Globe on 6 May 2012
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Vendee Globe – Following a failure of the Gamesa furling gear which led to the dismasting of his monohull off the Isle of Wight, Southampton-based skipper Mike Golding speaks about what is next for him, the boat and Gamesa sailing team and explains the consequences on his Vendée Globe preparation.

Mike Golding could not have been more surprised when his 60-foot boat Gamesa dismasted on May 2 as the English skipper was sailing off Thorness Bay in what was supposed to be an uneventful training session with his Boat Captain Graham Tourell and Mike Ferguson, in charge of his preparation. 'We were in 12 knots of breeze going upwind, nothing exceptional. It was a quiet day, flat water. You wouldn’t have expected any sort of failure like that in these conditions so it was obviously something that was latent, just sitting there waiting to break and obviously it is unfortunate it broke then,' Golding recalls on the Gamesa sailing team website.

It’s difficult for Golding not to focus on the direct consequences of the incident on the Vendée Globe preparation. He says: 'The biggest damage is from a training perspective, it puts a big hole in that plan. We have a minimum six weeks of down time and the problem is not so much the damage, but the lead time on the components [we’ll need] as a lot of these are custom components. I think six weeks, optimistically four maybe, it just depends. But it is a little early to say. We need to survey the damage: we have non-destructive testing surveyors coming on Friday, the insurers have been informed, our sponsors, and we have done all the things we can do now, we just have to pick up the sticks and make sure we don’t break anything else and get ourselves going.'

The yachtsman remains optimistic and even tries to find a lesson to be learnt from the incident: 'In the context of the Vendée Globe, it is disappointing as we lose some training time, but on the other hand, I suppose we have learned something valuable and this could have happened at any point so in the context of the Vendée I doubt it will have a real negative effect and I’m hopeful that the rig is ok and we can get ourselves going. But it is obviously very disappointing. I will go home and cry about it later, but the reality is that there is nothing else you can do. We are on a mission to the Vendée, that is where we are going and this won’t stop us.'

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