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sail-world.com -- Vendee Globe - Challenging night in the Indian Ocean onboard Gamesa

Vendee Globe - Challenging night in the Indian Ocean onboard Gamesa    
Thu, 13 Dec 2012

Vendée Globe Live interview with Mike Golding, skipper of Gamesa: 'Right now I have seventeen knots of breeze and I am heading upwind and ahead of me I have a ridge, an area of light breeze, and to the north of it I have a northerly breeze which will allow me to reach along the course. That is really where I am aiming to get to. Hopefully in the next few hours I'll get headed and progressively the wind will start to lift.

'Longer term the hope is that they obviously use some of a little bit of a pull along from the depression that is coming in, but it is going to be a matter of timing so we'll have to see how that works.

How's morale with your position, there is nothing you can do? You are in a completely weather position, but you are still on the course and still going well. What's your philosophy?

It is frustrating for us obviously, I'd rather be in that group, making those miles, but unfortunately we are not. We fought hard off the back of the system, at some point of course that group can fall of the system and then a new system could potentially bring us forward again. So my philosophy is it is a long race, we have a long way to go and things can and do change. I have to sail my own race and concentrate on those boats around me, doing the best job I can, keeping the boat safe and make good miles down the course.

Tell us about the routine, the maintenance routine.

You have to do everything you can to make sure you get the best from the boat to maintain the boat, make sure everything is working properly. We have seen how easily how things can be damaged, these boats in certain respects can be easily damaged and are quite fragile in certain respects when they are driven very hard and fast.

Alain Gautier Live from Paris Nautic: I imagine your mind, with 800 miles behind the leaders, but you are still racing very well against your friends Jean and Dominique, the latter who is really slow today. You imagine you can stay with good wind for the next few hours?

It is important to race against those around you and for me people as good as Jean Le Cam and Dominique. It is almost disappointing that Dominique has fallen back slightly. But to be honest the weather here could mix things up completely. I have made some choices and it has to be seen if they are correct.

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12 December 2012 09:00 GMT: After another tough, challenging night in the Indian Ocean, Mike Golding has made a strategic decision to angle slightly north in search of an active low pressure system which he hopes should give him a boost down the race track towards the West Australia gate and then on to Cape Leeuwin.

Against the leaders, François Gabart and Armel Le Cléach, he has lost some more miles over the last 24 hours and the weather systems – and the resulting sea states – are rather conspiring against Gamesa and the French and Swiss skippers he has been racing against since the North Atlantic.

Presently, though, he is anticipating a split with Jean Le Cam [Synerciel] and already there is some 70 miles of separation between the two. Golding is expecting to be well set in the low in about three days time.

'At the moment I am going upwind in the Southern Ocean, hard on the wind and full ballasted under Main and Solent. I should probably change down but I am getting away with it and the breeze should ease off.

'I am taking a punt to push north and hook into a low. I should slowly get a lift to get there and then get into the south quadrant of the system and then hopefully get a run with it. Overall there is just a better weather profile in the north. Really, as I see it, if you stay to the south, for us, it ends up being a case of waiting for whatever comes along.

'I already have 70 miles to the north of Jean but I can’t see any other way. I have really set myself a latitude to sail at the moment. The worst case scenario is I get a bit of a boost from it, but that is better than just waiting for what comes along. I guess it can be seen as a punchy call, but it is better for me than just lolloping along in the south.

'Last night was difficult again, very unsettled wind and seas. I was pretty knackered by the end of it. There were a lot of sail changes and manoeuvres in the end. So I set the pilot to compass to get some sleep. That is not very efficient but I feel better for it now.'

Mike Golding website
Vendee Globe website

by Emily Caroe



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