Vendée Globe - Mike Golding's monohull relaunched

Mike Golding’s Gamesa leaving the shed, having it’s rudders fitted and being placed in the water - Vendée Globe 2012
Mike Golding's monohull Gamesa came out of the Green Marine boat yard in Hythe, Great Britain, last Tuesday and will be christened by Princess Anne at the Southampton Boat Show, on 20th September.

For Golding, this is the first step on the way to his ultimate goal of becoming the first British sailor to win the Vendée Globe.

For almost three months now, Gamesa has been through an important fine-tuning programme. The keel was replaced this week in Saxon Wharf and a new mast is due to be stepped on Thursday. The designer Merfyn Owen explains: 'Mike’s instructions were straight forward: to get the boat ready with a unique goal: to win the next Vendée Globe in 2012. When the boat was first conceived, it was a multi-purpose boat, in-shore and offshore, crewed and solo, but now we have re-configured the boat specifically for solo racing. Changes include removing the second coffee grinder winch system and three winches, the cockpit is smaller, saving weight wherever we can to arrive at a measurement displacement of eight tonnes overall and at the same time keeping the same amount of power. '

These changes make the boat more difficult to sail with a crew, but she is also faster and more efficient when sailed single-handed. Mike Golding : 'I’m really pleased with the cockpit. It looks very good, tidy, neat and most importantly safe. The steering position is going to be excellent. All that area looks exactly as we would have designed it if we had started from scratch. It will be an honour to have the boat’s Godmother, HRH The Princess Royal, back onboard and I look forward to showing her around: she won’t recognise the boat as it is radically different since her last visit. Her Royal Highness has always been a fantastic supporter of the team and we look forward to welcoming her back.'

After the Southampton Boat Show, Mike Golding and his co-skipper Bruno Dubois will begin their training programme and carry out their qualification for the Transat Jacques Vabre.

Vendée Globe website