by Emily Caroe
In the Vendee Globe, skipper Mike Golding is trying to keep within striking distance after his boat Gamesa was pummeled by strong squalls on a breezy Wednesday.
Mike Golding (GBR) onboard Gamesa
Mike Golding, skipper of Gamesa, has lost a few miles overnight against his main rivals, dropping down the Vendée Globe leaderboard to ninth place, nine miles behind Jean Le Cam on SynerCiel. After a tough night with some minor drama, Golding is back on the pace early this morning, fighting to claw back lost distance.
'It was a bit of a proverbial fight to be honest in the night. I got hit by a big squall in the night and brought the bow down to take the pressure off the boat and it stayed with me for a lot longer than I expected and so I ended up sailing low for quite a long time which was not what I would have wanted, probably losing 20 miles. It’s not ideal.
'On top of that we are more headed [sailing a lower course] than the files showed, and so we are pushing hard. That might come to be an advantage in the future when it does go softer. But at the moment we are chasing the pressure south.
'I am sure that the three skippers here, Arnaud Boissières, Jean Le Cam and myself, have all been hit by these squalls. And there have been light patches too. Now I have 26kts of wind, the sea state is better and so we are not slamming. We have flashes of doing 18-19kts but the average is a bit less. I am just hunkered down keeping the speed up, getting through this and into the lighter stuff beyond.
'There are no problems with the boat, it is going well. Nominally everything is working, but it is quite hard to get round the boat in these conditions to see how everything is.'
Vendee Globe website