The duel between Vendee Globe 2012-13 skippers Mike Golding and Jean Le Cam has lost nothing of its intensity as the pair pass the latitude of Madiera this morning with Golding slightly quicker again on the very early morning poll. He is just 53 miles behind as the pair negotiate a tricky, messy weather pattern between two high pressure systems. One is centred more or less over the Azores and the other over the Straits of Gibraltar. They are following a route up between the two with both in 11-12kts SE’ly winds this morning which is allowing them to make fair speeds of between 13 and 14kts. The pair still have around 850 miles to Cape Finisterre with Golding having made up 10 miles since yesterday despite his problems with the keel box on Gamesa.
Mike Golding onboard Gamesa - 2012 Vendee Globe
'The breeze is easing down a bit now and I think we are in for a quiet 24 hours. I will pretty much just keep along this route but really I have to wait and see if this file is right. It has me staying on starboard. There was an option to split to the north but I really could not see it as viable. I think we are both sailing to the corner, that’s the preferred option and I think Jean [Le Cam] is doing the same. I don’t think there will be any surprises there, but you never know.'
'I’m pretty much focused on the EC model because it is more detailed. It shows a corridor of breeze, a little band of pressure. But it is going back and forwards between Jean [Le Cam] and I. The models do conflict as to what can happen. It could fill from the south and if it did I’d do well from that. This has been some of the best sailing, the best racing I have had. I’d love to say I’m enjoying it but to be honest I just want to get in and get finished. I have pretty much run out of everything. I have food left but there are none of the niceties that make it work, however, I have enough calories.'
'Our ETA is a bit variable at the moment, depending on how much of a stoppage we get.'
Mike Golding website
Vendee Globe website