by Emily Caroe
Vendee Globe skipper Mike Golding, onboard Gamesa, brings us up to date on his progress in the race and how his Christmas at sea is going.
2012 Vendee Globe - Mike Golding onboard Gamesa
Merry Christmas everyone! I'm fine, obviously it is nighttime down here, so my Christmas day is over. It has been quite busy, changing up through the sail plan and now the wind is pretty much dead downwind, so not exactly as forecast, we should be on a firm starboard gybe.
How many Christmas Days have you had at sea, Mike?
Oh my God! I don't know, is the honest answer. It is probably more than a dozen. For the French listeners, that's 12!
How are things going?
It is good, we are fully here in the south, thundering along. This is what the Vendée Globe is all about. Obviously at this time of year, it's Christmas, it is kind of difficult, you are missing your family and you are wondering what they are all up to, but the reality is you have to keep your mind on the boat and make sure you have a safe day.
Have you had your Christmas dinner?
I had nothing special, it is a bit boisterous, I had a readymade meal ready, but haven't attempted that as will wait until conditions are a little less dicey.
I have opened some Christmas presents. The ones that shake and rattle like sweets, I've opened those, and the square and heavy ones that I know will be a book, I'll wait for! I haven't done anything properly and waiting for a calmer period to enjoy it more.
What's the weather looking like going forward?
Well it looks pretty consistent, the only thing is that right now we are not doing what the file says we should be doing, but the file is indicating quite a lot of consistent breeze, it is all behind us, which is frustrating, so not necessarily pointing straight at the file which is disappointing. It would be nice to settle on one gybe and have a few good days of mileage without any problems.
25 December 2012 08:30 GMT: Mike Golding spent his Christmas Eve in lively, bumpy sea conditions with Gamesa snugged down to a staysail and third reef with more than 35kts of wind at times, but with the strongest wind now dropped slightly he is making fast speeds as he moves into Christmas night (Australasian time) under small A7 spinnaker and one reef in 25kts of wind.
'It was pretty lively, a very bumpy old night really, quite unpleasant at times but it is better now though there is still a very awkward sea. I was down to third reef and staysail for a while. Now I’m on the A7 and one reef and it is looking a bit better for my night, it does look a bit more stable and I should, no I hope to be in for a reasonable night.
'Bit by bit I am getting into Christmas and the things I am finding. There are lots of nice nibbles around, I’m tucking into some nice jelly beans just now, and there are a few bits and bobs around which I’m going to enjoy. I spoke to Soren [Golding's nine year old son] yesterday evening and will call home again in a while.'
Vendee Globe website