by Emily Caroe
In the Vendee Globe, following an exhausting day of repairs to reduce the damage caused by a missing front fairing plate in Mike Golding's keel, the skipper of Gamesa has held his position against his nearest rival, France's Jean Le Cam [SynerCiel], polling 12 knots this morning. In the last 24h, Golding has been averaging 11.3 knots to Le Cam's 9.8, hoping to eek back the miles lost when he stopped the boat yesterday afternoon to administer repairs within the keel box.
Mike Golding, Gamesa - 2012 Vendee Globe
The duo are battling in perfect conditions, according to Golding, with Gamesa in reaching conditions in 11 knots of breeze, 700 miles South West of the Canary Islands.
Speaking to his team in Southampton this morning, he said, 'Firstly, I would like to congratulate Alex on a fantastic race. Before the race began it was clear that Alex had a good connection with this boat and he has sailed the race he deserves. I have communicated with him once or twice and he was solid with his conviction to finish the race. He was determined to finish and it's great that he has a podium finish to boot.'
'The situation with the keel, if i am honest, is not much better. There is small improvement, and there are no problems at the moment. If anything it is disappointing after all that work that the situation isn't better, but we have taken some pressure off and that has to be good.
'It's lovely sailing, at last! I'm in reaching conditions, not flat water, but a very gentle, quiet sea. It's reasonably steady, beautiful light and good conditions. This is probably the last really genuinely nice day of sailing before the finish, one of the very few I'm going to have and I'm going to enjoy it as much as I can. And to put the cherry on the cake, we are taking miles out of Jean [Le Cam]. I'm looking forward to seeing Les Sables d'Olonne again.'
Vendee Globe website
Mike Golding website