by Emily Caroe
In the Vendee Globe, after a tough, long night with a couple of gybes which had him going the way he did not want to go, Mike Golding is credited with moving up to fifth place, ahead of his rival Jean Le Cam (SynerCiel) for the first time in just over one month. It was back on December 13th when they approached the Amsterdam Gate that his French arch rival slipped through to the south of him, and Mike was last ahead of Le Cam.
Mike Golding, Gamesa - 2012 Vendee Globe
'It feels good, but to be honest he might get ahead again, but it is really about the east-west separation at the moment and not distance to finish which is a bit arbitrary,' said Golding this morning.
'It is lovely to be ahead, but really we have both been forced where we are by the separation in the breeze. I am happy where I am. Jean may have some more pressure just now and come back, but longer term I am looking at being at the rotation of the high earlier. I don’t like the idea of being on the coast, it always feels like you are in a corner and if anything changes you can get stuck.
'Meantime it is good on board. The wind is up and down. I am starting to get my head round what the weather files are doing even if there is a little agreement between the models yet. But it looks complicated for both of us for sure. I made two gybes during the night and both times the heading turned out to be horrible and I went back. The seas were not big, but really horrible and the boat was just stopping.
'In effect mine and Jean’s destinies are shaped by the wind we had last night. I could not do anything other than what I did and I don’t think he could either. In the end we were divided by having to sail on our favoured gybes respectively.
'And as far as being ahead of him goes, what is going to matter is getting to the breeze first rather than where we are just now. I am happy on this right side of the course where I should get to the rotation first and the breeze will be more to the right for me. On the coast I always feel like if you get headed at all you are stuck, and it is always upwind, a battle right up to Recife.
'It has been good for me just now. I have sat behind a line of cloud and rain and seem to have a tow from it. It was there last night and the sun is not yet up and I can see it is still there, so that has been nice to get a little tow.
'Yesterday I had a shave, the beard came off. And it was raining so hard in the end I bit the bullet, got my Ecover washing up liquid and had a full body wash. I’ll tell you what, it was cold, but once you get over the initial shock it was OK. Then I had a full change of clothes, new boots, new sleeping bag. And I had a good meal, Thai green curry, and Christmas pudding with custard. It is lovely to be clean!'
Vendee Globe website