Vendee Globe - Mike Golding, Gamesa update from the radio vacs at 12:05 GMT:
You had an interesting night Mike, you put a gybe in, how was that?
It was fine, the shift when it came, came pretty quickly, although I was semi prepared it was still quite complicated, because the shift was quite large it put us in to a nasty head sea which meant the boat was slamming, so not a great situation for a gybe but it went through alright with no problems and we got going initially on almost exactly the same heading with the same sail plan.
Just explain when you gybe you have to move everything from one side of the boat to the other, how long does that take?
You can do the whole thing in around 20 minutes, you are emptying ballast from one side and while the ballast is emptying you can be moving the heavy stuff like sails, you can drop it all down, depending how long that has taken you might be able to move some of the boxes as well, but if you can’t, if the ballast is empty you just go for the gybe and then you move the boxes later, so about 20 minutes for the whole process. In reality last night we were pointing the wrong way so the focus was to the get the boat pointing in the right direction, because obviously if you are going quite fast in the wrong direction that’s worse than having the sails on the right side of the boat, but everything is stacked now and we are all set up, it feels a bit strange on board because we are leaning the other way and it feels like everything is upside down.
How long were you on the other tack for?
We have pretty much been on that tack all the way, we may have had another gybe very briefly, but most of the time we have been on port, we have maneuvered, but it just felt like a long time, I can’t remember specifically.
You have been pushing some speeds recently can you just explain to people what it feels like to travel at 20 knots inside an Open 60?
Right now we are reaching, the boat is keeled over a lot, and we are surfing as well, so the boat is occasionally taking off on waves and there is a tremendous sense of power, everything is shaking, a lot of noise, it feels quite tense all the time, there is a lot of tension in everything, you can hear things clicking and groaning, so it is quite noisy, but then if you are more downwind which is when you’re maintaining perhaps even more speed, the boat can be relatively flat and conditions can actually be quite reasonable, but there is always a lot of noise because the boat is carbon, so with all that noise and the motion it is quite violent, you are moving around a lot. You have to move very carefully inside the boat, to avoid an injury or falling, however, It’s not that bad, I am still able to cook and eat and have hot drinks but you just have to do everything carefully and be careful where you put things. I run a fairly tidy boat so it is not too bad at all.
In difficult conditions is it hard to get some sleep and rest?
No, not really, if the boat and conditions are stable and you are not having to constantly trim sails. You have to set everything up and get the boat defined, once the boat is trimmed and going in a good direction you can get some proper sleep. A lot of my sleep in the Atlantic was taken on the day bed in front of my chart table, but down here I can actually get in to a proper bunk, get in to my sleeping bag and get warm, it is quite comfortable.
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Vendee Globe website
Mike Golding website
by Sara Blackwell - 3:06 PM Sat 1 Dec 2012 GMT
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2012 Vendee Globe
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