Please select your home edition
Edition
Gul 2018 October - Code Zero 728x90

Top short-handed sailor on the merits of the Mixed Offshore Race

by Tip and Shaft 9 Nov 2018 14:21 PST 10 November 2018
Sam Goodchild and Mike Golding on Peter Harding's Class40 Phor-ty at the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race start © James Tomlinson

French sailing newsletter Tip and Shaft interviewed Mike Golding a veteran of the trans-oceanic and short-handed scene since 1992. He is notable for being a Brit in a French dominated area of the sport. The main point of interest centred around his views on the proposed Mixed Two-Person Offshore event, which was signed off last weekend at World Sailing's Annual General Meeting in Sarasota, Florida.

Under normal circumstances Mike Golding would have been in Saint Malo to enjoy the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe start. But the four times Vendée Globe starter who dedicated nearly 20 years of his life to the solo round the world race and the classic Transatlantics was in Sarasota at the World Sailing Annual Conference. He was invited there along with Dee Caffari to give their perspective on solo and short handed ocean racing at a key forum. Golding was not directly involved in the decision to bring an offshore event into the Olympic roster for 2024 but knowing French sailing like he does, and especially how the oceanic sport has a huge public following in France, this time he was happy to forego the pleasures of Saint Malo and undertake essential missionary work at just the right time.

What was your feeling about your first World Sailing conference?

The whole World Sailing set up seemed inordinately complicated with so many meetings and mixed agendas. I would say the offshore and oceanic forum was well attended with people like Dee there helped. I took some risks. I stood in a room full of Olympians and told them the Olympics was the equivalent of go karting compared to Formula 1. That was a bit of a gamble. But to some extent it was water off a duck’s back. Five seconds later they were arguing the toss about Olympic event minutiae. But in the context of offshore inclusion in the Olympics, it was part of a general impetus for a representation of offshore sailing in the Olympics.

So you are happy with the outcome?

Of course there are so many people complaining we have lost the Finn. But in the end that is one of ten medals. If it goes that far that there is offshore racing in the Olympics it is one of ten medals. And at least it has been given a try. And the other thing is because it will happen 24 hours a day, for the first time in Olympic history when all the sports stop at the end of the local daytime, then this will still be Olympic sport going on. You can have 24 hours of a day coverage going on outside of the arena. My point is it is going on 24/7 all around the world. Sailing in the Olympics is definitely niche and definitely not the most popular and is a terrible sport for TV. Now it can occupy a different space which no other event can. And I think that will increase the profile tremendously.

Do you have concerns?

There is mileage I am sure, provided World Sailing choose the right boat, the right equipment and the right set of rules. And there I am worried. They have a working party that is assembling ideas. But Stan Honey is the only person I can see with any sizeable offshore experience but he has no shorthanded experience. I am a little concerned about some things. They were talking about engines. I am saying you don’t want to take a diesel engine to the Olympics. For any sake ! We are in the 21st century ! Discussions like that irritate me. I can see that going wrong. Same with autopilots. You need autopilots or the race is not long enough. A 24 hour race is no good. It has to be long enough that you have to sleep. You have to rest. It has to be an offshore race, like a Figaro, nothing more nothing less.

What do you think of the equipment choice?

World Sailing should be commissioning a design. I think World Sailing should build and buy 20 of these designs which are not then commercially available. Those boats should be maintained as a unit for training and racing, a closed fleet for the Olympic and World Championship events only, so then Zimbabwe would have as much access to these boats as the UK. Or there could be 40 at different international hubs but the idea is you prevent the rich nations getting ahead. You are charged to use the boats and access is limited and equalised. I think there is a workable system. What you don’t do is have a Figaro 3, you don’t have foils, you don’t have complexities. You have a very simple boat. The boat they have chosen the L30 has a lift keel with a trim tab. You don’t want all that stuff. You don’t need it and complexity is divisive on the water. Teams who know how to use a trim tab would do better than teams that don’t. You want a real simple boat. I think it needs to look cool.

For the full newsletter click here

Related Articles

Hempel World Cup Series Genoa day 6
First medals go to Australia, The Netherlands and Spain Odile van Aanholt and Marieke Jongens (NED) won the 49erFX Medal Race, moving up two places to win gold before Australian brothers David and Lachy Gilmour sealed the deal in the 49er. Posted on 20 Apr
Hempel World Cup Series Genoa day 5
Scene set for 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 Medal Races The fifth day of competition in Genoa saw a long awaited 6-9 knot steady western breeze arrive, ensuring that 41 of 42 races were completed. Posted on 19 Apr
Hempel World Cup Series Genoa day 4
Hat-trick puts Dutch 49erFX team in pole position Odile van Aanholt and Marieke Jongens (NED) snapped up a hat trick of race wins in the 49erFX to propel themselves into pole position at the Hempel World Cup Series event in Genoa, Italy. Posted on 18 Apr
Hempel World Cup Series Genoa day 3
The 67-boat fleet is split into blue and yellow for the qualification series Laser Radial racing commenced on the third day of competition at Hempel World Cup Series Genoa and Line Flem Høst (NOR) and Switzerland's Maud Jayet took the first race wins of the series to share an early lead. Posted on 17 Apr
Hempel World Cup Series Genoa day 2
Tomasgaard and Stipanovic took hard earned yellow and blue fleet victories The Italian city was hit with a light 5-6 knot wind on the second day of competition which meant that the split Laser fleet could only complete one race apiece. Posted on 16 Apr
Genoa gearing up for Hempel World Cup Series debut
Italian city of Genoa preparing to host over 700 sailors The Italian city of Genoa is preparing to host over 700 sailors between 15-21 April 2019 for the first ever Hempel World Cup Series regatta to be held in the country. Posted on 12 Apr
World Sailing's Sustainability Agenda 2030
World Sailing's Sustainability Agenda 2030 World Sailing President Kim Andersen joined organisers of the 50th anniversary edition of the Princesa Sofía Iberostar Trophy for the presentation of its sustainability program on 31 March. Posted on 6 Apr
Foiling Formula Kite added to Hempel Worlds Final
To be held in Marseille, France from 2-9 June 2019 Men's and Women's Foiling Formula Kiteboarding has been added to the Hempel World Cup Series Final which will be held in Marseille, France from 2-9 June 2019. Posted on 2 Apr
World Sailing Presidential Newsletter: March 2019
Kim Andersen's latest update I hope you are enjoying the Spring weather and getting the chance to get out on the water or enjoy watching some sailing as a spectator! It's a very busy time as we work on delivering the changes which will take our great sport forward. Posted on 30 Mar
L30 adopted for World Sailing Offshore Worlds
30-foot one design keelboat selected for two-person mixed competition World Sailing is pleased to announce that the L30, a 30-foot one design keelboat, has been selected as the supplied equipment for World Sailing's Offshore World Championship from 2020. Posted on 27 Mar
RS Sailing BOTTOMGul 2018 October - Code Zero FOOTERVaikobi 2019 - Footer 2