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GREAT GAINS FOR GOLDING

by Susan Preston Davis on 26 Jan 2001
Mike Golding continues in his chase for Josh Hall in 8th place - according
to the official position reports he has clocked 341 miles in last 24 hours,
gaining 172 miles on Hall's lead. Golding is now just 203 miles behind
Hall and 921 miles astern of Catherine Chabaud in 7th - Chabaud is
currently doing just 6.5 knots to Golding's 12 knots. This morning
Golding spoke to Race Headquarters in Paris and the following is a
transcript of his radio 'chat' with thanks to www.vendeeglobe.com:-

'I'm fine, just taking another reef in! I've been steadily headed all night
and just now I'm 10 - 15 degrees off the course required. I'm allowing the
boat to make some speed because I don't want to grind her up too much. I'm
struggling upwind and keep looking at the keel and rudders as the boat
feels slow, thinking I've caught something, but it's just that I'm in the
Atlantic in an adverse current of 1 and a half knot or more. Looking at the
GPS data in comparison to the actual boat speed is peculiar. The wind is
stable, slowly building. There's a bright sun, blue sky, but it's strange
after being used to going downhill for a month.'

When asked about how it feels to be living on a boat now constantly heeled
over: 'It's horrible! At least it's warmer, I've shed one layer of clothing
but I'm not out of my thermals yet. One improvement is that I can sleep
with just the Velcro hatch cover open now to air out the boat properly.'

'The boat is fine. The batten at the top of the Kevlar trinquette
(Staysail) broke - it's full length so it's easy to break - I had a spare,
which I'd already used so I've had to cut it slightly so it will fit into
the top pocket of the Kevlar sail. I've still got a bit more work to do on
the pocket but the Kevlar is doing fine.'

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