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TEAM GROUP 4 LATEST - Wednesday 15th November 2000

by MPR on 16 Nov 2000
Mike Golding and his Team Group 4 shore crew continue to work furiously to
prepare his Open 60 'Team Group 4' for her re-start in the Vendée Globe.


Monday's arrival of the spare mast from 'Team Group 4's' home port of
Ocean Village, Southampton diverted activity from the boat and into the
shed. The mast had been stored in Southampton for some 12 months and was
obviously in need of attention. Work has gone on around the clock on the
mast up until last night when it was painted. The team from Alu Carbon -
makers of the mast - have reinforced the spar and repaired the boom which
had been broken at the root. The track has also been reinforced to
accommodate the new mainsail and genoa which will arrive from North Sails
France tomorrow. Riggers from Future Fibres in London will arrive in Les
Sables D'Olonne today with the standing rigging which was made in the UK.
They will also bring out the spectre covers made in record time by English
Braids. They will work alongside French riggers to complete the rigging
this afternoon. Former Project Manager, Mervyn Owen, who supervised the
original build of Team Group 4 and organised the delivery of the spar mast
from Southampton, has also arrived from the UK ready to help. The
headsail furling gear has been replaced and the rudder, daggerboard and
tiller bar are currently en-route back to Les Sables after repairs at AMCO
in La Trinite. New titanium stanchions have been built to replace those
lost on the port side of 'Team Group 4' when the mast came down on
Thursday night. Late today the new fresh food supplies will be loaded and
the boat will be taken into the Commercial Dock at Les Sables ready for a
very early start tomorrow when all of the new and repaired gear will go
back onboard.

Mike Golding aims to be out testing the new gear by tomorrow afternoon with
a view to re-starting the Vendée Globe on Friday morning. He wants to be
back out racing as soon as possible and has been watching the progress of
the fleet. He remains very optimistic that he can get right back into the
race. His eye is firmly on the course record of 105 days, 20 hours, 31
minutes and 23 seconds set by Christophe Augin in 1996. He is full of
admiration for the support he and the team have had during the last few
days. 'Suppliers both here and at home in the UK have pulled out all the
stops to get us back on the water. Everyone has worked so hard it's been
amazing' said Golding. On a personal level Golding said 'I'm just doing
the best that I can to get back out there - the sooner the better, I need
to get going now and make up some of this time. I'm looking forward to
getting out on the water tomorrow for the testing and back into the swing
of things'.

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