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by Team Group 4 Media Release on 18 Nov 2000
After working throughout last night, under floodlights, on Team Group 4,
Mike Golding and his shore team are almost at the point where there is
nothing more to be done but to go sailing. The bad weather over the last
24 hours caused a major delay in stepping the 'new' mast yesterday cutting
into the time that had been planned for sailing to test the new rig and
sails. Team Group 4 will leave the dock shortly and this will be Mike
Golding's first opportunity to test the new configuration. The weather in
Les Sables D'Olonne is good and should give him a chance to put the boat
through her paces. It is expected that any problems will be quickly
apparent in which case they will return to the dock for more work. If all
is going well then the team will be dropped off into RIBs and Golding will
re-start his Vendee Globe challenge and record attempt.

Monsieur Jacques Archambaud, Director du Port of Les Sables D'Olonne will
be present having been asked by FICO to be the official timekeeper for
Golding's re-start.

At an impromptu dockside press conference earlier this afternoon Golding
was upbeat and looking forward to getting back onto the water. He
reinforced his intention to beat the course record set by Christophe Auguin
in 1996 of 105 days, 20 hours, 31 minutes and 23 seconds. Full of praise
for his shore team and the way that people have rallied round during the
last 7 days Golding said

'The biggest strength that I have got now is that so many people have been
supportive and that's been a tremendous boost. People have popped up from
all over the place offering help. Last night, for instance, we had 15
people working on the boat and this morning the results of that work has
come together and we are starting to see some real potential of being back
in the race not just with a mast but with a mast which will allow me to
make the best job of the race I can.'

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