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CoastWaterSports 2014

Vendee Globe Golding still battles with Josh Hall

by Susan Preston Davis on 1 Feb 2001
Mike Golding is still fighting a neck and neck battle with Josh Hall for 8th place in the Vendée Globe. It's been a
heavy night on board Team Group 4 and Golding sent the following report to his shore team:-

'I've had a hell of a night - trying to get through this trough and into the new system. I'm not absolutely sure I'm out of
it yet, but the wind is now coming from the right direction which is a good sign. For the last few days I've been on the
edge of this trough and actually been into it on maybe 3 occasions. Each time I've stopped and each time Josh has
moved forward and away from me. But last night I made a massive effort to try and break through. I went in and as
usual parked, but this time I stayed with it, really pushed the boat. I tried gybing and heading north which I hadn't
done before - that worked for about 5 minutes. I had the right wind direction but then I fell out of it again as it overtook
me. I had to have another go. I caught it again after 2 hours. It began to rain very very heavily, the wind shifted all over
the place and this time headed more north east and that immediately worked and the system moved a little too quick
for me and moved away and the rain moderated and the sky cleared. The normal gradient breeze set up again and I
was left to catch it up. It took me about an hour. This time it started raining heavily and the wind dropped - I must
have gybed the boat 15 or 20 times last night - mostly in light airs, so not terribly hard work, just a lot of things going
on. I started to make some progress and eventually I started to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It was pouring
down so hard and as a result I was able to collect some water. I'm full of water now. Later in the morning I went up on
deck and had a shower and rinsed out some clothes so I've been able to use the rain quite usefully!'

'Right now it looks like I'm out. The net result is that I've lost a bit to Josh and a lot to everyone else. But it had to be
done - at some point we had to go through that. I reckon I've been within a stones throw of that system for about
three and a half days. The slamming that the boat took last night was worse than anything we've experienced on the
Vendée Globe. She was slamming on every single wave, not just every other one or every six waves. I've never come
across a sea that was so bad for a boat like this one'

'Anyway, I think I'm pulling away from the system. If that's the case it remains to be seen whether Josh has made it
through. Despite the loss it could ultimately be a nice gain if he hasn't and he had as bad a night as I had. That's it
for the moment - I'm having a bit of cereal and gonna get some rest and hang the washing out to dry!'

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