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Vendee Globe...Golding fight last storm before finishing

by Susan Preston Davis on 28 Feb 2001
Mike Golding was clearly exhausted this morning when he spoke to Race
Headquarters here in Les Sables D’Olonne where his family, friends and team
are gathered waiting for him to arrive. The following is a transcript
with thanks to www.vendeeglobe.com

'The weather is horrendous, there’s a huge sea running and storm clouds
above. The wind speed is 30 – 35 knots underneath. I had 40 knots last
night continuously. There are some very vicious squalls right now and heavy
rain. I am able to go fast but the problem is the slamming. I’m under storm
staysail and the tiniest head of sail to balance the boat. Just half an
hour ago I took a large solid wave through the main hatch. It’s freezing
too. You get this kind of wind speed in the South but the waves are longer,
more uniform. I’m not sure if I‘ve ever dropped my main on this race, which
I did last night. I spent one hour rigging up a system to fly just a bit of
main, as the boat is too slow without it, but too fast with 1 reef in. The
wind is still fluctuating, I still get 40 degree wind shifts. It should
stay the same or move more to the North, it depends on the centre of the
low, I’m sure it’s very close to Les Sables d’Olonne.'

When asked what flavour soup he would like at the finish line he replied
firmly 'Coffee flavoured!' and went on 'I have to get some sleep in the
next 6 hours, I didn’t manage any going round Cap Finisterre.'

At 0800 hours Golding was 285 miles from the finish and estimating that he
would arrive at the line in the early hours of tomorrow morning. You can
watch the finish live on the web, just visit www.teamgroup4.com and follow
the Vizzavi links. We will have another update later this afternoon

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