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GJW Direct 2020

Vendee Globe...Golding races clock in last 24 hours before the finish.

by Philippe Jeantot on 28 Feb 2001
British skipper, Mike Golding (Team Group 4), is the next competitor expected to finish the Vendée Globe, and is already on his final 24 hours of the race. Clearly exhausted during his
last radio chat from the Race HQ this morning, Golding reported to have had 45 knots of wind in permanence last night rounding Cap Finisterre, and was in desperate need of sleep. 'I
am able to go fast but the problem is the slamming. I¹m 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. You get this kind of wind speed in the South but the waves are longer, more uniform. I¹m not sure if IŒve ever dropped my main on this race, but I did last night.'

Unlike his recent predecessors, who endured prolonged, light upwind conditions in the Bay of Biscay,
Golding will be able to benefit from a good wind direction and strength right up to the end, as he expects the breeze to remain steady and shift to the North. His ETA is for early on
Wednesday morning, and he is looking good to beat Marc Thiercelin¹s race time and become the 4th fastest boat to finish, given his 8 day and 4 hour delay on the rest of the fleet.
Whatever the time, Golding will certainly be the first skipper to have completed a solo, non-stop circumnavigation in both directions on a monohull, when he crosses the finish line of
the Vendée Globe.

Bernard Gallay (Voilà.fr) & Josh Hall (EBP ­ Gartmore) have also caught a ride on the good wind train and are heading directly towards Les Sables d¹Olonne at an average of 12 knots.
They are matching each other in boat speed, Gallay maintaining a slim control over Hall still, with only a matter of 40 odd miles separating them. If they keep up this kind of average
speed, the two skippers are likely to finish on Thursday during the day.

Thierry Dubois (Solidaires) finished his round the world voyage last night, albeit rather reluctantly and no longer in the race rankings, after 109 days at sea. The strong following winds
enabled Dubois to average 16 knots in his last 24 hours. This helped boost his morale, as he confessed later. 'At least I was lucky enough to sail the last stretch downwind. It¹s true I
was thinking of heading for home (La Trinité Sur Mer), but really my dream is a little shattered. My satisfaction comes from the fact that I followed through my project to the end, but I
haven¹t got any sporting satisfaction out of it. I have come out of this Vendée wounded, I¹ve failed and I know I won¹t return in 4 years time. However my boat is good, I won't be
letting her go.'

ETA

Mike Golding (Team Group 4) is expected to arrive at around 0600hrs local time

Bernard Gallay (Voilà.fr) et Josh Hall (EBP ­ Gartmore), Thursday during the day

Catherine Chabaud (Whirlpool), Friday night

Yves Parlier (Aquitaine Innovations) ­ 15th March


Radio Chat:

Mike Golding (Team Golding): 'The weather is horrendous, there¹s 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. It¹s freezing too. 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,
I¹m sure it¹s very close to Les Sables d¹Olonne. When I cross the finish line I¹d like some coffee flavoured soup! I have to get some sleep in the next 6 hours, I didn¹t manage any going
round Cap Finisterre.'

Didier Munduteguy (DDP ­ 60ème Sud) : 'I¹m really tired, I really don¹t understand these winds at all. I tack all over the place, it¹s awful. The wind veered from North East to North
West, then South East and South West, then died off. I spent 4 ­ 5 hours totally becalmed last night. The weather files predicted a depression more in the South, and I think perhaps
this depression is generating these wind shifts. I¹m exhausted having to helm and trim the sails or tack the boat the whole time. I¹m trying to creep North mile by mile.'

Patrice Carpentier (VM Matériaux): 'I¹m on the direct route with 25 knots of wind, sailing under genoa, staysail and main with one reef. Perhaps the wind will freshen during the day.
The boat sails all by herself under pilot. If there was sunshine now, conditions would be ideal. I¹m missing my cigarettes so to compensate I snack. I¹m sure I¹ll have put on weight. I
suck on those ŒLaughing Cow¹ cheese triangles, so I¹m sure it¹s more healthy.

Yves Parlier (Aquitaine Innovation): 'I don¹t suffer from permanent hunger. I slice up my seaweed like a cordon bleu chef! I even tried to think of a way to powderise them but it won¹t
work, it¹s too humid. What¹s left then? An abundance of seaweed! Otherwise I have: one spoonful of powdered milk in the morning, 400g of powdered chestnut, some freeze-dried food
which I mix with the fish & seaweed, 1 tube of tomato sauce, some spices, 2400 calories of survival rations, 4 packets of biscuits, 100g of butter, some olive oil, honey, foie gras,
sardines and tuna. That¹s it! You know the entire contents now! Oh, yes, the most important thing, I also have one and a half bars of chocolate left, so that¹s one square every two
days!'


Latest Ranking* polled at 0955hrs (UT):

Psn Boat Skipper Lat Long Headg Av. Speed** DTF***
1 PRB Michel Desjoyeaux Finish: 10 February 2008hrs 32 sec
2 Kingfisher Ellen MacArthur Finish: 11 February 2036hrs 40 sec
3 Sill Matines & La Potagère Roland Jourdain Finish: 13 February 1713hrs 33 sec
4 Active Wear Marc Thiercelin Finish: 20 February 1248hrs 49sec
5 Union Bancaire Privée Dominique Wavre Finish: 22 February 1858hrs 12sec
6 Sodebo Savourons la Vie Thomas Coville Finish: 22 February 2335hrs 0sec
7 Team Group 4 Mike Golding 44°26'N 07°21'W 61 10.5 255
8 Voilà.fr Bernard Gallay 43°09'N 13°55'W 70 11.4 554
9 EBP - Défi PME - Gartmore Josh Hall 42°58'N 14°43'W 74 12.7 591
10 Nord Pas de Calais - Chocolats du Monde Joe Seeten 35°17'N 22°37'W 18 9 1154
11 VM Matériaux Patrice Carpentier 33°04'N 26°28'W 45 12.4 1385
12 Aquarelle.com Simone Bianchetti 19°50'N 35°30'W 44 9.45 2282
13 Aquitaine Innovations Yves Parlier 02°25'N 34°12'W 347 8.64 3175
14 DDP - 60ème Sud Didier Munduteguy 17°34'S 33°22'W 69 5.56 4315
15 Wind Pasquale de Gregorio 32°58'S 41°25'W 13 8.2 5317

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