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Golding 'can't afford to stop'

Water in the Gamesa Credit: Mike Golding

Mike Golding, skipper of Gamesa in the Vendee global yacht race, has called in to his Southampton crew following problems with his keel pivot fairing.

"The solution we have come up with is holding," he said. "I can't afford to stop and my focus is to keep the boat moving towards the finish.

"The situation has improved slightly as a result of the rope we wrapped around the bearing plate to stem the flow, and at the moment the level and pressure of the water is being controlled. I'm keeping a close eye on it.

"There are other things that I could do but that involves stopping, and I'm in a race to Les Sables d'Olonne, fighting for fifth and stopping is not an option I want to consider right now."

The skipper sent through the picture above in the keel box lid, with the bow of Gamesa at the top of the image.

  1. Sarah Gomme

Golding determined to finish solo race

Mike Golding has been working for the past 24 hours to resolve an issue with his keel. Investigations over the side of the boat with a camera yesterday evening revealed that the front fairing of the keel olive has been lost.

With only ten days remaining for this, Golding's fourth Vendée Globe, solo, round the world race, a solution needs to be sought immediately to ensure Golding can reach the finish line in Les Sables d'Olonne, France.

"Mike discovered this late yesterday whilst trying to use the bilge pump which empties into the keel box. The pump didn't work and this then led Mike to the keel box which he found was full of water, over the level of the keel head and the rams.

“There is a lot of turbulence at the front of the keel and without the fairing, water is being driven up into the keel box, faster than the water can drain out by the Venturi system"

– Gamesa Boat Captain Graham Tourell

Yachting hero celebrates despite ice fear

Mike Golding Credit: Mike Golding

British solo skipper, Mike Golding, rounded the fearsome Cape Horn today, becoming the only person to have raced around this infamous rock three times each way: west to east and east to west.

The solo skipper from Hampshire is in sixth place in the Vendee Globe round the world yacht race.

He said the large amount of ice, which have drifted north into the race track, made this his most stressful rounding yet.

Golding, a former firefighter, said: “I think there has probably been ice before, but we just did not know about it and went around blissfully unaware in years gone by. But now with the ice-tracking technology available to the race, we are all the more aware and it is much more stressful."