Fuel and supplies drop for Mike Golding

The Royal Australian Navy came to the rescue of another Vendee Globe around the world sailor yesterday, only hours after picking up Yann Eliès, the French yachtsman who had broken a leg, on Saturday. HMAS Arunta stopped while passing Briton Mike Golding on his dismasted Ecover 3 and gave him an early Christmas present.

The Royal Australian Navy dropped off 200 litres of fuel, some bread, meat and beer as Ecover 3 struggled north under a jury rig made from the boom.

Golding was still 300 miles off the Australian coast yesterday after his mast was snapped a week ago, only hours after he had taken the lead. Golding, was making 3.5 knots and estimated that he would reach Western Australia by Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.