As Davies is pooped
Britain’s Mike Golding, sailing his Open 60 Ecover has marched up the Vendee Globe non-stop, solo round-the-world race fleet and was fourth for a while before dropping back to fifth place.
‘It is really good news, but it does seem to be changing on a daily basis, and so I am not holding my breath, it paid off very well to go south we had the right best angle going up to the gate and it really did pay off.
‘It has been pretty wild, 25-30 knots, the occasional reef in, reef out. Just before the gybe Gitana just crossed ahead of me, on the ‘non-making’ gybe, we must have been half a mile apart, I called to try call Loïck but he was not responding, and as soon as I gybed then it got more breezy, quite quickly and I have had up to 40 knots. So I changed down a bit, trying not to break anything because the boat is really firing along on some big, rolling seas.
‘Half an hour ago the boat was under reacher and fully under water, and every three or four minutes the boat would fully bury up to the mast, and a surge of water would rush past and completely drench everything in the cockpit. Right now I have a much more stable set up.
‘I have one spinnaker twisted in the bow, it is one of these jobs that I will need to get round to, it is not damaged but is just one of these jobs from hell. I don’t need it right now. The reacher has been good these last few days, but it is a bit fruity now.’
Meanwhile another Briton Steve White, sailing Toe in the Water has made a colourful report about his first venture into the Southern Ocean
‘ I am a Southern Ocean “virgin” yes, and I have been thinking a lot about that. It is unlike anywhere else I have ever been. The swell is relentless, a driving swell which is very, very much in charge, and it does things to the boat handling if you slow down and it drives your boat speed up and up and up. You just have to keep a handle on it, because anything that does go wrong could go very, very wrong. Hence the reason I am not really getting into bed very much, I am just always on standby ready to go on deck to reduce sail, and also to make sure that whatever is going through has gone before you put more sail up. The thing that is nerve racking is drawing that balance between preserving the boat and racing, that is the nerve racking thing.
‘If you had said before the start that I would be in 18th – or whatever it is – and such and such would have been ahead and so and so behind – I would probably have been quite happy, but the thing with human nature is once you are in a position is you want to do better, and I have been stuck in 18th since Bernard overtook me and you get a bit itchy and want to start to overtake people and that is when it gets dangerous. We will get a bit nearer to the end and then push.’
And Sam Davies, another British sailor had a spill when her boat Roxy was pooped .
Here is her report: ‘There is still 30-35 knots of wind and Roxy is rocketing along! A funny thing happened last night. I had been struggling to find a safe/comfortable speed and angle, the solent was a bit too much, so I had put the staysail up for the night.I was sleeping and I was awoken by the sound of a waterfall!
‘I quickly remembered where I was – on my boat, in the Southern Ocean. During this time I managed to realise that we were a little bit on our side and the waterfall noise was coming from the hatchway. In fact, the waterfall was coming IN the hatch!
‘ So, what had happened was that Roxy had got picked up and “dumped” by a breaking wave.
‘ Initially, it was quite scary to wake up to that, but actually it was perfectly harmless, just a bit damp. The inconvenience of it all was that I had to get out of bed and wade around in my wellies with the bilge pump to remove the Southern Ocean from my, once dry, floor. One small positive point is that my two buckets had been sitting in firing range and the wave had obediently filled them both up, so at least that was a little bit less work with the sponge.’