Golding held up by Doldrums

Mike Golding (GBR) and Bruno Dubois (Bel-Can) crossed the finish line of the 2007 Transat Jacques Vabre at 02:09:33hrs local time (05:09:33hrs GMT) this morning in the new ECOVER 3, taking a hard earned fifth place in what has been the longest, most competitive and most tactical edition of this key IMOCA Open 60 race ever.

ECOVER 3 finished 13 hours 32 minutes and 28 seconds behind race winners Michel Desjoyeaux and Manu Le Borgne (FRA) on the new Foncia, and one hour 35 minutes and 42 seconds ahead of sixth placed Groupe Bel (Kito de Pavant and Sebastien Col, FRA).

Wearing a broad smile as he stepped on to the dock at Salvador’s Bahia State Sports Secretariat Centre, to a traditional welcoming caiparinha, Golding admitted that their fifth place was bittersweet.

The new ECOVER 3 was only launched on September 17th and Golding and Dubois had only sailed on her on seven days before they started the 4340 miles double handed race from Le Havre on Saturday November 3rd, they lead the highly competitive16 boat fleet for nearly one third of the race and only faltered when they made a wrong tactical choice in the Doldrums.

The duo were also hampered by a persistent problem with the engine of the new boat which required regular attention and by a malfunctioning water ballast scoop which affected their ability to trim the boat for best speed, but Golding said it was probably their tactical choice entering the Doldrums which put paid to their chances of victory.