Comes with many mile boots: Mike Golding, "Ecover"
On the 38th day of the 25,000 nautical mile race, the five leading ships sail south of the Australian continent, less than 300 nautical miles apart.
British sailor Mike Golding is getting better and better into the race. Within the last ten days he and his "Ecover" managed to make up almost 500 nautical miles behind the two leading French sailors Vincent Riou ("PRB") and Jean Le Cam ("Bonduelle"). A brilliant performance that puts the Englishman back exactly on his tactical route. Even at the beginning of the race he was of the opinion that if he was not more than 400 miles behind by Cape Horn, he would have a good chance of victory. Well, he's not even 300 miles from Riou right now. At 4 a.m. on Thursday morning there were only 273 left - and the trend is sharply decreasing.
With Golding in fifth place, Sébastien Josse ("VMI", 243 nm behind) and Roland Jourdain ("Sill et Véolia", 143 nm behind), who are sailing in front of him, are getting closer and closer to Riou and Le Cam. If the current low pressure area, which propels the three pursuers at an average speed of 16 knots, continues to serve them, a kind of restart appears possible when the leading yachts enter the southern Pacific.
Good for the sailing fans, bad for Vincent Riou, who the day before yesterday still had a comfortable lead of over 100 nautical miles on Le Cam and more than 400 nautical miles on Golding. But this doesn't seem to make Riou particularly nervous. "The race is on, and even if I'm only 10 miles ahead, I'm still in the lead," he said of the events in his wake.
Happy to be still alive and in the running: Nick Moloney, "Skandia"
The "Skandia" skipper Nick Moloney had reason for nervousness yesterday. When he reported back to the race management after two days in a storm with 65 knots of wind and breaking waves ("20 feet high white water"), he couldn't believe that he had survived this time. He reported capsizing and terrible noises, caused by the standing and running rigging, which was scraped across the deck by the masses of water, and from "looking at the bottom of the pool" when he only saw the darkness of the sea below.
"I called my family to say goodbye to them," he said during the conversation with the race management, visibly shocked. "I couldn't do anything for a few hours. It was sheer luck that no more waves caught me and I survived." (An excerpt from his conversation at:
Benoît Parnaudeau, Anne Liardet, Raphael Dinelli, Keren Leibovici and Conrad Humphreys will also have to worry in the next few days. In the north of them two low pressure areas have united and have grown into a solid hurricane. This is now moving south, exactly towards the five yachts. The race management has already warned the sailors.
Ranking on Thursday morning:
1. PRB, Vincent Riou, 12,562.8 nautical miles to destination 2. Bonduelle, Jean Le Cam, 55.3 nautical miles behind leader (ShF) 3. Sill et Véolia, Roland Jourdain, 143.9 ShF4. VMI, Sebastien Josse, 243.4 ShF5. Ecover, Mike Golding, 273.2 ShF6. Temenos, Dominique Wavre, 1,187.6 ShF7. Virbac-Paprec, Jean-Pierre Dick, 1,569.0 ShF8. Skandia, Nick Moloney, 1,772.7 ShF9. Pro-Form, Marc Thiercelin, 2,062.4 ShF10. VM Matériaux, Patrice Carpentier, ShF 2,372.911. Arcelor Dunkerque, Joé Seeten, ShF 2,404.712. Ocean Planet, Bruce Schwab, 2,734.6 ShF13. Max Havelaar / Best Western, Benoît Parnaudeau, ShF 2,962.614. ROXY, Anne Liardet, 3,047.0 ShF15. Benefic, Karen Leibovici, 3,371.0 ShF16. AKENVérandas, Raphaël Dinelli, ShF 3,379.517. Hellomoto, Conrad Humphreys, 3,605.3 Sh
DNF: Hugo Boss, Alex Thomson DNF: UUDS, Hervé LaurentDNF: brother, Norbert Sedlacek