Britain’s Golding limps home in round-world race

4th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 4 (AFP) - British sailor Mike Golding limped home in third place in the Vendee Globe round-the-world-race on Friday after losing the keel on his 60-foot-monohull Ecover.

PARIS, Feb 4 (AFP) - British sailor Mike Golding limped home in third place in the Vendee Globe round-the-world-race on Friday after losing the keel on his 60-foot-monohull Ecover.

He finished in 88 days 15 hours 15 minutes 13 seconds - one day four hours after French winner Vincent Riou.

He was still inside the old race record of 93 days set by 2000-2001 winner Michel Desjoyeaux.

Golding filled his ballasts to keep the boat even after the keel gave way just 52.4 miles from the finish at Sables-d'Olonne after completing 25,000 miles.

"I've had a great race, it's been very close," he said after stepping ashore.

"It's thrown just about everything at me and I'm here, living to tell the tale."

He had trailed the leading pair Riou and Jean Le Cam by 800 miles at one stage on the outward-bound leg of this year's race and then forged ahead into the lead after rounding Cape Horn on the homeward leg only to lose a day repairing his mainsail halyard.

He was never able to catch the French pair again as they made the most of better weather systems.

Golding finished seventh in the last race after dismasting shortly after the start.

"Careful - get in the middle. Might fall over!" Golding warned his shore crew and wife Andrea as they stepped on board seconds after Ecover had crossed the line.

In fact with no keel to drag through the water and the bear minimum of sail to propel him along, Golding had made good progress towards the finish. At one point Ecovers speed touched 9 knots.

"Theres an easy way and a hard way," said Golding after he’d tied up. "I feel quite a lot happier about finishing third now."

© AFP

Subject: French News

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