Working on the old Vendée Globe wisdom that the quietest boat on the dock is the best-prepared campaign, Mike Golding was making an early bid for the lead as he and his shore crew spent Saturday afternoon go-karting on a wet Mecamax track, just north of Les Sables d’Olonne.
His 60ft boat, Gamesa, lay quiet as he swapped one pit lane for another. With 20 days to go to the start of his fourth consecutive Vendée Globe, Golding was in relaxed mood. “We’re in good shape and pretty confident of the boat,” the 52-year-old solo skipper, said. “There hasn’t been a lot of stress from a competitive point of view this year. We’d already done an awful lot of work and changes to the boat last year. There’s no wind forecast, we have may go out once this week, but we don’t have to.”
His only disappointment was that the racing was ten-minute sprints. “So, it’s not an endurance event?” Golding said, half-jokingly, before the start. Ian ‘Mucky’ McCabe, Gamesa’s composite engineer, edged to the to the top of the leaderboard with a fastest lap 00:58:10.
Photo: Mike Golding (Gamesa; right front), with his shore crew: Graham 'Gringo' Tourell (behind), Ian 'Mucky' McCabe, composite engineer (front left) and Mikey 'no nickname' Ferguson, preparateur (back left). Not pictured: Emily Caroe (attaché de presse).