A WORLD record attempt for sailing round the world the 'wrong way', sponsored by the security firm with a less than sparkling record for keeping tabs on its charges, was becalmed 12 miles from the Southampton finish yesterday before later running aground, writes Rhys Williams.
Mike Golding, 33, from Slough in Berkshire, deliberately delayed the return of the 67-foot yacht to save ruining the welcoming party Group 4 had arranged for him.
The former fireman was progressing so well that he could have tied up at Southampton last Monday. At his sponsor's request, he agreed to slow down south of the Isles of Scilly. After all, they could not let down the Lord Mayor. But yesterday, as he nestled close to the Needles, the wind dropped.
Friends and representatives of Group 4 set out in search of the lonely sailor. As the scheduled midday arrival passed, the wind picked up and after 167 days at sea Mr Golding finally began drifting slowly up the Solent, where he then ran aground.
The previous record of 292 days for sailing round the world against the prevailing currents and winds, was set by Chay Blyth 22 years ago. So Mr Golding still had 125 days in hand.