Sailing: Golding finds silver lining to recover second place

The cat and mouse game of dodging the light air around the south Atlantic high pressure zone was under way yesterday as Mike Golding battled his way back into second place in the Vendée Globe around-the-world race. The 44-year-old had recovered from the setback of losing 50 miles when the rope halyard holding up the mainsail parted as he was within a whisker of taking the lead for the first time in the race.

The cat and mouse game of dodging the light air around the south Atlantic high pressure zone was under way yesterday as Mike Golding battled his way back into second place in the Vendée Globe around-the-world race. The 44-year-old had recovered from the setback of losing 50 miles when the rope halyard holding up the mainsail parted as he was within a whisker of taking the lead for the first time in the race.

In a mixture of fury and frustration he climbed the mast to make a repair and then "found a second wind" as he shrugged off the misfortune and gave chase.

By taking a more westerly course than the pair he was chasing, Vincent Riou and Jean le Cam, he reeled in the miles and was rewarded with overtaking the most easterly of the trio, Le Cam, by 10 miles as he cut the deficit he needed to make up to take the lead from Riou from 52 miles to 23.

Ellen MacArthur, who expects to make the big psychological breakthrough of rounding Cape Horn today, still has five days in hand as she starts the leg back up the Atlantic which will decide if she is to become the new record holder for sailing around the world.

The target of 72 days 22 hrs 54min is still 27 days away and she has about 7,000 miles to the finish. But, as MacArthur says: "The area where you have the most unstable, the lightest winds, is the Atlantic."

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