Sailing: Golding sets pace but sails into hardship

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The Independent Online

A hard first night kept the solo yachtsmen in the Transat race from Plymouth to Boston on almost unbroken watch, with sleep a luxury afforded to the few.

A hard first night kept the solo yachtsmen in the Transat race from Plymouth to Boston on almost unbroken watch, with sleep a luxury afforded to the few.

The following winds which had rushed them through the western approaches of the Channel, turned the second 24 hours into an uphill struggle by the time the leaders were off southern Ireland in a full Atlantic swell.

Disputing the lead in the 60-foot monohull class were France's Jean-Pierre Dick in Virbac and Britain's Mike Golding in Ecover, who ran into early problems with his swinging keel.

He is pumping it manually, a tiring chore which, he says, will leave him with "arms like Popeye's" after the 2,800-mile race.

Leading the 60-foot multihulls was a trio of Frenchmen, Thomas Coville in Sodebo, Michel Desjoyeaux in Géant and Franck Cammas in Groupama. Marc Guillemot in Gitana X has retired.

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