Sailing: Golding's late sprint pays off in Brazil

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The Independent Online

As records tumbled and the lead changed from hour to hour in the Volvo Ocean Race in the freezing Southern Ocean, British sailors were celebrating success in the Brazilian sunshine at the end of the two-handed Transat Jacques Vabre.

The Volvo boys twice raised the bar for the best 24-hour run and were constantly threatening to make it a rolling process. Lawrie Smith's 449-mile record had been beaten over the weekend by Jez Fanstone, taking News Corp just through the 450-mile barrier. By last night the official timer Sjoo Sandstrom had clocked his fellow Swede Gunnar Krantz at 459.5 miles enough to give him the lead as the top five played leapfrog, but Grant Dalton was suffering, sixth in Amer Sports One, and his syndicate partner, Lisa McDonald, was falling even further behind in Amer Sports Too.

In the Jacques Vabre, Mike Golding and Marcus Hutchinson in Ecover held off the challenge of Mark Turner and Nick Moloney in Kingfisher to take second place in the Open 60s behind Roland Jourdain and Gael le Cleac'h in Sill. "It was a tremendous race from beginning to end," said a jubilant Golding. "We led for several days, were knocked back and then had to fight all the way to the front again."

There was a time over the last few days, he said, when they were not sure exactly where the opposition was and felt they were being dragged away from their optimum course in order to keep Turner and Moloney under closer cover.

"In the end we started sailing our preferred course and this gave us extra speed," he said. "We turned for the finish line nearly 40 miles out and worried briefly if we had overcooked it, we were even told we had slipped to third, but I didn't believe it and we ended up one and a half hours ahead."

VOLVO OCEAN RACE Second Leg (6,550 nautical miles, Cape Town to Sydney): 1 SEB (G Krantz) 3,484nm to finish; 2 illbruck (J Kostecki) +7nm; 3 Assa Abloy (N McDonald) +15; 4 News Corp (J Fanstone) +28; 5 djuice (K Frostad) +36; 6 Amer Sports One (G Dalton) +187; 7 Amer Sports Too (L McDonald) +539; 8 Tyco – retired.

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