Sailing: Moloney recovers after 'mad' day

With the leader, Vincent Riou, approaching the halfway mark in the Vendée Globe round-the-world race and the man chasing him, Jean Le Cam, 65 miles behind but already at 50 degrees south, the 37th day of flat-out racing continued to make for record progress.

With the leader, Vincent Riou, approaching the halfway mark in the Vendée Globe round-the-world race and the man chasing him, Jean Le Cam, 65 miles behind but already at 50 degrees south, the 37th day of flat-out racing continued to make for record progress.

In what he describes as a "mad" 24 hours, Nick Moloney, eighth and now over 400 miles east of the Kerguelen Islands, had been careering along under one small headsail only, but driven by winds gusting between storm force 11 and hurricane. His yacht, Skandia, was knocked over so hard that the mast was submerged and the wind-measuring wands at the masthead were washed away.

But he righted quickly and has things back under control. "It has been very hard to see a way out of this," he said. "At times I have doubted whether I can make it." Also in calmer mood was Mike Golding. Still lying fifth in Ecover he sees a new opportunity to attack Sébastien Josse for the fourth place he once snatched briefly.

After putting an extra shortening reef in his mainsail for three hours that cost him valuable miles, he said: "I feel like I am back in the game. Things looked a little bleak when I was 850 miles behind but, at half that, [winning] it doesn't seem impossible now."

And what a difference a few hours' sleep made to the tone of the messages from Ellen MacArthur yesterday as she started the tramp east, 1,500 miles west and a couple of degrees south of the Cape of Good Hope. "I have rediscovered the magic of being out here," she said as she was still neck and neck with the solo round-the-world schedule of 72 days and 22 hours set by the man she is trying, in her 75-foot trimaran B&Q, to beat, Francis Joyon.

"The trials and tribulations of the last few days seem miles away. Things are under control and we are heading south," she added.

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