Golding relishing the 'expressway'

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The Independent Online

A remarkably relaxed Mike Golding has turned his Open 60 Ecover onto the Southern Ocean expressway in what is the second phase of the Vendee Globe solo round the world race, comfortable in eighth place and still part of the leading group despite being nearly 100 miles behind the leader.

Out front is Seb Josse, the Breton with the British connection. His BT comes from the Cowes-based Offshore Challenges stable, which is run by Ellen MacArthur and Mark Turner, and has been in contention since the fleet left Les Sables d'Olonne over three weeks ago.

Yesterday he had a 40-mile cushion over Yann Elies in a Generali which had taken over the second-place slot from Loick Peyron in Gitana Eighty, and was bowling along at over 15 knots towards the first of many 'gates' which keep the boats north of potential ice danger.

Although in his own permanent tussle with Jean le Cam in VM Materiaux, Golding was focussed on consistency and damage avoidance as he climbed into thermal clothes and foul weather oilskins for a run which takes him from the Cape of Good Hope to Cape Horn, a run he relishes.

Behind Golding, the rest of the remaining six Britons were still waiting for the big westerlies, with Brian Thompson 13th in Bahrain Team Pindar, Sam Davies 14th in Roxy, and Dee Caffari, who reported improvement in an infected knee, 15th in Aviva.

Click below to listen to Stuart Alexander speak to Mike Golding

Jonny Malbon, in the brand new Artemis, at last passed Steve White in the 10-year old Spirit of Weymouth despite hitting what Malbon thought was a whale which damaged a daggerboard.

In the Indian Ocean, the Russian entry in the Volvo round the world race was the last of the eight still at sea on the second leg from Cape Town to Kochi, south-west India. Kosatka, which is Russian for the killer whale, was hoping to finish tomorrow tonight or, at worst Thursday.