Golding's Cape Horn sailing record

Britain’s Mike Golding has set a record by completing a sixth navigation of Cape Horn as he left the Pacific and headed out into the Atlantic.

While Golding celebrated his milestone on Wednesday Swiss skipper Bernard Stamm was calling time on his race after being forced to take on fuel resulting in instant disqualification with the rules forbidding any outside assistance.

Stamm’s boat Cheminees Poujoulet, placed eighth, has been without power since hitting an unidentified object last Sunday.

His defection leaves 12 boats from the original 20 that set off from the French port of Les Sables d’Olonne two months ago.

Stamm was disqualified last week after receiving uncalled for assistance after his generator packed up but was later allowed to race on following a successful appeal to the race jury.

Golding meanwhile, currently standing sixth in the Vendee Globe, has now completed three west to east and east to west crossings of the Cape either solo or on a team.

‘The first time we had the most wind – 55-60 knots – but it was from the east.

‘I think I was the only person to get a Challenge yacht making over 21 knots. The second time was on my own and it was relatively benign. I was on a long starboard reaching tack.

‘But the third time was fully crewed and as we got down towards Diego Ramirez island there was an incredible feeding frenzy with birds attacking fish, fish being chased by seals and dolphins and killer whales circling.

‘It was the full food chain in action in front of us. Of course the crew all thought it was always like this! I had never seen it before, or since!

‘On my first Vendee Globe it was relatively quiet and I got up close again. What is amazing is that you go around the corner into Le Maire Strait and it is all quiet and flat water and you suddenly smell land, the heather and the lavender and it is quite the sweetest smell after you have not been close to land for so long.

‘The sea state changes so quickly and you are in the Atlantic. But then you pass out towards the Falklands and you can be getting hammered again.’

The west to east crossing is the tougher challenge owing to the need to battle the prevailing winds.

Golding made his first east-west crossing of the Cape in the 1992-1993 British Steel Challenge a year prior to his first solo passage.

He was at it again in the 1996-1997 BT Global Challenge.

He managed the west to east crossing in his first two Vendee Globes (2000-2001 and 2004-2005) and made it a round half dozen with the current edition.

Frenchman Francois Gabart leads the Vendee Globe race ahead of compatriots Armel Le Clac’h and Jean-Pierre Dick with Briton Alex Thomson fourth and another Frenchman, Jean Le Cam, fifth.


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