Mike Golding's third Open 60

The singlehanded round the world veteran gives us the guided tour to his new Ecover
We think we are right in saying that with his new Ecover, Mike Golding is the first case of an individual skipper ever getting themselves a third Open 60. Golding has now been campaigning in the IMOCA class for a decade, initially with his Finot-Conq designed Team Group 4, which dismasted so disastrously within hours of the start of the 2000-1 Vendee Globe and then with his Owen-Clarke designed Ecover with which he scored an admirable third place in the 2004-5 Vendee Globe, despite crossing the finish line sans keel. With a wealth of both new and old talent entering next year's Vendee Globe and 17 new Open 60s, the competition will be by far the hardest the event has ever been. So will it be third time lucky for Golding? With the new Ecover has he finally got the weapon that will get him the top spot on the solo non-stop round the world race podium? After seeing Dominique Wavre's rather brutal looking Temenos at the start of the Route du Rhum last year, we had our concerns, but the new blue and green emblazoned Ecover, unveiled in the UK recently at Southampton Boat Show, looks to be a weapon. Design Like the previous boat, the new Ecover is a design by Owen Clarke. Merf Owen has been involved with all of Golding's Open 60s, project managing the build of the first boat and designing the second. This time however they made even greater use of Emirates Team New Zealand's American designer Clay Oliver to work on the hull form development and VPPs. Owen confirms that substantially more budget was invested in R&D this time around. In addition to the data from the last two campaigns, Owen co-owned some of the R&D work that went into Temenos, but with the