Never give up, never surrender

madforsailing gets up to date with Mike Golding as his newly remasted Open 60 returns home
Mike Golding reminds me of one of those Russian doll-type sprung loaded punching machines of the type Sly Stallone used to beat seven bells out of in the early Rocky films. Punch the bag and before you know it the thing has leapt back rearing for the next wack. This is hardly surprising - the man has been around the world four and a half times - three of those were the 'wrong' way and two and a half were singlehanded. Earlier this season Golding's Open 60 Ecover lost her mast during the Larmor Plage Open 60 grand prix, the second time the rig's come down on this boat, although in less heart-wrenching circumstances than the previous occasion - within eight hours of the start of the last Vendee Globe. But Golding has bounced back in his inimitable style learning from the disaster and looking at how to "turn the loss into a gain". Although the mast came down in one piece after one of Ecover's deck spreaders folded up, later once the mast was X-rayed it was found to have considerable internal damage to its carbon fibre structure. It therefore had to be written off and a new mast built. While the new spar has been constructed, Ecover returned to her makers, JMV Industries in Cherbourg, where the damage to the deck resulting from the dismasting was put right. "It's all looking very shiny and ready to go," Britain's most highly capped solo round the worlder told madfor sailing. "Obviously we had a bit of collatoral damage to the deck and the hull. All of the stanchions (bar four), the pushpit, both pulpits, both deck cranes - they all got smashed so we had to start again and get new stuff." The new carbon fibre wingmast has been fabricated