From Golding to Golding

Australian Garry Golding enters Velux 5 Oceans with former Group 4

Tuesday April 6th 2010, Author: Tim Kelly, Location: Australia

Australian yachtsman Garry Golding has become the latest sailor to sign up for the Velux 5 Oceans. Golding has made numerous ocean passages clocking up thousands of miles at sea during his sailing career and is now ready to make the jump to racing.

Initially Golding had planned to sail round the world non-stop in a bid to break the Australian record of 180 days – but after buying Dee Caffari's first Open 60 (the original Ecover) he set his sights on the 30,000-mile Velux 5 Oceans. Golding will race in the newly launched ECO 60 fleet for Open 60 yachts launched before 2003.

Golding said: “This will be the first ocean race I have sailed on my own, but I am looking forward to the challenge. I have sailed through plenty of storms and big waves in my time and I reckon I can take them on again. I've got a great boat that is solid and has a proven track record, and I want to go out and be competitive. I have always wanted to do a solo ocean race and what better race to compete in than the Velux 5 Oceans.”

Golding was born in Watford in the UK but moved to Australia when he was a child. After building his own house, he took up sailing in his spare time and there began a love affair that is still going strong. He then set about building his own 44ft yacht called Wraith, a project that would take him ten years to complete. Since then he has completed several circumnavigations of Tasmania as well as long distance passages around the coast of Australia. In 2007 he bought a Macgregor 65 in the US and sailed it back to Australia.

His yacht, which he has renamed Oz, has great pedigree first as Mike Golding's Team Group 4, then Conrad Humphreys' Hellomoto before being raced by Dee Caffari as Aviva as her new Open 60 was under construction. So far Golding's campaign has been self funded, but he is actively seeking sponsors and there is a wonderful opportunity for someone to acquire the naming rights for the boat.

Golding, whose home port is Bundaberg {where the evil rum comes from...], has bought the mast from Alex Thomson's yacht Hugo Boss, formerly Pindar, to replace the one broken during the 2007 Transat Ecover BtoB race. He now plans to remove several metres from the top of the rig, the biggest ever to be used on an Open 60, in order to comply with race rules.

So - two Golding singlehanded round the world sailors, one sailing the other's old boat.

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