Mike Golding on his difficult Vendee Globe

Jean-Marie Liot / DPPI / Vendee Globe
The British skipper on how keel fairings, broke ballast tanks and major surgery on his hydrogenerators nearly kept him from reaching LSD
On his arrival into Les Sables d’Olonne Mike Golding entered the history books as the first person to have completed three Vendee Globes (having started four – this record was subsequently equalled last Friday by Swiss skipper Dominique Wavre). His latest and allegedly ‘last’ Vendee Globe, Golding claimed was by far the hardest yet. “I suppose it was okay in the Atlantic going south, but when we got into the Indian Ocean and separated from the lead group, from that moment on, things didn’t really improve. And you think ‘the Indian Ocean has been rubbish, maybe the Pacific will be nice’. And...it wasn’t, it was horrible. And then the South Atlantic kicked us in the teeth and then the North Atlantic was okay, but then Bay of Biscay got a bit gnarly. So the whole race was tough. There were challenges all the way around, really right the way until the end. You have your challenges normally in the Vendee, but you get over them and you struggle through to the end, but here it was a fresh set of challenges all the time.” Despite this, the day after he finished, Golding was fully firing on all cylinders, despite only managing two hours sleep during his first night ashore in a plush hotel bed, no doubt fired up on adrenalin having been on the Today program and Chris Evans’ show on Radio 2. Golding has been invited back to be both shows once he gets back to the UK. Golding acknowledges that the worst weather of his latest lap of the planet did not feature in the many thousands of miles and weeks he spent in the Southern Ocean, but over the last 48-72 hours before the finish as he entered the Bay of Biscay, when gusts exceeded 50 knots. “We didn’t