VENDEE GLOBE – It is, ironically, for two of the Vendée Globe’s most experienced and toughest skippers, Jean Le Cam and Mike Golding, both in their early 50’s, that the Bay of Biscay is set to deliver a sting in the tail for their finishing miles into Les Sables d’Olonne, one final riposte from the weather gods for a duel which has been ongoing since 12th-13th December and more especially since early in their climb back up the South Atlantic. Winds averaging 40kts with gusts to 50kts are expected on their final night.
Le Cam, leading his English rival now by 65 miles on what should be his final afternoon at sea on this race, with 308 miles to the finish reported that conditions were hard for SynerCiel. “I have gusts of 35-40kts and I am not yet in the worst of it. After all that I have been through in this Vendée Globe we don’t deserve this at the end.” Jean Le Cam said, “I’d like to slow down a bit because of the conditions but I really can’t because of Mike. And I can’t push too hard. I have to make sure of this fifth place. I will not be sleeping before the finish line tomorrow.”
Golding, who is on course to become the first sailor to ever finish three Vendée Globe races, is having to throttle back occasionally to deal with the increased flow of water in through the keel box of Gamesa.
« The water is filling up in the keel box and I have a lot of water in the boat, I am having to pump every hour and I am nervous about going too fast as it pressurises right to the top of the keel box and there is water coming out everywhere,” Golding reported this afternoon.
“Right now, it’s bright blue skies, I have 22 knots of wind and am reaching in nice conditions, perfect for going to Les Sables d’Olonne, if you haven’t got a boat full of water! I am having to stop occasionally to pump out. I can’t make the pump work at speed as it empties into the keel box.”.”
Golding is due to hit stronger more upwind conditions as the winds shift more to the north for him. Fifth placed Le Cam is expected in to the finish early Wednesday morning with Golding predicted to be only a matter of hours behind. So windy has it been today in the Les Sables d’Olonne that the Vendée Globe Race Village has been closed since the morning.