Britain's veteran Vendée Globe Mike Golding (Ecover) found himself in a squall with winds of 55 knots shortly after taking the lead and dismasting. He is the tenth skipper forced to abandon the Vendee Globe solo round.
AFP - Britain's Mike Golding was forced to abandon the the Vendee Globe solo round the world yacht race on Tuesday after dismasting shortly after taking the lead in the race.
In his yacht Ecover, Golding had steadily moved through the placings since the 30-strong flotilla left the French Atlantic port of Les Sables d'Olonne on November 9 and he had just moved ahead of Frenchman Jean-Pierre Dick when disaster struck.
"I was just out on deck when a squall came through with winds of 55 knots," Golding said.
"I had the main with two reefs and a reacher and had been like that for two hours.
"Overnight we had winds of up to 45 knots so I had two reefs and a staysail and then changed to the new configuration in the early morning.
"It basically went from being a near gale to a hurricane, and the mast didn’t like it."
The British skipper, whose 2001 Vendee Globe challenge also ended in a dismasting, was not injured in the accident which took place in the Southern Ocean off the southwest coast of Australia.
Date created : 2008-12-16