Golding is determined to finish the race un-assisted. At 15h00 GMT, the fourth placed boat, Temenos, was over 900 miles from the finish. 'We are interested only in securing the situation, standing by and only watching to ensure that Mike is safe.' commented Vendee Globe race director Denis HOREAU.
Official details just released by Mike Golding Yacht Racing state: "It has been confirmed that Ecover has lost her keel and is sailing with full ballast and Golding remains determined to finish the race. Golding is currently heading north at a boat speed of 5 knots. The weather forecast will remain North Easterly until Saturday when it will shift to a South Westerly direction. The conditions, 20 to 22 knots with a slight chop that is not hampering the boat's progress. Golding's priorities are as follows:
His personal safety
The boat's safety
To complete the race.
Golding has confirmed that the keel has broken below the bearings. The head of the keel is still attached to the boat. The ballast tanks are full with approximately 3.5 tonnes of water. His sail plan consists of a staysail and "mini" reef (a heavily reefed mainsail which serves to balance the boat so that Ecover can sail to windward).
Currently Golding is unable to tack the boat (to turn the bow through the wind to change direction) but can gybe (turning the boat away from the wind where its stern passes through the wind) Golding is feeling very strong and mentally solid. He is focusing his efforts on the three main priorities noted above."