Out of the early Caribbean morning sunshine, Mike Golding and Javier Sanso,
glided the final miles to the finish off Puerto Limon, Costa Rica to complete the
Transat Jacques Vabre in an excellent third place.
It is the British skipper's sixth consecutive Transat Jacques Vabre race
and the fourth time he has finished on the podium, a record in the IMOCA
Open 60 class that no other skipper has matched in this Transatlantic Race.
Golding finished second on 2001, and third in 1999 and 2003, and today.
And Sanso, who finished fourth in the Barcelona World Race and took fourth in this
race in 2001, becomes the first Spanish sailor in the nine editions of the race to
finish on the podium in the IMOCA Open 60 class.
Mike Golding Yacht Racing finished at14:59:38 hrs UTC Wednesday 25th November
(0859hrs local time, Costa Rica) after sailing for 17d 1hr 29 mins 38 seconds at an
average speed of 11,54 knots since leaving Le Havre on Sunday 8th November, Mike
Golding and Javier Sanso took third place in the IMOCA Open 60. Mike Golding Yacht
Racing sailed a distance of 5317 miles and finished 1 day 6 hours 7 minutes and 28
seconds behind the Class winner Safran.
In the early tranquillity of the dockside he echoed the remarks of race winner Marc
Guillemot, confirming it was one of the toughest races he has competed in.
During the big Atlantic storm over Thursday 12th and Friday 13th November, Golding
admitted that both he and his Spanish co-skipper Sanso were confined below
‘just waiting for something to break', but the final miles over the last two
days in to today's finish were frustrating for the duo, struggling through light,
sticky, winds with French double Vendée Globe winner Michel Desjoyeaux 50
"In reality we were never too concerned about him. It seemed like an
impossibility, but then you never do really know in this game, you can never say
never, but I felt like we had covered the northerly option." Golding said.
Just as for the two skippers who finished ahead of his Mike Golding Yacht
Racing, third today is a welcome solid result gained in a high quality fleet,
a welcome liberation after Golding had to retire from last winter's
Vendée Globe race when his mast broke just after he had taken the lead.
Golding and Sanso took a bold northerly option after emerging from the English
Channel, a key move along with Groupe Bel and Safran. The trio managed the
transition from northerly routing well which left them in the best possible shape
compared with their southern rivals to deal with the high pressure system which
stood between them and the easterly trade winds.
The British Spanish duo were in second place for three days before small
technical issues started to impede their ability to match the consistently
high speeds set by the leading duo Safran and Groupe Bel.
Golding said he was happy with their result, but still frustrated that they could
not have taken full advantage of their opportunities. But his boat has had a long
refit after the Vendée Globe and he and Sanso only paired up a few weeks
before the start, and had only sailed a benign qualifying sail together.