He will try to sail to the finish

In a press statement issued this evening, Mike Golding’s team has confirmed that the keel of Ecover has broken off the boat.

The statement reads: ‘Golding has confirmed that his keel has broken off below the bearings. The keel head is still attached to the boat. The ballast tanks are full with approximately 3.5 tonnes of water.’

It also states: ‘Golding is currently heading north at a boat speed of 5 knots. The [winds] will remain north-easterly until Saturday when [they] will then shift to [the south-west]. The conditions are 20-22 knots with a light chop that is not helping the boat’s progress. Golding’s priorities are as follows:

· his personal safety · the boat’s safety · to complete the race

‘His sail plan consists of a staysail and a heavily reefed main sail. Currently, Golding is unable to tack the boat, but can gybe it.

‘Golding is feeling very strong and mentally solid. He is focusing his efforts (in accordance to the aforementioned priorities) on completing the course.’