Solo sailor Mike Golding given an award for 'selflessness and courage'


Mike Golding was awarded a silver medal yesterday by the Royal Humane Society for his rescue in the Southern Ocean last year of Alex Thomson.

The Society is a small charity that exists only to recognise and reward acts of bravery where someone has put their life at risk to save another. By way of explanation, committee member Sir Nigel Southward used such words as selflessness, discomfort, humanity, courage and said heroism required ‘a high level of responsibility’.

All of these things I do very much associate with Mike Golding and it really was heart-warming to see him recognised for what he is: a true hero.

Golding, who spent 11 years as a fireman before becoming a professional sailor, typically said: “It’s very humbling that the fire services and the police spend their entire lives doing such acts. As a sailor you don’t get that opportunity very often.

“Of course, I’ve always wanted to win a round the world race, and this [the 5 Oceans] was one I could have won, but the reward of going back and getting Alex is far greater and it’s something I’m very proud of.”

Selflessness, bravery, humanity? that’s why I love solo sailing, which is routinely full of kind and generous acts to rivals. Doesn’t it make a nice change from the posturing and ‘so sue me’ culture prevalent elsewhere in racing?