One word understandably sums up how Mike Golding feels. "Why?"

Every time Mike Golding gets ready to leave on a major race, it is preceded by a farewell meal with a close-knit group of sponsors, friends and family. There have been a lot of these meals and some of them have been pretty emotional. At the lunch before he left Bilbao, Mike thanked his boat captain ‘Gringo’ Tourell and all his shore team and said this: that although his boat was as minutely prepared as it possibly could be, you can never know what lies ahead. Things can happen even to the best prepared teams.

This comment came back to me forcibly today during his rescue of Alex Thomson and the mast breakage that so cruelly followed later in the day. There is no justice. Mike once observed the Southern Ocean to be a place where there is no law, no God. Today, as he and Alex Thomson lower the broken parts of the mast to the deck and head under reduced sail north towards Cape Town, they have learned once again the crushing truth of this awful maxim.

This has been an incredibly tiring and emotional day for both men and they have dealt with their ill fortune in very different ways. Alex is relieved but at the same time has been quite tearful. Mike’s reactions are different. He is analytical about the problems and able to muster a few of his typical wry laughs but not far beneath the surface is a man understandably upset and utterly fed up with the endless school of hard knocks wondering: ‘Why me?’ ‘Why again?’

“It’s been a shocker of a race for me,” he admitted to me. Typical, too, of the Mike I know, his feelings are of concern and sadness for his new shipmate. “I’m disappointed for Alex. I’m embarrassed and I feel awkward. You know what I mean,” he says quietly.

In the week or ten days it will take them to sail the 900 miles north to Cape Town, Mike and Alex will definitely appreciate some extra encouragement and you can send them a message via either or

You can also listen to the latest interview with Mike and Alex here