Mike Golding and Dominique Wavre aboard Ecover crossed the Transat Jacques Vabre finish line in Salvador de Bahia at 1446hrs this afternoon

Mike Golding and Dominique Wavre brought Ecover across the Transat Jacques Vabre finish line in Salvador de Bahia at 1446hrs GMT this afternoon to secure fourth place, with a total elapsed time of 14 days, 46 minutes and 25 seconds. In so doing Golding took the overall IMOCA Open 60 and FICO World titles for the second successive year. With the breeze dying for the final few miles to the finish it was a difficult finale to what has been a frustrating race for Golding and Wavre.

Their ill starred luck was compounded once again as a calm morning meant a nail biting four hours of painstakingly pedestrian progress to get to the finish line.

“I think that finish just underlines the kind of luck we have had in this race. We were just a little nervous at the end, but I have enjoyed the race. We learned a lot. I have learned about the English sense of humour and I learned more about working with other human beings. We got on well but were unlucky in some respects and made some mistakes, but in general I enjoyed it. It is a little bit frustrating because the boat is definitely better than our results and deserved better. We could have made some better strategies at times but I don’t think we could have pushed any harder. We are the same kind of sailor and humans so I am pleased that I leave having made a new friend and I look forwards to working with Mike in the future, and to racing against him in due course,” said Dominique as they finished.

“It was a little bit of a frustrating way to finish, but that is all irrelevant once you are finished. The result is what it is and you can’t change it now. Certainly it is good to win the FICO and IMOCA championships but in fairness it’s not the way I would like to have done it,” Mike commented as they reached the dock. “I think the race was decided at Finistere and after that there were no real passing places. After that it is was extension and contraction. We could have beaten Bonduelle and I am frustrated about that, but we did everything we could and none of it worked. We went east and we went west, so we tried things.”
“But it was good racing with Dominique. We picked up some ideas and mulled them over together. The thing with this race is that it is a reaching race and we are an upwind downwind boat so we need to have a look at the sailplan and see what we can do, and we had some useful discussions. We could have prepared better but we have been busy with other things and maybe we not as focused as we should have been; Dominique building his boat and me with The China Cup. For the future there are definitely things we can do and have learned from this race, subtle things. Certainly in the heavy downwind sailing I was absolutely gobsmacked at the miles we lost, even with only half a rudder, so we will be having a look at everything and see what other people have been running with. I am absolutely sure that no one drove their boats harder than Dominique and I did in the heavier stuff so we need to look at that.

“It was very easy sailing with Dominique. We made the decisions together. He is like me and we just accepted what happened and got on with it. For sure we know each other a lot better now and will not only keep in touch but I look forward to collaborating together in the future.”