Mike Golding and Bruno Dubois finish second overall in Transat Jacques Vabre prologue in brand-new Ecover 29/10/07

Mike Golding and Bruno Dubois finished a creditable second overall in the 16-strong Open 60 fleet during Saturday’s Transat Jacques Vabre prologue, racing the brand-new Ecover.

Racing for the first time since its launch, Team Ecover made the most of the moderate south-westerly breeze in the round the cans race in Seine Bay. See news story here. 

After a poor start Team Ecover was stuck mid fleet at the first mark but good tactical sailing on the following rounds resulted in some big gains which put them in the lead by the third mark. However, the French team of Marc Guillemot and Charles Caudrelier on Safran sailed well in the closing stages of the race and pushed through into the lead which they never relinquished. They did however, manage to hold off French sailing veteran Michel Desjoyeaux’s dangerously fast Foncia for the last stretch and secured second overall.

Golding talking about the first race in his new Open 60 said: “You’ve got to be happy with this result, it was a very positive race for us. We are all relieved to see what she is capable of producing. Overall the whole team is very pleased, we had no breakages and it is a good result to build on.”

Whilst many of the new boats gave some indication of the kind of form we might expect in the main race, several of the older generation boats performed well including another British entry Artemis Ocean Racing, who held their position on the course finishing a respectable sixth overall.

Joining Golding and Dubois onboard were several members of Ecover’s build team from New Zealand, including build manager Martin Carter, designer Merf Owen and the shore crew.

With under a week remaining for the monohull fleet in Le Havre to prepare for the race ahead, the shore teams will be working tirelessly to make sure every system onboard is checked and re-checked and that the skippers are in the best position possible when they start next weekend.