Light airs off South Africa hamper Mike Golding and Alex Thomson's progress but the present eta is tonight 1/12/06

Poor Mike Golding and Alex Thomson are struggling in the light airs off South Africa and are now estimating an arrival time in Cape Town late this evening or early tomorrow morning.

Golding and Thomson who were thrown together in a rescue situation in the Southern Ocean last week while competing in the Route du Rhum see previous news story here have now been sailing upwind, under jury rig for one week and, not surprisingly, progress has been extremely slow.

Thomson reporting from the boat said: “?The breeze is just soft. We had a little bit of wind and it came aft overnight and suddenly we were making 14-15knots and it was great for about half an hour or so, but now the breeze is back down to just 5-7 knots and we are going pretty slow. The thing as well is that it is quite lumpy so really it is not much good and not much fun really. But it will take as long as it takes so there is no point in us getting frustrated. I am just looking forward to getting in and seeing my guys? It is always the same when it is like this, the last few miles take the longest.”

Mike Golding in his most recent blog confirmed his feelings commenting: “?[yesterday] We turned the engine on and began to motorsail – not a nice feeling when we should be in fact racing east. We have both monitored Bernard and Kojiros progress towards Freo, projecting our own positions based on performance to date and the actual weather – Bernard would be ‘wearing us like a shirt’ right now, Ecover – or maybe Hugo Boss? would absolutely be challenging for the overall lead of the race with Cheminees Poujoulat.

“Thoughts like this are perfect torture for us and with the current unstimulating progress north – easy entertainment? The motoring just stops us (or delays us?) from going stir crazy out here.”