Mike Golding and co-skipper Dominique Wavre have completed their 600-mile qualifying passage for the doublehanded Transat Jacques Vabre
Mike Golding and co-skipper Dominique Wavre have completed their 600-mile qualifying passage for the doublehanded Transat Jacques Vabre which starts from La Havre on 5 November. Golding and Wavre set off onboard Ecover early afternoon on Friday 30 September and completed their voyage at midday on Sunday.
It was a relatively routine sail for Golding as Ecover was impeccably prepared for the trip by shore team Graham Tourell and Ian McCabe. “Ecover was absolutely perfect,” confirms Mike upon their return. “We have made some fairly subtle changes in the set-up of the boat that seem to have made a very positive improvement in her performance. It is difficult to tell without measuring against other race boats but the numbers seem better than ever – we will have to wait and see!
“We had a variety of conditions with winds between 18 and 35 knots. We sailed upwind for the first 30 hours, and when we turned back, Ecover was very fast with speeds of up to 26 knots, on perfect surfing waves.”
Regarding his co-skipper who was sailing on the Owen Clarke design for the very first time, Golding commented: “I think Dominique loved the boat. We sailed through a range of conditions everything from full main and solent, right down to three reefs and staysail, the only thing we did not manage to test were the light airs sails! We got on well, it was an easy life onboard, low stress but fast.”
Wavre, who has flown back to France gave his first impressions of the boat: “I was very impressed with the level of preparation of the boat. Ecover is a fantastic boat, quite physical but easy to manoeuvre. You get a lot of sensations, you feel she is very light but at the same time very powerful.”
Wavre also enjoyed his sailing with Golding. “It was very easy to sail with him. We have the same way of sailing and anticipate things at the same time. We found we had a lot of common? and we both drink a lot of coffee!”