Mike Golding announces retirement from Velux 5 Oceans Race and Bernard Stamm finishes 4/12/06

Having finally made it to Cape Town late on Friday night under jury rig, Mike Golding has today announced his retirement from the Velux 5 Oceans Race.

According to Golding’s press office the British skipper telephoned David Adams, Race Director of the race at 0545 GMT this morning, informing him of his retirement. After the dramatic rescue of fellow competitor Alex Thomson (GBR) from his damaged Open 60 Hugo Boss just one week ago see previous news story here 
Golding suffered the misfortune of a broken mast and was forced to sail into Cape Town. And having had time to consider all his options Golding has decided to quit.

Commenting from Cape Town Golding chatted about his decision: “The decision to retire has been a very difficult one and one that has been taken in consultation with my sponsor, Ecover. Clearly the timings and costs are a major factor, but from a competitive and safety standpoint there are additional factors that have finally led us to make this choice.

“To win the Velux 5 Oceans has been my focus for the past year, but successfully rescuing Alex has put everything into perspective. I would not trade that success for anything else. I wish the Velux Oceans race organisers and all the competitors, a safe and successful event. I will continue to follow their progress daily.”

Elsewhere in the fleet race leader Bernard Stamm aboard Cheminees Poujoulat crossed the leg 1 finish line in Fremantle, Western Australia at 1018 UTC (1918 local) this morning.

Kojiro Shiraishi who’s yacht Spirit of Yukoh was hit by a a rogue wave yesterday is now 960 miles from Cape Leeuwin, the south-western tip of Australia. The impact of the wave has caused sail damage and mangled the yacht’s pulpit and forward stanchions which will affect progress to the finish of leg one. Shiraishi commented: “This much damage occurred instantaneously with just one wave. It’s humbling… I painstakingly bound up the genoa sail and then gathered it together. I went on to tie up the staysail. I decided that it probably was best not to disturb the vulnerable stanchion at the moment. The foremost stanchion was poking outwards; a priority was to make sure it didn’t snag any of the sail gear.

“? I’ve lost the sail which helps me when strong winds come from directly behind me. The Solent is the only sail left to bear the brunt of the task. With this I can’t change the boats course angle much and I don’t have as many options when considering the surface area of the sail for the different conditions. This surely will have an affect on the performance of the boat.”