Mike Golding signs up Bruno Dubois for the Transat Jacques Vabre in November 17/7/07

Mike Golding will sail with Bruno Dubois – Ecover’s longstanding sail programme co-ordinator (North Sails France) – Golding’s new Open 60’s (see illustration) first major race, the Transat Jacques Vabre in November.

While Belgian-Canadian Dubois has not raced the famous biennial 4,300 mile Transatlantic race from Le Havre to Salvador, Brazil, which starts 3 November, he has a long and accomplished CV in offshore and inshore racing, and has made the sails for the last two winners of the race. He sailed with Golding on the 1,000 Miles of Calais and the Calais Round Britain Race. He will also race the boat regularly with Golding including the 1,000-mile TJV qualifier.

Golding, who says chosing Dubois was a logical choice to help bring the new boat up to optimum speed as soon as possible, said: “Bruno has sailed with us many times in fully crewed events and as well as being our sail supplier is also a friend. So it is a great opportunity for me to sail with him. He is a talented sailor and it will be a great benefit to me to sail with him.”

Dubois sailed with Ellen MacArthur’s crew on Kingfisher II’s attempt at the Jules Verne record, has competed on several Quebec to St Malo races and won the Corel 45 World Championships. Dubois joined North Sails directly from the Whitbread campaign and has worked with them in North Sails Denmark and prior to that in North Sails USA.

Dubois added: “Many of the systems are the same as the previous Ecover and so Mike will already know the boat quite well but we are running quite late for the race and so we use the time we have well. There is no big pressure to win because we are so late, it will be a case of learning the boat and then Mike will be well set to race back single-handed? The hull is different and the rig is bigger so the sail combinations will need careful learning, seeing how the hull reacts. It will be interesting and challenging.”

The sail inventory for the new boat has been designed by Spaniard Juan Meseguer, who was sail designer with BMW Oracle, the Volvo Movistar projects and Ericsson.