The plan is for Mike Golding and Ecover to rejoin the Velux 5 Oceans Race tomorrow 25/10/06

The Ecover shore team worked throughout the night last night rapidly working through the comprehensive job list to ensure Golding and boat return to battle on the Velux 5 Oceans Race track on Thursday afternoon in A1 shape.

They plan to have Golding and Ecover off the dock this afternoon in order to have a full check of the sail inventory before Golding rejoins the race.

Project manager Gringo Tourell explained: “It’s all going pretty well. We are romping on through the list. We are now waiting for the mainsail to be returned from Vigo and that should be back between 10pm and midnight and then we’ll work through the night to get it fitted.”

They have had a thorough look at the possible cause of the failure of the mainsail lashing which connects the main headboard to the 3:1 halyard. “We are absolutely mystified. There is simply no sign of burring or marks anywhere and there is nowhere for it to chafe. It is a vectran lashing, massively over-spec’d and the same as we use on the standing rigging. There is no chance of it being a material failure.” Tourell explains.

The autopilot has had the ram replaced and more spares added to the inventory. There was a small cosmetic damage to the coach roof which has been repaired. All of the gear has been re-stacked using the plastic Curver boxes which previously contained all the spares and tools from the Ecover support van.

Meanwhile solo skipper Golding has been catching up on his sleep, and has spent the morning checking on the likely weather scenario for when he leaves in pursuit of Bernard and Koji.

Alex Thomson will make a decision of about his re-start tonight when he will have seen his replacement sail, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston is nine miles away from La Coruna where he is due to arrive later today. And the organisers are still waiting to hear from Unaï Basurko’s team about his plans.