High hopes for Mike Golding as he plans his tactics round the South Atlantic High 1/11/06

Mike Golding explains the tactics he plans for South Atlantic High which migrates between west and east. If Bernard Stamm, who’s now just under 500 miles ahead of Golding, is forced the long way around to the west of it and Golding goes east then many miles could be saved.

“I must admit that it does feel like I have cut down some of the distance and that is really good, really positive and very encouraging, but this is a long leg and there is still a long way to go. Both Alex [Thomson] and I have closed down a little. More encouraging for me as well is that I have moved a little way from Alex which gives me just a little more margin there, and of course ever closer to Koji.

“Alex should now be a little more headed (sailing a higher angle) than me and that will also help longer term. The only gremlin in all that is that the Cape Verde islands are right in front of us and they can throw a spanner in the works in terms of wind holes.

“I am actually routing forwards to the equator and in terms of generally forwards I am looking at the position of the South Atlantic high pressure system, because that is giving me some feeling about trying to cut the corner – if at all. I have pushed to the right because statistically it has usually paid to be to the right. There is always the possibility of cutting the corner and sailing less miles.”

These long term options may be ten or so days ahead, but for the moment Golding is in a positive frame of mind and was set to put on his devil horns – a Hallowe’en present from his three year old son Soren and his wife Andrea.

Perhaps they will help magic a sticky slow Doldrums crossing for the boats he is chasing.