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  Thursday, 1 March, 2001, 17:44 GMT
Golding's great effort
Mike Golding, Team Group 4
Mike Golding flies the flag as he finishes the Vendee
Britain's Mike Golding, fourth fastest in the Vendee Globe, talks to BBC Sport Online about the race he feels he could have won.

Mike Golding finished a creditable seventh in the Vendee Globe solo round-the-world race, but clocked the fourth-fastest time.

The reason? A broken mast at the start which left his Team Group 4 vessel chasing the leaders for 26,000 miles.

Golding's compatriot Ellen MacArthur may have grabbed global attention by coming second, but his achievement, finishing in 102 days 12 hours and 22 minutes, is no less laudable.

He told BBC Sport Online: "The worst point for me was clearly 12 hours in when the mast came tumbling down.

'Acceptable performance'

"It was devastating because we had expected to do so much more and to be so much nearer the front.

"But the best time was climbing back through the field and starting to make serious inroads into the competitive fleet."

Golding modestly regards finishing seventh in a 24-boat race after a delay of eight days and four hours as "an acceptable performance".

"We did this expecting to win but that ambition was thwarted very quickly. I think, though, that we did a good job of proving we could have won."

Golding has now sailed around the world single-handed non-stop in both directions.


I'm sure I won't have any trouble sleeping well
Mike Golding
"This way was quicker by some 60 days because it's the downwind route and the boats go much faster.

"But in many respects it actually proved to be quite a lot tougher because I had more problems.

"I think the biggest thing that kept me going was the strength of our team. It's a single-handed sport but the boat is called Team Group 4 for a very good reason."

Golding was greeted at the finish in the French port of Les Sables d'Olonne by his fiancee Andrea Bacon.

"I proposed just before I left, so it's nice to be back together with Andrea, my family and friends, and to have good food, good drink."

Sleep deprivation

As for the future, Golding feels it is too early to say yet whether he will compete in another Vendee.

"I certainly wouldn't rule it out," he said.

"At the moment - I'm just enjoying being back on land and doing normal things."

Getting a good night's sleep is one of them.

"In a day at sea, I was sleeping in two bursts of 70 minutes and several of 20 minutes," he said.

"So over 24 hours I was getting about five hours sleep, which isn't a lot over a 100-plus days.

"I'm sure I won't have any trouble sleeping well."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
British yachtsman Mike Golding
"I enjoyed a hot drink, a mars bar and a cigarette, in that order!"
Ellen MacArthur in the Vendee Globe race

Home-coming heroine

Race news

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28 Feb 01 | Vendee Globe
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