Southampton’s Mike Golding hopes to finish the 2012-13 Vendee Globe in a personal best time.
The Warsash-based sailor is around 2,000 nautical miles from the finish line in Les Sables d’Olonne, which he expects to cross “on February 7 or 8”.
Golding, 52, finished the 2004/05 Vendee Globe in 88 days, 15 hours and 15 minutes.
He needs to reach Les Sables d’Olonne in the early hours of Thursday, February 7 to better that.
“I’ve had quite a hard night with 100 degree wind shifts - conditions were much kinder eight years ago,” said Golding, who finished third, within 24 hours of runner-up Jean Le Cam, in 2005.
Le Cam is approximately 100 nautical miles ahead of Golding in fifth.
Alex Thomson is on course for third behind Francois Gabart and Armel Le Cleac’h, the two Frenchmen to have finished, fourth-placed Jean-Pierre Dick having suffered a broken keel.
It is the quickest Vendee Globe on record, with Thomson set to finish in a better time than any of the six previous winners.
“Jean and I are spearheading the rest of the pack, it’s like we’ve been in a different race, we’ve probably done more miles and had more wear and tear,” added Golding, who was forced to pull out of 2008/09 Vendee Globe with a broken mast.
“At the moment I’m just dealing with my own problems and just want to get to the finish without a major one.
“I’m obviously trying to beat Jean but the weather’s so flukey it’s really quite difficult. I can’t strategise where the wind is shifting.”
Golding, who belongs to the Royal Southampton Yacht Club and lives in Warsash, finished his debut Vendee Globe in 110 days, 16 hours back in 2000/01.