HAMPSHIRE sailor Mike Golding has tonight etched his name into the Vendee Globe record books by becoming the first man to complete the gruelling around the world yacht race three times.
The 52-year-old crossed the finish line off the French port of Les Sables d’Olonne at 6.30pm GMT, beating his previous race best of 88 days and 15 hours – set in 2004/05 – by more than eight hours after finishing in 88 days six hours and 36 minutes. He raced at an average speed of 12.9 knots, covering a total of 27,281.35nm.
His first Vendee took him 110 days in 2000/01.
Golding, from Warsash, was in fifth place last weekend, but was overtaken by Frenchman Jean Le Cam and has finished sixth – banking 30,000 Euros in prize money.
Problems with his keel box have hampered Golding’s bid to finish in the top five over the last week.
He is the second Hampshire man to finish the 2012/13 Vendee, which began on November 10 last year.
Gosport’s Alex Thomson claimed a third place finish last Wednesday morning.