'Flying Squid' on Mike Golding's menu Royal Southern YC Fitting Out Supper

Monday, 03 April 2017

April 1st 2017

Hamble, Hampshire, UK 

Flying Squid weren't actually included on the Royal Southern's Fitting Out Supper menu on Saturday night, but they played an amusing role in Mike Golding's after dinner presentation! Those guests fortunate enough to have booked their tickets in good time for the sell-out Supper hosted by the Commodore Karen Henderson-Williams, were treated to an evening commencing with a Joseph Perrier Champagne reception, fine wines, a superb dinner, special awards for special people and the stuff of legends in the form of yachtsman, Mike Golding OBE.

The fact that it was April 1st wasn't overlooked by Golding in a fabulously inspirational and insightful presentation about his favourite offshore solo race, the Vendée Globe, which included a photograph of him holding a 'flying squid'. Not just any old squid, and not a flying fish, but a flying squid. He informed the rapt audience that they came at him in droves, squirting indelible ink all over his pristine white sails. 'It just wouldn't come out', he chuckled. Brilliant.

In recognising Club tradition, the Commodore's partner presents the awards at the Fitting Out Supper. Prior to Mike's presentation, the room of 179 members applauded the winners of the Cruising Log/Blog, Deborah and Peter Clark and their dog, for Deborah's account of their travels through the Ionian & Aegean Islands and the extraordinary Corinth Canal that connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea. It cuts through the narrow Isthmus of Corinth and separates the Peloponnese from the Greek mainland. 

The Frank Heenan Award goes to Helena Lucas MBE

The Frank Heenan Award for outstanding contribution to short-handed and/or disabled sailing was bestowed upon one of the Club's Honorary Members, Helena Lucas MBE, whose incredible talent and determined spirit has taken her from 470 sailing to Paralympic Gold in the 2.4mR.

Most recently, Helena won bronze in the 2.4mR class at the Rio 2016 Paralympics making her the most successful British sailing Paralympian. The third place finish also marked the second successive time Lucas has medalled at the Paralympic Games, after her gold medal at the London 2012 Games four years ago. As she is away skiing her proud parents, Val and Geoff Lucas were present and honoured to pick up this award on Helena's behalf.

And so to Mike Golding and the infamous Vendée Globe.

In between exciting video clips Mike, a former fireman and of the few yachtsmen to have raced round the world non-stop in both directions, regaled the room with snippets about his life on board during his four Vendée Globe races and the 2006 Velux 5 Oceans when he diverted to rescue fellow Brit Alex Thomson whose keel fell off... but he didn't want to dwell on that given how well Alex did in his most recent Vendée epic! That drew major applause. 

In spite of suffering many a blow in his own racing history with keel failure, broken masts etc, in 2012-2013's edition he completed the race 'an extraordinary experience', and came a very respectable fourth with his trusty steed, the Open 60 Gamesa.

Why is the Vendée Globe so special to Mike and why is the passion for this race so fervent, especially in France? 

Mike explained: "Well, the start is from a small and totally unassuming fishing village, Les Sables d'Olonne, for this most famous and challenging non-stop solo round the world yacht race. It isn't called the 'Everest of the seas' for nothing! It is a monumental feat of achievement but also people love the simplicity of the story. 

"All the boats are Open 60s.  The skippers are all passionate about solo offshore racing, they are just 'ordinary' people. Over 2.5 million visitors walk the docks in Les Sables before the start. They touch the boats, feel the rigging and speak to the skippers, whether they know them or not. They're buying into how the human interest stories will unfold.

"I never ever get more than one hour's sleep at a time during the Vendée Globe and in fact the average sleep period was measured at 17 mins.  We take lots of little sleeps. Over 24 hours I should get 5-6 hours in. When you hit the Southern Ocean you have to keep the boat going fast. There are large waves and fast seas for 17,000 miles! It is relentless but mostly in a good way. I always relish the continual challenge and you only really fall out of that cycle of being in control when something goes wrong."

So what's next for Mike?

He has plans, but didn't reveal much other than to say that he is interested in managing projects for other people. 

"All in all, I probably prefer sailing fully crewed than solo but it's much cheaper on your own and so you can pay yourself more!"

Issued on behalf of the Royal Southern Yacht Club by: Peta Stuart-Hunt

E: peta@prworksuk.com

Sailing Today 'Yacht Club of the Year' 2015/2016.

Yachts & Yachting 'Club of the Year' 2012/2013.

The Club celebrated its 175th Anniversary in 2012. The Royal Southern, whose Patron is HRH The Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh K.G. K.T., is one of Europe's premier yacht racing organisers, excelling at all levels of competition and enjoying the practical experience of internationally qualified race officers amongst its members.  Many of the Club's sailing members have achieved notable successes on the international stage, from world champions in dinghies and keelboats to the twice winner of the classic Rolex Fastnet Race.

Quadruple Olympic Gold and Silver Medallist, & America's Cup winning sailor Sir Ben Ainslie, and single-handed circumnavigators, Samantha Davies, Sir Chay Blyth and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston are all Honorary Members as is disabled yachtsman and disability sports ambassador Geoff Holt MBE and Paralympic Gold medallist Helena Lucas MBE. The latest names to be added to this distinguished Honorary Membership list is that of Ian Williams, 5 x World Match Racing Champion and Mike Golding OBE, offshore sailing legend.

The Prince Philip Yacht Haven was commissioned by the Club's Patron, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, on 4th June 2015.  This was the culmination of a project that had commenced 14 years previously.

The Club has a proud and illustrious history in the sport and an active membership in excess of 1700 adults and 140 Academy members.

Having joined the Royal Southern Yacht Club in 1948, it was in 1952 that HRH Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh graciously accepted the rank of Admiral, a position he held until 2002, when the Club was honoured by his acceptance of its proposal that he become the Club's fifth Patron, following in the footsteps of HM Queen Victoria, HRH The Prince Consort, HM King Edward VII and HM King George V. 

Club website: royal-southern.co.uk


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Last Updated ( Monday, 03 April 2017 )