Not only did Golding bash his way back uphill in the Southern Ocean to rescue fellow competitor Alex Thomson, but the alert solo skipper had already started to slow down after getting concerned about his rival’s poor progress. No one will ever know if the extra wear to Golding’s Ecover may have cost him a race win, but such considerations did not – and do not – seem to unduly concern this fine seaman.
Why they won
Oh dear… ‘How can you possibly choose between two such fine sailors? Jud [Smith] made his mark by winning in many different mostly small boat classes and at many different events, and by giving selflessly in helping out his rivals along the way. Mike made his name sailing very big boats under difficult circumstances and by saving a life… also a truly great sailor and sportsman. To pit the two against each other in a vote is reprehensible’ – Pat Stadel, we are sorry! More typical was this comment from Australia: ‘Mike is the only choice, due to his superb awareness and seamanship he has saved one of our great friends in yachting… thank you, Mike’ – Fraser Brown. ‘It was Mike’s impressive awareness in slowing down ahead of being called to assist that saved Alex Thomson’s life’ – Tony Smith, Auckland.