A very relaxed and chatty Mike Golding captivated his audience at TheYachtMarket.com Southampton Boat Show yesterday. The sailing legend took to TheYachtMarket.com Knowledge Zone to entertain visitors with tales of his past adventures, but also had a thing or two to teach exhibitors who, by this stage of the Show, might consider themselves a touch sleep deprived.
“Every waking thought is about pressing that boat down the track,” Mike explained. In order to get performance, you sleep in quite short bursts. The longest I slept on the last of my three Vendée Globes was one hour. A short sleep would be 10 minutes but you can still extract value out of that.
Each 24 hours you probably get five, six or seven hours sleep, but in cat naps. You get the boat running perfectly then, when you go to sleep the boat tapers off. So you wake to tweak it and, before you’ve gone over your circadian cycle you can be back asleep again. When you cat nap at first you feel blurry or foggy, like jet lag. But when you do it for an extended time you realise it is perfectly sustainable.”
Mike also revealed one of his favourite meals on the Vendée (pictured). “That bread is about 60 days old, but after scraping a few green bits off I toasted and buttered it. You cannot mess with Heinz Baked Beans but the scrambled egg is freeze dried. Rounded out with some HP Sauce I’d have that now! You don’t realise how much we enjoy toast because of the texture and the butter.”
Mike’s passion for racing remains undiminished and he was heading off to Warsash Sailing Club after the Show to race his RS200 – he also has a Moth at Stokes Bay. His Vendée days are behind him but he hasn’t ruled out a return to the oceans: “I have raced around the world nine times now and the OCD side of me is niggled by that number!”