Mike Golding is an International yachtsman, three time World Champion and the first person to sail single-handed and non-stop around the world in both directions,View Profile All Speaker's Videos
Mike starts his talk by describing his relationship and racing history with his fellow competitor Alex Thomson. They were arch rivals and did not have a particularly good relationship. He then goes on to describe the events of the Velux 5 Oceans Race in 2006. They had been racing for 3 weeks and were 1000 miles south of Africa in terrible weather conditions.
They were neck and neck in 2nd place with the leader of the race only 150 miles ahead. Each had been sleeping for a total of 4 hours a day in 20 minute bursts. Suddenly Alex had dropped back by 20 miles which Mike thought unusual and made enquiries to see if he was alright. It transpired that an essential part of the boat was broken beyond repair and that Alex was slowly sinking.
Mike was the nearest boat to Alex and felt compelled to turn back into the storm to attempt a rescue as he would otherwise have perished at sea. Mike also experienced equipment failure during his journey back to Alex due to the adverse weather conditions. He sought advice on how to overcome this but went against the advice after thinking about it.
Fortunately his approach worked and he was able to continue with the rescue mission. On reaching Alex, the rescue itself was also very difficult given the appalling weather and technical difficulties and required several attempts before Alex was safely on board his boat. He decided to try and continue the race but hit another storm which snapped the mast so that also had to be abandoned.
Mike describes his decision making processes and how he felt about abandoning the race in order to save his arch rival whom he has now become firm friends with. He describes how they started working together and trusting each other after the rescue. There is also live footage of the moment that Mike rescued Alex.