HRH The Princess Royal dedicated Mike Golding's 60 foot yacht Gamesa at the PSP Southampton Boat Show. Confidence is high that the brightly coloured monohull, Gamesa, could carry Golding to victory in the solo round the world race, the Vendée Globe starting in November 2012.
A record-breaking yachtsman with two World Championship titles to his name, Golding stood beside HRH The Princess Royal as she smashed a bottle of Champagne Mumm against the bow of the boat.
It was an emotional day for the South Coast based yachtsman, who has just completed 3 months of intensive modification to the Owen Clarke/Clay Oliver designed IMOCA 60, including a new mast and totally revamped cockpit-configuration, and is now at the beginning of a new story with Gamesa as title sponsor.
"It's a great day for me and the whole team to be here at the PSP Southampton Boat Show with our newly optimised IMOCA 60. It is a real honour that the boat's Godmother, HRH The Princess Royal, has agreed to dedicate the yacht in its new colours as Gamesa. This is the beginning of the intensive run up towards the Vendée Globe in 2012," Golding concluded.
The dedication by HRH The Princess Royal is the first step on an 18 month mission for the Gamesa Sailing Team, with the ultimate goal to see Golding become the first Briton to win the Vendée Globe. Over three months of racing non-stop around the world, the Vendée Globe has been dubbed the ‘Everest of yacht racing'. The 2012 edition will be the fourth entry for the South Coast based skipper. In 2001 he set the record for the 4th fastest time, finished 3rd in 2004/5 and in 2008/9 was dismasted while leading the race deep in the Southern Ocean.
After the dedication, Jorge Calvet, Chairman and CEO of Gamesa, commented, "It is wonderful to have the support of HRH The Princess Royal and this sponsorship comes at an important time for Gamesa and our planned programme of expansion into the offshore market in UK."
"The sea and the wind are fundamental to both the Gamesa Sailing Team and our business activities in the wind power market in the UK and globally. We have a vigorous business plan over the coming years with many common values, including innovation, teamwork, leadership and passion for our customers, and we look forward to working with Mike and his team to achieve both our goals and his," Calvet concluded.
Golding will be on the start line with Gamesa on 30 October 2011 in Le Havre, France for the two-handed Transat Jacques Vabre, with Belgo-Canadian co-skipper Bruno Dubois. Golding will then race fully crewed in the multi-leg Europa Race starting in Istanbul in May 2012.