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Jules Verne Trophy

Australian Nick Moloney watch captain aboard Bruno Peyron’s catamaran

lundi 21 janvier 2002

image 300 x 158Photo : J.Vapillon
Nick Moloney, Kingfisher co-skipper and member of the Kingfisher Challenges team with Ellen MacArthur, has left Marseilles to join Brest Brest #brest , starting port for Bruno Peyron’s record Record #sailingrecord attempt against the Jules Verne Trophy. Interview by Offshore Challenges.

OC : This time last year you were at sea, but in disappointing circumstances onboard Playstation with a twisted ankle, a broken daggerboard and ripped mainsail - out of The Race. Unfinished business ?

NM : One of my sailing goals has always been a no limits, non-stop circumnavigation of the planet, and there is no question we were all devastated to have had to retire from The Race so early on. Whilst Steve and the boat have in some way made up for that event with their amazing Transatlantic Record Record #sailingrecord , personally I’ve been very keen to get back out there and do a Jules Verne attempt - so when the opportunity came up with Bruno’s team, ’keen’ would be an understatement... I can’t wait to get out there and take the challenge on again.

OC : In January Ellen announced that you were the first pro sailor to join her Offshore Challenges Sailing Team - what does this mean for you in reality ?

NM : It was a huge confidence boost for me that Ellen, Mark and the team at OC were ready to commit and support me in my own goals - primarily following Ellen’s path with the Vendée Globe 2004. Finding the sponsorship and managing all the off the water jobs is tough as a pro sailor - and its a reason why a lot of my mates who all secretly dream of doing their own programme, just never step out of the ’comfort’ of the professional racing scene. I gave up a number of AC and Volvo opportunities last year to co-skipper ’Kingfisher’, but I have no regrets whatsoever, it was an awesome year, and now here I am ready to head off around the world again anyway. Its not going to be easy to make that Vendée start line, but the concept of a Sailing Team is certainly helping me with that goal. When I get back from this JV attempt, I’ll be back on the monohull ’Kingfisher’ for the race to Italy in May, and then maybe with Ellen for the Kingfisher Jules Verne attempt next winter - so I hope to be able to take back some valuable experience to the team for sure.

OC : France has always been an important part of the OC outlook - but Aussies have never been great french speakers... how iz eet going ?

NM : I realised even back in the Mini Transat campaign that speaking french, and getting to know the French sailing scene was going to be important. With the OC team its a must - there is so much to do in France, and so much to learn from the French sailors. Its pretty daunting of course, as I’m still very much a beginner at the language, but so far its worked out ok, and I’m learning very fast being totally surrounded by French speakers ! When I don’t understand something, they usually say ’thats because its Breton...’ !

OC : And you’ve been proposed as a Watchleader - is the language going to be a problem ?

NM : Well this delivery up to Brest Brest #brest is going to be a good test, I’ve got a great watch, and once you’re flying along on these mega-cats there is so much that must come down to a natural language, and very fast reactions that cannot wait for words in any case. I’ll let you know in Brest Brest #brest ...

OC : How does ’Orange’, formerly Innovation Explorer (2nd in The Race behind Club Med) measure up against Playstation ?

NM : She’s very different - she feels smaller, less powerful but probably faster. A lot more thought has gone in to the mechanics of the boat, and of course she’s bright Orange ! She is very ’user friendly’, even though going upwind in to the sea is as violent as it is on any of these big cats. Brutal.

OC : So can the record Record #sailingrecord be broken ? 71 days, its not much compared with the time that this boat did in The Race ?

NM : Yes, I’m sure it can be smashed. But to get round of course is a challenge in itself, and just because these boats are faster than the record holder, doesn’t make it an easy run. This kind of sailing is as exhilarating and exciting as it gets - yet its as tough and risk laden as it gets as well. I can’t wait to get out there....

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