Man with a plan

James Boyd speaks to Offshore Challenge's new Australian thoroughbred, Nick Moloney
First there was Ellen, now there is Australian Nick Moloney (above), whose sailing career Mark Turner and Ellen's company Offshore Challenges plan to work their magic on. Moloney is no stranger to these pages and his sailing CV is diverse as it is impressive - America's Cup with OneAustralia, Whitbread with Toshiba, Mini Transat on MacArthur's old boat, long distance windsurfer, PlayStation crew...and most recently Open 60s, Moloney's primary goal over the next few years is to compete in the 2004 Vendee Globe, but in the short term he is returning to big cat sailing. He rounded off 2001 with a record breaking 6 hour 49 minute trip across the Channel between Cowes and Cherbourg on board Steve Fossett's PlayStation. Now he is in the South of France training with Bruno Peyron's crew on Orange and will be the only English speaker on board for their attempt the Jules Verne Trophy (non-stop around the world) in February. Of his relationship with Mark Turner and Ellen, Moloney says it was based initially on a friendship during a lonely time for someone with his sailing background hurling himself fully into the unfamiliar world of French ocean racing with his Mini campaign in 1999. He maintains there are many Australians and other international yachtsmen who would like to come to France to take part in the racing, but they don't because it is just so hard. He takes his hat off to Chris Sayer, who brought his Mini across to France from New Zealand for the race he did and, against all expectations, finished third. Meanwhile he had to come to terms with the trauma of failing in that race - his first major singlehanded event. His boat was rolled and he was forced to head for port to make repairs. He was intent