Nick Moloney

Orange's Australian crewman reports from Brest as they wait to set off on their Jules Verne Trophy attempt
It's all on schedule here in Brest for Bruno Peyron and the crew of Orange. It's an incredible emotion, counting down the days till our departure. Our world is coming together. Activities like food sorting, arrival of new sails etc makes this whole mission seem so real. I'm a bit like a child that has waited all year for Christmas and is finally able to dress the tree and place the presents beneath. A swarm of Gortex clad figures have been braving the elements, busily addressing the final touches to our 110ft long catamaran. What's with this part of the world in late Jan-early Feb? Two nights prior to our arrival in Brest from Marseille we had very fresh south westerly winds peaking at 45 knots for a brief period. A lapse in strength allowed us to unstep the mast the day of our arrival and it has been 30+ knots since with driving rain. Never mind, my windsurfer arrived from the Offshore Challenge base in Cowes on Monday so the pressure gradient is sure to decrease - that's Murphy's Law. [Ed note: Nick Moloney is not a bad windsurfer either...having also been the first person to cross the Bass Straits by windsurfer, just two weeks before the Sydney-Hobart race disaster] Geronimo, the giant trimaran of our possible global sparring partner, Olivier de Kersauson, is about 500 metres away in the Moulin Blanc Marina and a real sight. That boat looks massive...she is rig-less [she broke the top section of her mast towards the end of last year] but still very impressive. We really require a turn around in the weather to get underway. The North Atlantic is littered with strong depressions and the general direction is far from favourable. The plan today is to be stacked and ready by Monday night. Then