Moloney at base camp St Malo

Nick and Offshore Challenges 1 have made the short trip to Route de Rhum start town

Thursday October 31st 2002, Author: Andy Nicholson, Location: United Kingdom
Six months ago Nick Moloney sailed into Brittany, celebrating his record-breaking lap of the planet on the maxi-catamaran Orange. After "flicking the switch and focusing on single-handed sailing," yesterday marked Moloney's return to Brittany to start a new chapter in his ocean sailing career.

After spending several days in Cherbourg, waiting for the inclement weather to pass, Moloney has arrived in St Malo - the start port of the 2002 Route du Rhum race.

St Malo is ironically the finish port for one of the many speed records Moloney has to his credit. He was a crewman on the maxi-catamaran Playstation when she blitzed the Cowes (England) to St Malo route last December. It was also the finish line for his victory last year in the EDS Atlantic Challenge as co-skipper with Ellen MacArthur of 'Kingfisher'.

With still two days to go until the final deadline for Route du Rhum fleet to congregate in St Malo, Moloney's Class 2 opposition are slowly stacking up in the Atlantic coastal town.

"I'm waiting in anticipation for the rest of the opposition to arrive so I can scout them out," explained Nick, who is particularly keen to see Class 2 pre-race favourite Yannick Besthaven (France), the first skipper in history to win both legs of the Mini-Transat race.

In the meantime, as Nick waits for his yacht to go through final scrutineering and measurement and the opposition to turn up, he is soaking up the atmosphere in Saint -Malo, where the race village draws up to one million people.

"There is heaps of good spirit here, the docks are packed. A young French boy travelled all the way from Nicé with his dad to show me a model of Offshore Challenges 1 he had made."

The only task left over the next week is for Nick to analyse the weather information he has with his French shore-side router Jean-Yves Bernot and consider his tactics for the first week at sea.

www.nickmoloney.com

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