Note: I became intriuged by Nick’s formual 1 inspired chair and sleeping accomidations. Offshore Challenges supplied me with images of this new age sleeping system. Nice, but expensive. Nick will test his minimalist accomidations in the Transat.
* After an extensive refit over the last four months Nick Moloney saw his Open
60 ‘Skandia’ exit the boat shed for the water…
* The Open 60 Skandia has undergone many modifications since its last competitive races at the back end of 2003 (the Transat Jacques Vabre, with team mate Sam Davies and the Defi Atlantique solo Vendée Globe qualifier)
* The primary focus is now on The Transat race starting 31st May…a solo race across the North Atlantic battling against the prevailing wind and elements
* Moloney’s quest for his ultimate goal is the solo, non-stop round the world Vendée Globe race but there are hurdles to climb in securing necessary backing before Nick can cross that start line…
Visit www.nickmoloney.com for further information
At the Offshore Challenges base at Cowes Waterfront – Venture Quays in East Cowes, skipper Nick Moloney and his shore team gathered to watch as the Open 60 ‘Skandia’ left the boat shed in her new livery to be craned gently into the water. It has been a long four months of hard work for the team following a major refit that has included some big modifications to a boat that was custom-built for Nick’s Offshore Challenges team-mate, Ellen MacArthur.
“It was an emotional moment to see this awesome boat – looking just fantastic in her new Skandia colours – leave the boat shed and reach the water where she belongs,” said Nick. “The team have done an amazing job and it has been a long slog to get to this stage. We have just completed the first performance re-fit on this boat for over 20 months and are looking forward to the Transat to test the modifications. Our focus has been to gear up for The Transat but we have kept the Vendée Globe clearly in mind which, of course, is our major goal for 2004-2005 and really the major goal in my life.”
The quote of the day came from Offshore Challenges Managing Director, Mark Turner: “Here we go again. We must be mad!”
Moloney, along with his shore team headed up by John Hildebrand, have spent many hours working on the modifications to the Open 60. The boat originally built for 5′ 4″ skipper Ellen MacArthur has undergone a total refit. “I have already raced this boat many times, in the EDS Atlantic Challenge, the two-handed Transat Jacques Vabre and solo in the Defi Atlantique. In fact, I have already sailed this boat the round the world distance already and during that time I imagined the different ways we could modify the boat to suit my build. I have drawn on the experiences of my competitors, friends and past races to assist in the planning and final decision making. I have a great deal to learn and the hundreds of thousands of miles that I have already raced on various boats in the past do not really reflect the demands and stresses of this final challenge.”
How Nick Will Sleep
The modifications have included:
* Increasing overall sail area both upwind and downwind in order to make the boat more powerful.
* Moving furniture below deck in order to make the whole internal living area more comfortable and practical for my leg length and height, especially in the nav centre.
* Altered various features like the orientation of the grinding pedestal to create better ergonomics and larger winches for faster manoeuvres. Changing the navigational seat which is based on a Formula 1 racing car seat that can rotate, recline and move across a semi-circle track spanning the nav table.
The Racing Car Seat
* New simplified electronics, navigation, media and comms system.
“I believe that we have taken a healthy step forward in our fight against weight aloft and overall drag for better efficiency. We have gone to great lengths to assist my mental well being whilst enduring the demands of solo racing with visions of sustaining high tempo for around 95 days during the Vendée Globe. The placement of many items have been relocated to save unnecessary effort thus burning less energy. More comfort for better results from 15 minute cat naps and resting periods and a reclining racing car seat that allows me to sleep feet forward which is better for body and mind when sailing through regions of known debris in the water like logs off Brazil and ice in the Southern Ocean. We have even researched a mood colour to paint the chart table and nav center. The colour does not complement our sponsors branding but it has been decided upon after three independent sources looking into a colour that will help the boat feel warm in the South and assist any possible mood swings throughout the emotional roller coaster that comes with endurance ocean racing, alone and fighting fatigue,” concluded Moloney.
The Open 60 will be officially launched on 17th May in London before heading to Plymouth for the start of The Transat. Prior to this the boat’s mast will be stepped this week before Nick starts an extensive boat testing period before his compulsory 750 mile qualification for the solo transatlantic race.
Nick@ Nav Station
Moloney’s ultimate and final offshore sailing goal is to race in the Vendée Globe will be a culmination of three goals he set himself in 1995 after his second Americas Cup; to race with a crew around the world (1997-98 Whitbread on board Toshiba) and to be part of a crew attempting to set a non-stop round the world Jules Verne record which was achieved in 2002 when the giant catamaran Orange’ setting a record of 64 days, 8 hours and 37 minutes, 24 seconds.
Nick’s sleeping demo
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