Nick Moloney is determined to push out of the pack as wind builds
The middle of the pack is tight on day 25 of the Vendee Globe. Australian Nick Moloney holds 10th position as he races to catch up to Conrad Humphreys only 8 miles ahead on Hellomoto, and Swiss yachtsman Dominique Wavre on Temenos sailing 54 miles ahead.
At latitude 32 10 N and longitude 8 32 W the wind has picked up to 20 knots – the strongest for the week.
Nick bites the bullet overnight, gybing south to lock in to the same wind as Tenemos and Hellomoto. He lost miles on the rankings, but has repositioned himself well and now has good building breeze from the north. Today should see wind building up to 35 knots to propel the pack to the east – but the way through the weather minefield off South Africa, into the Southern Ocean, is still not obvious.
Nick is constantly readjusting to deal with the conditions: “Pretty hard on the head this gig! Mentally it is so extremely different to the other races [I’ve done]. Whitbread you stop, and you can really push the boats. Big cat you learn to preserve the boat and stay right side up. Being on your own you are trying to find your own limits.”
A promised depression is leaving Uruguay and heading for South Africa bringing increasing winds from the north to Nick’s pack. The problem is that it is going to pass to the north of them, which means with the clockwise circulation of wind around a low in the southern hemisphere, that boats to its south will experience difficult and uncomfortable (not to mention slow) upwind conditions from the east, rather than the downwind sleigh ride they need.
Changing winds have made things difficult for Nick Moloney but now the wind is picking up he’s on his way to make up for lost time.