Offshore Challenges' Nick Moloney is currently waiting the launch of his first book and preparing for the big one - the Vendee Globe later this year

After an unstable time early last year when Offshore Challenges’ Nick Moloney (pictured left) had to abandon ideas of doing a Jules Verne challenge with Tracy Edwards’ team to concentrate on his own Vendee Globe sponsorship campaign, his career is now looking promising.

At the latter part of the year he competed in the Jacques Vabre aboard Team Cowes with co-skipper Sam Davies and crossed the line in 6th place before heading off on his own in Le Defi Atlantic in November. Here he took a creditable 5th and in doing so qualified himself for the 2004 Vendee Globe. With no time to waste he immediately embarked on his Vendee campaign and is currently working flat out to ensure he makes it to the start line this November. With two potential sponsors on the cards but with nothing yet signed and sealed things are by no means definite, however. In fact if the boat (Ellen MacArthur’s ex Kingfisher) is not in the re-fit by the end of this month, Moloney reckons the project will fold. Commenting on the situation Moloney said: “We’ve been very strict on deadlines since the beginning of the project which the two particular sponsors are aware of and are happy to honour, so we’ll know our fate in the next two weeks. To be honest, it will be a relief because I want to know where my direction is. It was quite tough last year because I didn’t have my own project. I spent the time just charging down a dark tunnel, bouncing off the walls and not really knowing where I was going, it was a demoralising period.”

Interestingly however, Moloney has (although he’s not quite sure how he managed it) written a book that is due to be published at the end of February. Chasing the Dawn – The Jules Verne Trophy, is a story of he and his crew’s experiences aboard Bruno Peyron’s super-cat Orange when they broke the world speed record in 2002. According to Moloney the book, which is out in the nick of time before this current record is broken, came about in a bizarre way, commenting: “Because I was the only English speaking crewmember I’d been asked to do the book straight after the Jules Verne but I wasn’t up for it because I don’t rate myself as a writer and I just didn’t have time either because we were going straight into the Route du Rhum programme. It wasn’t until I sat down to research the course for Kingfisher 2 for the other guys that I thought ‘hey, the books already here from the journals I wrote during the trip.’ All I had to do was fill in the gaps! The only thing I’m slightly concerned about is that it’s been toned down because our target is general audience not sailing audience, and in order to do this the publishers have had to cut out a fair bit of action stuff.

“Because I really wanted this book to be ours [the entire crew’s] story not just my story, I made sure I included extracts from other crewmembers’ logs. The only thing I have written personally, which is the only way we could really work it because it was quite emotional, was the final chapter. My only hope is that my crew will enjoy the book as a memento and appreciate the way that I’ve presented them and us as a team and I just hope that people read it for what it is. It’s just our story and if they are interested in the Jules Verne they might read it and be inspired.”

So with a pending Vendee Globe, a book published at the end of next month, it’s a busy time for Moloney although he says he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of another book about his near death experience on the 1999 Mini Transat and how he’s managed to pull himself back from the fear of the sea to competing in this year’s Vendee Globe Challenge. Moloney concluded: “In 1999 there was a big storm and I ended up nearly losing my life and went back to Australia feeling really sorry for myself. However, the Australian Paralympic team, who I coach, gave me the motivation to get over my own setbacks. I then joined Steve Fossett and I spent a year with him on the big cat – the ultimate way to get over such a fear. And I actually felt stronger after the experience, which was a great relief. It’s probably the closest I’ll get to a Cinderella story in my lifetime. In depth it’s a pretty interesting story as to how I dealt with the whole thing mentally and the journey to not give up.”