Nick Moloney completes his solo circumnavigation on Skandia
Ten months ago Nick Moloney’s Vendee Globe came to a sudden end when the keel fell off his Open 60 Skandia. For Moloney this was unfinished business and when, after the Transat Jacques Vabre, the opportunity arose to deliver Skandia back to Europe and to Sables d’Olonne, the Vendee finish he was not slow to take it. Here he describes his voyage.
‘I couldn’t just finish the Vendée Globe race off Brazil. I needed to finish this tour – for my own peace of mind – it is such a big, big thing to undertake and your only focus at the start of the race is arriving back in Les Sables d’Olonne. Mentally and physically it is a hard race – that takes months, years of preparation, and not to complete the circumnavigation would have been to hard to bear. Now I can move on and focus on the future.
‘It is a bit bizarre to arrive now but it is very special for me for many reasons – for my family, my team, my sponsors and for me. When the other guys were finishing the race in Les Sables d’Olonne in February, I arrived by car to see in Conrad (Humphreys) and Joe (Seeton) and that was really bizarre and not nice at all. But I am really excited to have arrived now.
‘The trip has been good and it has been an easy passage compared to the storms of the Southern Ocean. The first few days after leaving Salvador de Bahia were tricky as the wind was pretty variable in speed and direction but after that the sailing was great in the beautiful sunshine! The Doldrums were fine and pretty non-existent and we were met by some good north-east Trade Winds on the other side. We lost some wind due to the big tropical storm Epsilon but since then the sailing has been good, although the last few days of upwind sailing has been slightly frustrating and a bit rough in patches but overall life on board has been pretty low stress. A world apart from doing a solo race.
‘Never in a million years will I experience the famous Vendée Globe arrival as the other competitors did but I knew I couldn’t end this race in Brazil and let that be the final memory. Completing the circle now, in this way, will give me a very different memory but one that I can live with.’