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15 December 2005, 11:59 am
The Circle Is Complete For MOLONEY
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Offshore News
Les Sables d'Olonne, France

Nick MOLONEY onboard SKANDIA arrived at the famous French port of Les Sables d'Olonne at 1725 UTC yesterday to complete his solo tour of the globe. 'Never in a million years will I experience the famous Vendée Globe arrival as the other competitors did," he remarked. "Completing the circle now, in this way, will give me a very different memory...'
MOLONEY left the shores of Brazil on 25 November this year, exactly ten months to the day from when he lost his keel 120 miles south of Rio de Janeiro ending his Vendée Globe race after 80 days at sea. This 4,300 mile journey from Brazil to the Vendée Globe finish port has taken MOLONEY 19 days, and effectively completes his first solo circumnavigation that began over a year ago on 7 November 2004 at the start of the solo non-stop round the world race.

It was a mission MOLONEY felt he had to complete for his own peace of mind and his tenacity is recognized by his supporters, his team, his sponsors and the Vendée Globe organization who were gathered in Les Sables d'Olonne to welcome him.

Now MOLONEY is heading for Australia to spend time with his family and compete in the classic Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race onboard Alex THOMSON's Open 60 Hugo Boss and will be in Melbourne for the Volvo Ocean Race stopover in support of Paul CAYARD's (USA) Pirates of the Caribbean syndicate.

MOLONEY explained, '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.'

Lou Newlands (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Nick MOLONEY aboard Skandia:© DPPI
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