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8 February 2002, 02:00 pm
Final Preparations For Oranges Attempt
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Orange ©Gilles Martin-Raget

Jules Verne Trophy

Nick Moloney talks about the final preparations:<I> "All on schedule for Bruno Peyron and the crew of Orange. Its an incredible emotion, counting down the days till our departure. Our world is coming together.</I>
Activities like food sorting, arrival of new sails etc makes this whole mission seem so real. I'm a bit like a child that has waited all year for Christmas and is finally able to dress the tree and place the presents beneath.

A swarm of Gortex clad figures have been braving the elements, busily addressing the final touches to this machine.

What's with this part of the world in late Jan early Feb??? Two nights prior to our arrival in Brest from Marseille we had very fresh South Westerly winds peaking at 45kts for a brief period. A lapse in strength allowed us to un-step the mast the day of our arrival and its been 30+ since with driving rain. Never mind, my windsurfer arrived from the OC base in Cowes on Monday so the pressure gradient is sure to decrease. (Murphy's Law).

'Geronimo', the giant trimaran of our possible global sparring partner, de Kersauson, is about 500 metres away and a real sight. That boat looks massive...She is rig-less but still very impressive.

We really require a turn around in the weather to get underway. The North Atlantic is littered with strong depressions and the general direction is far from favourable. The plan today is to be stacked and ready by Monday night. Then we wait. Brings back Playstation memories...

I love this period of preparation, the team is really focused. Attention to detail is superb everyone has already begun looking out for each other. Your mates ring or e-mail just to say hello but you know they're just making sure that they tell you to 'hang on' so they can live with a clear conscience in the event that something goes terribly wrong. I know, I've recently made the same call or mail to my mates that are now dodging ice deep South in the VOR.

I feel guilty tucking myself into a warm bed tonight without a worry in the world. Wont be long till its a very different story."

Nick Moloney/News Editor
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