It has been nearly two years since Nick Moloney, professional sailor and watersports fanatic, set a new around Hong Kong island record and took home the Cariad Trophy after smashing the previous time by over half an hour. But with talk of foiling moths and a foiling catamaran lined up to enter this year’s race, that record could well be broken.
The around-the-island record currently stands at 2 hours, 13 minutes and 11 seconds after Nick Moloney skippered the Aberdeen Extreme 40 catamaran during 2013’s Round the Island race. Reefed and flying off the back of strong winds courtesy of Typhoon Haiyan, Nick and the team were able to set a new sailing speed record that had not been broken for 23 years.
As with all records though, it is only a matter of time before someone else is able to better it. “And that is what setting a new record is about – how long will it be before the bar is raised again?” says Moloney. He should know – this is a man whose 24 hour monohull speed record in 1997 aboard Toshiba was beaten just a few months later by the Volvo 60 Silk Cut. Meanwhile, his record for crossing the notorious Bass Strait between Australia and Tasmania on a windsurfer in 1998 still stands. “It is a mindset,” reflects Moloney, “And it is not one that everybody can completely harness. I really believe that when you set a new record you have to enjoy the moment but appreciate that in 24 hours it could be broken. I love that feeling of realising the objective, smashing the glass ceiling and knowing that someone somewhere will have immediately set themselves the objective to better your achievement.
I love that feeling of realising the objective, smashing the glass ceiling and knowing that someone somewhere will have immediately set themselves the objective to better your achievement
My advice to anyone wanting to set a record; enjoy the brief moment in time when you are the fastest, then quickly prepare mentally for your record to become a lost page in history, otherwise you are in for a world of pain.
This year foiling moths and a foiling Phantom catamaran will be taking part in the Round the Island race for the very first time. Capable of speeds in excess of 30 knots, Moloney is confident that in the right conditions, the foiling boats could be a game-changer. “I personally funded the development of the very first foiling moth that was sailed by Rohal Veal. And I recently spent time with good friends Glenn Ashby and Leigh McMillan while they were training for the last World Championships in Australia. I was surprised by how far the boat had progressed in terms of speed and development. Since 2005 when Rohan became the first person to win the Moth Worlds using the hydrofoil technique I knew that these boats were going to change the face of sailing, particularly in the smaller dinghy classes, and it is great to see them entered into this year’s race.”
This is the first time foiling yachts have taken part in the Hong Kong Around the Island race but the development of these boats is not new. However, it is only recently that the foiling concept has really become mainstream. The America’s Cup is now leading the way in foil technology. “The Extreme Sailing Series is moving onto foils next year with GC32s. Even monohulls are getting in on the action, with the new breed of IMOCA Open 60s, although I think we are some way off seeing these accepted as family cruisers,” Moloney concludes.
Nick Moloney is currently working on a new project in partnership with St. Regis Macao, Cotai Central, ahead of their opening in December.