Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars - North Technology

SAP 505 World Championship sailor's remarkable story

by Di Pearson on 31 Mar 2011
Jim Turner and Luke Molloy - Christophe Favreau pic - SAP 505 World Championship Christophe Favreau © http://christophefavreau.photoshelter.com/
Among the big names on Hamilton Island for this week’s 2011 SAP 505 World Championship are two America’s Cup and big boat sailing mates, here to sharpen their skills in the ‘505’ - and one of them - an Australian Volvo Ocean Race winner, has a remarkable story.

Queenslander Luke Molloy, an ambitious and highly-regarded sailor, told for the first time of his chronic kidney failure and a subsequent kidney transplant last March.

A low-key bloke, Molloy, 31, hasn’t told many people. He wanted no sympathy, and even more, he didn’t want the affliction to stop him from sailing, or for others to stop him doing from the sport he loves best.

'I had this problem for five years and didn’t know. The reality is, I probably had it when I was sailing the 2005-2006 Volvo Ocean Race aboard ABN-AMRO,' said Molloy whose team subsequently won the arduous race and broke a 24-hour speed record in the process.

'I was starting to feel a bit tired and lethargic, but to tell you the truth, I thought it was because I was flying around the world and competing non-stop. Getting a new kidney changed me completely, I had so much more energy; I’m fitter. It’s amazing, the difference it’s made,' Molloy said.

Kidney transplants are a last minute resort. Molloy continued to sail while having dialysis daily for six weeks. 'A family member gave me a kidney, I was very lucky,' Molloy said, preferring not to go into details of who donated the organ.

'I had to keep sailing while I was on dialysis, because being a pro-sailor, if someone replaces you in a crew for any job, it’s likely you won’t get that job back.'

Sailing jobs included an unsuccessful transatlantic record attempt aboard British yachtsman Mike Slade’s ICAP Leopard, just six weeks after his transplant.

The Volvo Ocean Race is arguably the toughest ocean race in the world, along with the Sydney-Hobart, which Molloy also competes in.

A driver and trimmer, Molloy was selected from 1800 sailors by ABN AMRO. It is the dream of so many sailors to do that race, but few get to achieve it. Molloy was 25 when he set off on that adventure, and that race put him on the map.

His efforts recognised, in 2007, Molloy became a member of the Swedish 32nd America's Cup challenger, Victory Challenge. Currently, he is doing the TP52 MedCup circuit with the Franco-German ALL4ONE team and is hoping the group will transition into challenging for the 34th America’s Cup.

Molloy, who grew up in Gladstone, has Mark ‘Squark’ Bradford to thank for his first yachting opportunity after gaining a sail making apprenticeship at his North loft in Brisbane.

His first big offshore job came from a friend of both, Peter ‘Spike’ Doriean, who tragically died at a regatta overseas last year, falling and hitting his head in the bathroom of his apartment.

'I got to go sailing because of working for Squark, and Spike launched me into the international scene,' said Molloy, who ditched university when he got hooked on big boat sailing.

Among his accomplishments, Molloy, who now lives in the UK after marrying Englishwoman Sally, won the 2009 Copa del Rey aboard Neville Crichton’s maxi yacht Alfa Romeo.

Speaking from Hamilton Island today, the pro-sailor said he last sailed a 505 at the 2002 Worlds. His friend and crew, Jim Turner, had never sailed one before, but has twice won the Fireball Worlds – 1996 and 1998. 'Jim hatched the plan to sail these 505 Worlds while we were at the MedCup,' Molloy said.

'We rang Holger Jess in Germany (Jess is also a competitor at the SAP 505 Worlds) and asked him to put a package together. He’s great; you get a new boat, rigged, fully equipped and even tuned,' Turner said. 'We’re very grateful to him.

'The first couple of days back on the boat really hurt,' admitted Turner, 'my stomach and leg muscles especially!' The pain is worth it though, the two were placed sixth overall going into today’s racing, against a class field.

An Englishman from Dorset, Turner lives in New Zealand where he met his wife through the America’s Cup, where he also became friends with Molloy.

Now 35, Turner, who is also a pro-sailor, was the pitman aboard America’s Cup challengers Great Britain Challenge in 2002-2003 and French challenger, Areva, in 2007.

'Competing at the 505 Worlds is good for us. We needed to get back to basics and learn how to do everything again,' Turner said.

'A few things are passing us by, because on big boats we’ve got used to doing one or two things at a time, but on a dinghy like this, you have to do everything and be aware of everything.'

Molloy responded 'We’re getting better though. We finished 15th at the pre-worlds and we’re sixth with a day to go at the Worlds.'

Turner: 'We’re getting our fast skills back and that’s a good thing. It’s about reminding yourself to make sure you’re always going as fast as you can. The gains and losses are huge in the 505. It’s the best decision we’ve made for ages.'

The two, who have resumes too extensive to go into, will next jump aboard ICAP Leopard with the gregarious Mike Slade again, to take on the Transatlantic Race, an Atlantic Ocean Racing Series, covering 2,975 miles from Newport, Rhode Island, to the Lizard in England.

'We’ll be up against Rambler, the former Speed Boat now owned by George David,' Turner said of the canting-keeled 100ft speed machine.. Other foes will include PUMA’s mar mostro and Karl Kwok’s Beau Geste.

In the meantime, Molloy is heavily involved with all the technical details of the brand new TP52 ALL4ONE, which was built in Australia by McConghy’s and will be launched next month, when he will re-join the Audi Sailing Team. Turner will also return to the MedCup circuit, with the Russian Synergy team, which he has been sailing with for a while.

Both said they would 'jump at the chance,' to sail on the new AC45 boats and are hoping their respective TP teams have ambitions to make it to the 34th America’s Cup. First though, they are looking to put in a first class performance at the SAP 505 World Championship.

www.505sapworldchampionship2011.com
Bakewell-White Yacht DesignHelm Events 660x82Naiad

Related Articles

Vendee Globe - Day 29 - Southern Ocean match racing duel + Video
The Match Race continues at the lead of the Vendee Globe as the leaders pass the longitude of Cape Leeuwin, Australia The Match Race continues at the lead of the Vendee Globe as the leaders pass the longitude of Cape Leeuwin, on the SW extremity of Australia as the head for Stewart Island (NZ) and then Cape Horn. At one stage Armel Le Cleac'h (Banque Populaire VIII) and Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) were within sight of each other.
Posted on 4 Dec
Giovanni Soldini and Maserati team complete RORC Transatlantic Race
At exactly 20h 54’ 23” GMT (16.54 local time) on Saturday, 3 December, Maserati Multi70 sailed across the finish-line At exactly 20h 54’ 23” GMT (16.54 local time) on Saturday, 3 December, Maserati Multi70 sailed across the finish-line, just off Camper and Nicholsons’ Port Louis Marina on Grenada, to complete her first ocean race in a time of seven days, eight hours, 44 minutes and 23 seconds.
Posted on 4 Dec
RORC Transatlantic Race – Day 9 – Grenadian welcome for Maserati
Maserati crossed the finish line on Saturday, completing their first ocean race in seven days, eight hours, 44m, 23s The Italian MOD70, Maserati has finished the race; Phaedo3 has been declared the winner of the Multihull Trophy and Mike Slade's Maxi, Leopard is on the hunt for the monohull record.
Posted on 4 Dec
18ft Skiffs Yandoo Trophy – Ward, Marshall and West win first race
Young team had to withstand huge pressure from the fleet’s top crews before crossing the finish line with 40s to spare. Following last week’s brilliant performance with a brand new number one rig, Appliancesonline.com.au (David Witt, Tom Anderson, Tom Clout) again showed the skiff to be a major threat in the upcoming championships with a great second placing.
Posted on 4 Dec
Vendee Globe – Kojiro Shiraishi on Spirit of Yukoh forced to retire
At 0240 UTC on Sunday, Kojiro, Skipper of Spirit of Yukoh contacted his shore team to tell them that he had dismasted. At 0240 UTC on Sunday December 4th, Kojiro Shiraishi, Skipper of Spirit of Yukoh contacted his shore team to tell them that he had dismasted. The boat Spirit of Yukoh was sailing in a moderate breeze (20 knots). Kojiro inside of the boat heard the sound of the mast breaking at around 0230 UTC.
Posted on 4 Dec
Melges 24 World Championship –Day 5– Embarr and Taki crowned champions
The crew has shown an extreme solidity and constancy, fascinating everybody for its asset and conduction of the boat The crew has shown an extreme solidity and constancy all through the races, fascinating everybody for its asset and conduction of the boat in the downwind legs, that allowed them to take out amazing recoveries also when the starts hadn't been so good. Important it is to have a closely knit crew to succeed in events of such an importance
Posted on 4 Dec
Meet the 2017-18 crew - Mike Kidwell
It’s nine months before the start of the race so I suppose it’s not dissimilar to waiting for a baby – both can be wet “It’s nine months before the start of the race so I suppose it’s not dissimilar to waiting for a baby – both can be wet, cold and miserable, but equally fun, warm and enjoyable!” says Mike Kidwell, a 63-year-old Business Developer from Queensland who is taking part in the full circumnavigation in the 2017-18 edition of the race.
Posted on 4 Dec
Vendee Globe - Spirit of Yukoh has dismasted
Kojiro Shiraishi informed everyone at 0230 UTC today (Sunday) that his mast had broken above attachment for small jib. Kojiro Shiraishi informed everyone at 0230 UTC today (Sunday) that his mast had broken above the attachment for the small jib. The Japanese sailor is not in danger and is busy trying to set up a jury rig. Kojiro is fine and in contact with his shore team to judge the extent of the damage and to determine whether it is possible to continue the race. He is safely heading for Cape Town.
Posted on 4 Dec
The Bridge – The Queen Mary – Essence of historical transatlantic race
The Bridge has invited the Queen Mary 2 to take part in an ocean challenge in a race against a fleet of giant trimarans On 2nd December, the press conference for the official launch of The Bridge was held in the prestigious setting of the Salle Turenne at the Hôtel des Invalides. The Bridge, a unique, festive, maritime, cultural and popular event, will take place from June 15th until the beginning of July 2017, in Nantes, Saint-Nazaire and New York.
Posted on 3 Dec
Iain Jensen wins MS Amlin 'Dash for Cash'
Some crashes were spectacular, with the skipper being launched from the boat in a cloud of spray. Jensen is the longtime crew for Nathan Outteridge, the helmsman for Artemis Racing. As a team they won the Olympic Gold medal in the 49er Class at the 2012 London Olympics.
Posted on 3 Dec