Luke Molloy / Team AkzoNobel

gender Male
Nicolai, on deck: "You are going to have good and bad days when you do the Volvo Ocean Race, and you're more likely to have more bad days than good days. Today for example is a bad day; we just lost 4 miles to Dongfeng in a couple of hours, and we don't really have the answers to it. So frustration goes up, people get frustrated, tired, they're exhausted already, and you've gotta be able to deal with that. And that just comes down to good leadership, good management of the team, and everyone getting back into their positing and their roles, and just doing their job, and not trying to get into each other and getting emotional about it... keep the ups and downs away... Tomorrow we might gain for miles... Just flatline the emotional part of it." Below, Simeon talks about Dongfeng being 4 miles ahead. "And the next guys coming on watch are like, what happened?" On deck, Brad looks tense. "It's not like it's the end of the world. Still a week out." Luke, on the wheel: Talks about being happy the rest of the fleet is tucked away. Nicolai talks about having three not-so-good legs, so the pressure is on. Need to deliver results. "You can never regret putting in 100%, and that's what we're doing right now."Darkness and the sound of flopping sails. On deck at night, Jules is in the foreground, his face illuminated by the light from a tablet. Behind him the railing by the helm is lit by red light. Jules: "The only problem at the moment this way is that no one's actually moving." Nicho: "We can still do our five minutes heading north." Jules: "On starboard." Nicho: "Before running into where MAPFRE is." They discuss that MAPFRE and Dongfeng have stopped. [Guys: I've seen the future. There's a huge windless cloud ahead.] Nicho: "But at least we'll be heading north until we stop." Simeon and Cécile grind on the pedestal. Stars overhead; the main pops over as they tack to starboard. Below, at the nav station, Nicho points out the changed positions on the chart: They've pulled ahead of Dongfeng and MAPFRE, while Vestas further west has made up ground. "Just from one cloud." Another 500, 600 miles of this, he says. Low-altitude drone shot of AkzoNobel drifting on a glassy sea. Martine throws something small down the forward hatch. Crew sits on sails on the bow. Below, Brad says to Nicolai: "Nicolai, you still awake?" Nicolai: "Yeah. Too warm to sleep. Just watching a bit of Netflix." They have a little scripted chitchat. Jules calls down the hatch that they want to do a peel to the J1, and they need some big strong muscle-y men. Shot of the instruments on the mast: Boatspeed: 0.93. High-altitude time-lapse drone shot of AkzoNobel drifting along. Nicho talks about the "good guys" generally doing okay in the doldrums. Nicolai pulls the main. Very-high-altitude drone shot showing them parked. Pretty slomo shot of their branding reflected in the water. Luke, on the helm, talks about the mood: concerned. Need to come out of the doldrums okay so the front bunch gets a jump. Low-altitude drone shot at sunset with another boat beyond them. I think it's probably Vestas.High drone shot showing Dongfeng in the foreground and AkzoNobel in the background. It's a pretty distant shot, and makes me wonder: The OBRs haven't been using this opportunity to get drone closeups of their competitors (which they did, a little, in Leg 2). I bet there was some kind of agreement to limit that, presumably for competitive reasons (i.e., an extension of the "OBR shall not contribute to the racing" concept, such that they shouldn't be potentially helping their crew steal info about setup on the other boats). Anyway, Sam's voice is lapped over the shot: "Nicho, tell me about the art of sailing through the doldrums." We see Nicho, who tells a story about meeting with a meterologist who talked about clouds all day, and he asked him how to tell a good cloud from a bad one. "There is an element of luck... I"m lucky I enjoy it." Luke talks about being stuck in the doldrums, playing cat-and-mouse with Dongfeng. Overlapped with a time-laps of the drone shot of the two boats - which I realize now shows a third boat, Vestas, ahead of them both. Simeon, on the helm, talks about trying to sail from puff to puff. Shot of Dongfeng ahead of them and to leeward. Luke talks about how he thinks Dongfeng is probably tense on board, with their close competitor MAPFRE close by. Shot of a rain cloud. Drone shot from astern as the sun is setting to port with a competitor on the horizon while Brad is hoisted up the mast. Drone shots circling him at the masthead showing rain clouds and the other boats around them. Nicolai talks about them sending Brad up to look for the beeze, having 5 boats in the same area. Simeon, shirtless with the low sun on him, talks about being pretty happy with the situation. "Fighting, you know, every single watch and hour." A shot of them approaching a competitor (I think; unless it's a low-altitude drone shot of their own boat) with the sunset sky behind them. We see the other boat just a few boatlenghts away. Someone says, "There's somebody standing on the prod." [?] Brad (I think) calls out to them: "Who's the monkey on the bowsprit?" We hear the response. Something like, "Go back to Kerikeri, mate", which makes Brad chuckle. [Brad and Blair Tuke are both from Kerikeri, NZ.] I think this must be the super-close approach they had with MAPFRE around 2018.01.10 08:20:10 UTC, so that would make it either Blair or Louis who's answering. Brad, invisible in the dark: "It's nice to talk to somebody from another boat for a change. As much as I love these guys, it's nice to hear a different voice for once. Especially one from Kerikeri." Awesome drone shot passing AkzoNobel at low altitude, flying toward MAPFRE. Lightning-flash illuminated shots of them sailing in the squall that night.Drone shot AT NIGHT of AkzoNobel silhouetted against the trail of the nearly full moon on the water behind them. Masthead red running light is visible, also four different white lights. Not sure what's up with those. Sail-illumination lights? Brad, on deck: "Beautiful night out here." Talks about chipping away at Dongfeng, who crossed them by 2.5 miles, and are now 5 miles away. Gybe coming up; hope to make more gains there. Simeon, at nav station below, nods to Sam. Simeon: "Yeah. Pretty happy." Luke, on deck on the wheel (I think): "Warm water. Full moon. Doesn't get any better... Great company. Go the A-team on here." Shot of Orion standing on his head next to the shrouds. Shot of the helmsman from the cockpit, then pans up the backstay to show the Southern Cross. Drone shot close to the boat from to leeward, illuminated by moonlight.Jules, at the nav station, talks to Sam. "How would I describe myself? Tired?... I think I'm pretty easy-going, most of the time, except when I'm tired." Sam: "How do you think the crew would describe you?" Jules: "Miserable. Quiet." On deck, Luke answers the question: "Uncomplicated, I would say. [laughs] No; he's a good rooster. Very rarely gets it wrong. It's only us getting it wrong that makes him look bad." Looks like this was shot as they were beating out of Port Phillip Bay on the first afternoon. Closeup of Jules at the nav station, rubbing his head. Shot of the computer showing weather. On deck, Brad points out Green Cape. "Everyone knows it's one of the most southeastern capes of Australia." Shot of the cape with its lighthouse. To the left is another boat, barely visible; I'm guessing it's Vestas. On deck, Simeon talks about needing to choose whether to play the coast or go offshore. Shot from the cabin of Jules (below) talking to Nicho (on deck). Simeon crouches down as water splashes over him. Simeon: "[something] stay in touch with the other guys. Otherwise you'll lose them." Jules discusses how the fleet is splitting. Also there are three different tidal models that disagree as to where the eddy is. More discussion by Simeon: gybe or not? Conversation with the three of them continues below at the nav station. Nicho: "If you gybe back, you're pretty much committed to playing the shore." Sam talks to Jules: "How would you describe the decision-making process on this boat?" Jules: "Not very clear. Because not everyone knows the full implications of everything they're talking about. You often get into situations like this where it's a tossup, you gotta trust one weather model or the other. Or you just do the conservative thing and stay with the fleet." Nicho, below, eating: "You've gotta kick it around. Kick it to death. And then make a gut call, usually. There's a fair bit of science involved... I think in the end for this situation, we're on a good heading with great pressure. More breeze than inshore." Sam: "How would you describe the decision-making process on this boat?" Nicho: "Plenty of input from everybody. At times this is Simeon's boat. I certainly from my side I feel like I can make the decision and live with it perhaps a bit easier. It's not a difficulty, it's just how it is. I guess we've kind of struggled and grappled with that sitaution a little. But no; the actual process I think is quite good. No one's angry or frustrated or anyting like that. It's just trying to weigh up all the pros and cons, come up with a decision."AkzoNobel is sailing upwind inside Port Phillip Bay on starboard. Nicho, on the stern, talks about how they couldn't hold their lane on port tack after the start. "Don't know. Not sure what happened. We were slow on port for a long time." Shot of their stern with a Bravo (protest) flag flying; other boats in the distance. Simeon below: "Yeah, we had a bit of a speed issue, yeah." Shots of crew moving the stack. Nicho: "It's not where you want to be... back of the pack... No use grumbling about it." Below, Nicolai and Simeon are looking through the window in the hull, talking about the prop. Maybe it wasn't folding properly? Brad looks through an inspection tool: "It's closed but it's got weed in it... Looks like I'm going over the side. Get a lot of heel on, and rip it off." Sam: "Would this explain the speed?" Brad: "Hopefully." On deck, Brad gets lowered over the weather side in his foulies with lines forward and aft; he goes down near the waterline to inspect. Cécile's back is in the foreground as she relays Brad's words, then helps him back on deck. Brad: "A bit of weed. Not as big as it looked. But it's closed. Nothing underwater slowing us down. So get into it." Later, on the stern, Sam asks Brad: "How's it feel to be in last place coming out of Australia?" Brad: "I hate to say, but we're used to it." Luke: "New Year's resolution? Probably just to win a few legs here." Martine: "I dunno. Just keep positive." Brad: "Not be last out of the next start. And start getting in front of the fleet." Rainbow in the boat's spray to leeward. Luke talks about the frustration of starting off in last or close to last. "People say you're unlucky, but you create your own luck." Talks about teamwork, they're a great group of sailors. Real rainbow to leeward; a competitor below and behind them. Simeon talks about them doing well in the last sched. "Zero to hero." First in the position reports. At the nav station, Jules talks about their performance. Sam: "How'd you manage to check back in with the fleet?" Jules: "Bit of luck, really. Guys have been sailing pretty hard all night. Everyone's been up pretty much most of the night. Gybed on a couple of shifts. Got a nice header for a while..." Talks about disappointment at the start, needing to hang in there. "If we go fast we'll be all right." Rainbow with Vestas, Dongfeng to leeward.Drone shot pans up to show AkzoNobel sailing toward the drone. In the cockpit, Martine trims the main. On the helm, Nicho talks about how they've fallen off the front and winds are lighter [hence the drone footage], and it's hurting them in the previous sched and likely the next one. Luke talks about how they're now last on the leaderboard. "Pretty frustrating. Haven't had the best luck with the weather, unfortunately... but also haven't been sailing the boat as well as we possiby can. So we have a lot of work to do in Cape Town." Jules at the nav station looks concerned. Nicolai aggressively brushes his teeth. Simeon, below, talks about the disappointment: "It's always hard to swallow when you see every sched, moving back." Low-altitude drone shot from the port quarter. Peter, grinding: "We're pushing as hard as possible, trying to catch every wave. But we've been losing for a few days." Nicho, on the helm; Simeon, below, talk about needing to stay focused and keep pushing despite the disappointment. Luke, on the stern pedestal: "Sometimes you get the elevator; sometimes you get the shaft." Drone shot.Below, Luke gets out of his bunk, gets dressed. Luke: "When it gets a bit rough and hard out here, there there are a few things I miss. Mainly one of them this time compared to the last race is my family. There are two young kids at home. You see I've got their pictures on the bulkhead here. They're big fans of the race and the team. I find myself thinking about them, and what I'm missing out on their lives." Closeup of two children's drawings. The one on the right shows a person at the helm. Above an adult has written: "by Teb. I love you Daddy" The one on the left shows a person with yellow hair and a brown beard. Text above the figure reads, "Brad just about to sleep in his bunk." (Nice likeness of Brad Farrand.) Luke talks about missing his bed and pillow. On deck, we see Luke on the helm. Next, below, we see a close-up of Nicolai's salt-water hands. Nicolai talks about what he misses from home when it's rough and wet, as it is today. Dry warm bed, time off. "Instead of putting yourself through pain and suffer, as we do these days." Shot out the cabin of washing-machine action in the cockpit. Jules calls out from the cabin to the crew. Jules: "A really good [something]. Probably another five or six hours. Should still slowly bend left. I think we're good." Luke, below, talks about how they're 5 or 6 days from Cape Town; looking forward to getting in and seeing the family. Slomo shot from behind the wheel of major spray coming over the cockpit.Emily gets dressed below, clips on a fanny pack. She talks about how it was a big risk for them to cut the corner by positioning themselves east of the fleet. A big risk for Jules, because there are all the other navigators saying no, we think this western route is faster. Peter, on deck, trims the main and explains that if you stay with the fleet you know you'll be close. But if you take a risk you have a chance of making a big gain. Behind, Martine is on the helm, beaming (as usual when steering). Luke talks about taking the risk. Luke: "Looks like now maybe it hasn't paid off, but it's certainly not over yet. We'll see what happens." Jules, below at the nav station, about the risk of diverging from the four boats ahead. Shot of routing software on the computer. Talks about how the weather pattern was evolving ahead of them, so they wouldn't necessarily be in the same weather pattern as the leaders when they got there. Jules: "We're sill gonna be a fair way behind, and we'll have to look for the next opportunity." Super-low-altitude drone shot (well below deck level) of AkzoNobel from close ahead and to weather, pulling back and ascending.Beautiful drone shot of AkzoNobel reaching on port at sunrise. Nicolai types at the nav station. He talks about how they just peeled to a fractional sail. Falling a little bit behind the other boats; looking for speed. Mast cam view of the deck. Jules, on deck: "We're struggling a bit with the reaching setup; the guys in front of us stretching away from us." On the stern, Emily washes up. Peter, on a sheet, talks about how they have some nice waves and are trying to catch most of them without getting too low. Luke talks about how it's frustrating that the rich (ahead of them) are getting richer. Brad, below, talks about the frustrations of leaders pulling away without their being close enough to see their sail setup. (Note: He has a raspberry-colored buzz cut from the equator-crossing ceremony, which didn't show up so far in a video.) Nicolai talks about working hard, not panicking, getting faster day by day. Slomo shot of Emily and Nicho working the foredeck.Nicho: Talks below about the competition. "We're kind of still paying the price for mistakes we made several days ago." Continues a pattern of him focusing on the earlier "miscommunication" as a source of their problem. In the background, Martine uses and empties the head. Luke: "For the good of everyone on board you try to stay as level-headed as possible. But it's obviously hard not to get caught up in the emotion of winning and losing... But there are times when you've had a couple of hard watches like we've ahd in the last couple of days where it's pretty hard to keep your emotions in check. But that's sport, isn't it?" Nicho on the helm. Brad, below, shirtless: "I try to keep it even. As much as some guys back there [looks aft] try to wind you up or make your life hard, I just try to get on with it and get the job done. Does take a bit of a toll." Simeon, at the nav station, talks about learning from his former skipper on ABN AMRO 2 to keep emotions at an average level, not too high or low. Nicho, below, talks about hoping for an opportunity later. Sunrise.A series of drone shots as AkzoNobel reaches on port in the afternoon: A wide shot looking down with AkzoNobel silhouetted against the sun shimmer on the water, a close shot of the bow. Audio is of Luke talking about their strategic situation. Luke: "Unfortunately we lost a bit of ground last night. Got a good sail combination up and we're charging toward the guys in front. We're off like a pack of wild dogs in hot pursuit. And I think it's going to be a good weekend."Sunrise drone shot of AckzoNobel sailing on starboard gybe under the MH0. Jules talks about their relationship with the other boats. Jules: "We're bow-to-bow with MAPFRE here; third and fourth." Shot of MAPFRE to starboard of them and slightly forward of the beam, also on starboard. Nicolai, shirtless in the bow, below, where crew have been sleeping, talks about how it's been hectic, but now there's a chance to dry out and make repairs before the next hectic period. Shot of thermals drying on a sheet in the cockpit. On deck, Nicolai explains how they need to repair a daggerboard piece: "We pulled out the dogbone of the daggerboard, so we can't hold the board down. We just have to replace that one." Shots of them wrestling the board back into its slot. Super-pretty low-altitude drone shot showing AkzoNobel's bow with the sunrise behind them. Close-up of Luke patching the J1. He explains that they're finally fixing the sail that was torn during the departure. Shots of Luke and Brad, shirtless, gluing patches on the sail. Shots of crew lying/sleeping in the bow. Nicolai, in the bow, talks about people resting and the jobs "getting ticked off."Drone shot of AkzoNobel sailing in about 12 knots of wind, triple-heading with the Masthead 0 on port gybe. Simeon, on the mainsheet, talks about Dongfeng being visible on the horizon, talks about the bungee effect as the squalls cause big changes in the wind. Another drone shot. Jules, on the stern, talks about the wind variations and the confused seas making the boat "like a submarine. So that's a bit hard." Luke on the helm talks about trying to avoid nose-diving. Stern cam shot of washing machine. Brad talks about being on the mainsheet for three hours, shows his hands. "Good for your exfoliating." Jules talks about the wind; 23 knots at the moment, softening later. Drone shot.Emily, below, pours from the kettle into a food bag. Emily: "I think probably the hardest thing to get used to on this boat is always being wet." Shot on deck of spray coming over the bow. Luke, on deck at the stern getting doused: "It's just challenging at the moment becuase you're constantly wet." He talks about stuffing people's wet things into an empty food bag to get it out of the way. Luke: "I see there's a bit of a rabbits nest of wet clothing gathering below... People will be asking where their wet stuff is, pretty soon, looking to dry it out. I think it's pretty much gone for the race." Emily: "A tiny bit of water down your neck seal, and all your thermals are wet... I'm still wearing the same wet thermals that I put on when I left the dock a couple of days ago." Emily and Simeon eating below. Simeon says something to her about chocolate, jokes about losing his credibility (?). Simeon: "I always find the first 24 hours tough. Then you get used to you're always damp. You smell like a web Labrador that just jumped in the mud. But when everything is like that, evertying becomes simple as well... You appreciate your warm meal out of a plastic bag. Whole group... [gestures at Emily] Good company." Camera pans to Emily, who keeps eating without looking up or acknowleding the remark.Simeon on the dock before the race with a little girl (presumably his daughter), then side-hugging and kissing a woman (presumably his wife). Simeon, below on AkzoNobel (before the start?). Simeon: "Of course you know it's not that sudden change; you've been plannnig for it all along. But still, it's hard. Twenty-one days, more, twenty-two days, without a call. It's a bit old-school. These days everyone is in contact all around the world 24/7... On the other hand, it's a real comfortable feeling. They're in a good place and they take care of each other. So when everything is good at home it's easy for us to leave." Slomo shot of Luke holding a young child on the dock. Below, as AkzoNobel is bashing under sail, Luke: "It's a bit differnt, you know, family life and then coming into the storm, so to speak. It's great sailing conditions, it's just unfortunate that we've had a tear to our J1. But we'll get it fixed in a few days time when we need it and be back to full power." On deck, looking forward as AkzoNobel surfs toward the sunset, Nico steers. Nicolai gets spray in the face from the washing machine.Shot of AkzoNobel slatting in no wind. Simeon: "We had a little bit of an accident yesterday with one of the mainsail battens; the top batten." Shot of them lowering the main, removing batten cars from the mast track. We see the crew repairing the broken battan, as Luke talks off-camera: "There's so many pieces that go together to making a mainsail, that you break one bit it's all related to the others. Unfortuantely we broke this top batten, which is the main batten that sets up the whole square top of the sail. So with a couple of days of reaching ahead of us, we thought we'd take this light air moment to repair it. Boys have done a good job, and now we're ready to hoist." Shots of them re-hoisting the main.