Please select your home edition
Upffront 2020 Foredeck Club LEADERBOARD

Entries for Groupama feeder races climbing

by Lisa Ratcliff / OCC 5 Nov 2017 06:08 GMT June 2018
Groupama Race 2016 © Bryan Gauvan

Four feeder races delivering yacht fleets from three Australian capital cities and Auckland, New Zealand, will be a key component when it comes to the ultimate Groupama Race around New Caledonia starting line-up.

Encouraging early numbers in the feeder races point towards a huge sixth edition of the 654nm biennial yacht race around the French South Pacific island's picturesque coastal fringe, starting June 17, 2018.

CYCA's PONANT Sydney Noumea Yacht Race

The last time the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, home of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, sent a race fleet to Noumea was back in 1991. That's 26 years since George Snow's Farr 65 Brindabella set the race record of 5 days, 21 hours and 35 minutes, one of the records Snow still holds nearly three decades on.

The CYCA's PONANT Sydney Noumea Yacht Race 2018 will be a Category 1 1064 nautical miler starting from Sydney Harbour on Saturday 2 June and the overall winner will be determined under IRC handicap.

In a strong show of support for the reintroduced race the club has already received 20 entries, from Rupert Henry's slick Judel/Vrolijk 62 Chinese Whisper and Noel Cornish's Sydney 47 St. Jude to Shane Kearns' restored Sparkman and Stephens, the 34ft ocean-going sheep in wolves clothing. Kearns' cleverly sailed Komatsu Azzurro won last year's Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race overall and led the 2016 Sydney Hobart fleet on IRC handicap for a time.

See the official race website for the Notice of Race, list of entries and to enter online.

ORCV's Melbourne to Noumea Yacht Race

The Ocean Racing Club of Victoria first ran the Melbourne to Vanuatu Yacht Race in 2006 and then again in 2010 and 2014. With three other clubs sending fleets and the four-year cycle due, ORCV deemed the timing perfect for a second major race in 2018, also being the year their epic Melbourne to Osaka double-handed race falls.

They will start the 1540 nautical mile category 1 race from Portsea, Victoria to Noumea on Tuesday May 29, 2018 for boats between 9m and 30.48m and the overall winner will be decided under the measurement category with the most number of competitors. At this point ORCV has taken expressions of interest from six owners for what is one of the Southern Hemisphere's longest ocean races behind the Cape 2 Rio (formerly the Cape Town to Rio yacht race) and Melbourne to Osaka.

See the official race website for the NOR, expressions of interest and to register.

RQYS's Brisbane to Noumea Yacht Race

Owners of eligible monohull and multihulls are invited to enter next year's 850 nautical mile Brisbane to Noumea Yacht Race conducted by the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron.

The race will start for division one and multihulls at 1200hrs on Saturday June 2, 2018 to the east of Green Island on Brisbane's beautiful Moreton Bay. After clearing Moreton Bay crews will next sight land when they reach the Amédée Light, south of the capital of New Caledonia, Noumea.

So far three yachts, Auric's Quest, Kerumba and the Ron Holland designed Lloyds Too Impetuous have signed up with two more joining the cruise rally scheduled to begin a day earlier, on June 1.

See the official race website for the NOR, expressions of interest and to register.

Auckland Noumea 2018

Royal Akarana Yacht Club's 950 nautical mile Auckland Noumea 2018 will start off Orakei Wharf in Auckland, home of the America's Cup, on Saturday June 2, two days after the first start for cruising and division two boats.

One French and 10 Kiwi owners have expressed early interest, including Evan Davies' Open 60 Awen and Brian Peterson's Elliott 50 Ran Tan which is heading across the Tasman Sea for a busy Aussie summer of sailing including the Rolex Sydney Hobart in December and the Australian Yachting Championship and Festival of Sails, both on Port Phillip in January.

Auckland Noumea prizes will be awarded for monohull and multihull line honours, IRC, PHRF (overall winner), multihull handicap and Corinthian, shorthanded and cruising divisions.

See the official website for the NOR, expressions of interest and to register.

New Caledonia Groupama Race

Collectively the four feeder races plus the Groupama Race make up Sail Noumea 2018 and it's going to be a busy time for the finish club Cercle Nautique Calédonien Yacht Club (CNC) when visiting fleets arrive en masse in Noumea and join up with local boats.

Commodore of the CNC Philippe Mazard said, "All crews will be warmly welcomed and hosted and we are working closely with local providers to arrange special hotel tariffs for those staying on for the Groupama Race. We changed the date this year to coincide with the timing of the feeder races and we encourage those crews to stay on and enjoy plenty of warm South Pacific hospitality and a great confluence of international sailors before tackling our unique race around the biggest lagoon in the world."

Open to monohulls and multihulls greater than 8.5m, the New Caledonia Groupama Race starts from Nouméa on June 17 and takes a counter clockwise course around New Caledonia alongside reefs and inside the UNESCO World Heritage listed lagoon.

Related Articles

Six days to go to Virtual Groupama Race
Thousands will be on the start line without a sailing jacket or bag in sight Tame the tradewinds and overcome the pitfalls of a tough offshore race around the largest UNESCO recognised lagoon in the world as planned - almost. Posted on 15 Jun 2020
Groupama Race 2018
The world's longest windward/leeward race Though considered a race in paradise, like previous editions the sixth biennial Groupama Race around the island of Noumea will prove tactically difficult for all crews who accept the challenge. Posted on 9 Sep 2017
New chapter in 2018
For the New Caledonia Groupama Race Four feeder races making up Sail Noumea 2018 and a change of date for the start of the 654 nautical mile Groupama Race around the island of New Caledonia mark an exciting new chapter for the beautiful French Pacific Island sailing event. Posted on 24 Jun 2017
New monohull record
In the New Caledonia Groupama Race Scallywag, the longest monohull, is also the fastest boat to sail around New-Caledonia. She takes only 2 days, 13 hours, 19 min and 55s. Thus, she has established a new record for monohulls. Posted on 28 Sep 2016
2 days 33 minutes 12 seconds
Around the biggest lagoon in the world Vodafone has arrived in Nouméa after 2 days of racing. She is the fastest boat to finish the New Caledonia longest windward / leeward race. Posted on 27 Sep 2016
New Caledonia Groupama Race start
19 sailing yachts leave Baie des Citrons in Noumea 19 sailing yachts took the departure at 10am on Sunday 25 September from Baie des Citrons, in Noumea. More than 100 boats, stand up paddles, catamarans and a thousand of people attended the departure, under an unusually west wind around 10 to 12 knots. Posted on 26 Sep 2016
Safety is top priority for the Groupama Race
Lifejackets and PLBs are to be worn for the whole race 170 sailors will be on the starting line on the 25th September for a 654 nautical mile race around New Caledonia. Running (with the wind behind) in sometimes breath-taking seas, or beating to windward against the swell. Posted on 31 Aug 2016
12 entries for Groupama Race already
The world's longest Olympic course starts in September With one month left for expressions of interest, 12 yachts have announced their intention to take part in a race over the World's longest Olympic course. Small or big, mono- or multi-hull, all will be on the start-line. Posted on 5 Apr 2016
Everyone will have a chance
5th Groupama Race opens crew exchange With less than nine months to go, the first expression of interest are in. Courrier Léon renamed Léon-Banque de Nouvelle-Calédonie, second overall in the last Sydney-Hobart has entered. Posted on 14 Feb 2016
New Caledonia Groupama Race
Set to start on 19 October 2014 The 4th Sailing Tour of New Caledonia will start on 19th October 2014. Weather forecasting stragegy and the physical fitness of the crews will play an important role in securing victory. Take part in the longest windward-leeward race in the world! Posted on 18 Jan 2014