PONANT Sydney Noumea Yacht Race underway
“After an amazing start of 22 yachts, the inaugural PONANT Sydney to Noumea Yacht Race got underway at 10 am on Sunday 3 June 2018, on Sydney Harbour. Bad weather initially delayed the race but it did not dampen the spirit of these yachtsmen. Opening sails with backdrop of dark clouds, windy rain squalls, bursts of sunlight gave way to a spectacular rainbow as the fleet cleared Sydney Heads,” observed Monique Ponfoort, PONANT Vice President Asia Pacific.
“Following a 25-year hiatus, we are delighted to be associated with the re-establishment of this classic offshore endurance yacht race, the PONANT Sydney Noumea Yacht Race, which at 1064 nautical miles is one of Australia’s longest ocean odysseys.”
“I am told that it will take a fraction over eight knots of average boat speed to break the enduring record of five days, 21 hours and 35 minutes set in 1993 by George Snow’s Farr 65 Brindabella. Once in the tradewinds any of the modern line honours contenders can maintain this speed as they sprint to the finish line off Noumea, the capital of the French territory and South Pacific archipelago” enthused Monique.
Competitors now face easing conditions as they head north-east, although sailors were for the first 24 hours on the lookout for floating shipping containers lost from a ship off Newcastle three days ago. There’s still talk of multiple attacks on the 27-year-old race record of five days 21 hours 35 minutes despite the race fleet having to abide by an exclusion zone between 30 nautical miles east of Anna Bay at Port Stephens and further north at Seal Rocks.
The PONANT Sydney to Noumea Race fleet can be tracked via this link