19 sailing yachts (32-100 feet) took the departure at 10am on Sunday 25 September from Baie des Citrons, in Noumea. More than sixty boats, stand up paddles, catamarans and a thousand of people attended the departure, under an unusually west wind around 10 to 12 knots.
For the first time in Noumea, maxi yachts from Hong-Kong, Australia and New-Zealand took the departure in the biggest lagoon in the world. and faced off motivated and concentrated New Caledonian crew.
Due to west wind, the departure had to be downwind. Scallywag, (100 feet yacht, second in real-time from the last Sydney Hobbart) and Vodafone (Michel Desjoyeaux’s former trimaran Géant) got a really good start at more than 15 knots from the starting line. The trimaran quickly leads the fleet in front of Scallywag, Beau Geste and Ichi Ban, sailing fast with 29 knots peak in the Canal Woodin.
Concerning New Caledonian crew, Birdies Furax II catamaran was the first to pass the buoys, followed by Keel Bill-Leblanc Illuminations and Jessica Rabbit trimaran (an Orma 40 drawn by Martin Fisher). Behind, Kétal, Gummo Phytocal, Diogène, Odyssey end up the race in real-time.
What about the longest leeward/windward race ?
During this period, New Caledonia is usually under tradewinds but it is not ! Wind is west or south-west, moderate even light… « It is unusual » said Météo France weather forecast
The first night is going to be pretty hard !!
Results at 8 :30pm
- TEAM VODAFONE SAILING
- BEAU GESTE
- ICHI BAN
- RAN TAN II
- JESSICA RABBIT
- EYE CANDY
- KEEL BILL - LE LEBLANC ILLUMINATIONS
- SPEED MARINE - MSC
- BIRDIES FURAX 2
- GUMMO - PHYTOCAL
- BOULÈGUE - PAO PRODUCTION
- BANQUE DE NOUVELLE-CALÉDONIE
- XLR8 - PROVINCE SUD
- KETAL - 630.2
- GUMMO - PHYTOCAL - 647.6
- ODYSSEY - 636.1
- BOULÈGUE - PAO PRODUCTION - 617.5
- EYE CANDY - 573.4
- SPEED MARINE - MSC - 576.7
- BANQUE DE NOUVELLE-CALÉDONIE - 591.7
- NOTORIOUS - 562.1
- XLR8 - PROVINCE SUD - 565.3
- KEEL BILL - LEBLANC ILLUMINATIONS - 524.7
- DIOGENE - 544.5
- MOEMETI - 0.801
- JESSICA RABBIT - 1.000
- BIRDIES FURAX 2 - 0.913
- TEAM VODAFONE SAILING - 1.504