Entries for the 2018 PONANT Sydney Noumea Yacht Race have closed and on Saturday June 2, following a 25-year hiatus, a multi-state Australian and New Caledonian fleet of 24 boats will bring life back to one of Australia’s oldest ocean odysseys.
The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia organised the first Sydney Noumea Race in 1953 at the invitation of the New Caledonian government at the time. George Brenac's 48-foot cutter White Cloud set the course record in seven days, 10 hours and 50 minutes.
George Snow’s Farr 65 Brindabella set the fastest time of five days, 21 hours and 35 minutes for the 1,064 nautical mile course in 1991, one Snow still holds more than a quarter of a century on.
In the early 1990s lifestyle and sailing trends shifted and greater support for shorter passages signalled the end of an era and the CYCA’s longest offshore race. After the 1993 Sydney Noumea Race the endurance event went on the backburner for decades, until the club’s sailing committee approached the membership a few years’ back to gauge interest in a potential revival.
“There was a lot of sentiment attached to the Sydney Noumea Race, for those who had competed in the past,” CYCA Commodore John Markos said. “Past commodore John Cameron and director Tony Kirby in particular persisted with the idea and have since proven there is support. The entry list augers well for the state of ocean racing in Australia and we hope it will grow.”
Representing The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht are;
- Dreki Sunnnan, Ken Holmes
- King Billy, Phill Bennett
- More Witchcraft, John Cameron
- Sticky, Richard Harris
- Wings, Ian Edwards
Full list of Entrants can be viewed here.