The New Caledonia Groupama Race starts on the 25th September 2016. Tactical and fantastic at the same time, the Tour de New Caledonia is a coastal and high seas race on a par with the Sydney – Hobart. The big change for the fifth edition is that the race is open to any size of mono hull and to multi-hulls greater the 8.5m loa.
“You should give it a go! A superb place to be, a fantastic race that will take you to your limit”. For Anthony Leighs, the New Zealand skipper of “Crusader”, an Elliot 35SS, “It is a remarkable race, with a 300 mile spinnaker run, awe inspiring surfing at 23 knots, and a long and difficult windward leg outside barrier reef, off golden sand beaches!”
Racing around UNESCO World Heritage listed reefs
Feeling tempted! Well then, sign-up! In exactly one year’s time, the start of the New Caledonia Groupama Race will be given! A 600 mile course around UNESCO World Heritage listed reefs.
A tropical island between Auckland and Brisbane
New Caledonia, a tropical island 900 miles from Brisbane and 1,100 miles from Auckland, is aligned with the SE Trades. With this wind, competitors cover 300 miles under spinnaker and 300 miles close hauled. The Groupama Race is thus the longest Olympic course in the World!
A good all-round race like the Fastnet
“The Groupama Race is a wonderful race. You start on a run, which is very pleasant, and you finish on the wind. It is a good all-round race that reminds me of the Fastnet, or certain stages of the Figaro, but over a greater distance”, confided Frank Camas after crossing the finishing line in 2014. Frank is the most successful French skipper of his generation.
Boats from 30 to over 100 feet
A major change for this fifth edition: The race is open to all mono-hulls, and multi-hulls over 8.5m long, with no upper limit. “We will add classes to make the race more interesting, and Nouméa Yacht Club will welcome with pleasure larger vessels, as has already been done for Sail Nouméa” said Philippe Mazard, Cercle Nautique Calédonien Vice-Commodore and President of the New Caledonian Sailing League.
Philippe has raced the Groupama four times and won it twice – once in real time and once on handicap – “a 600 mile race in Paradise!”