Please select your home edition
MBW newsletters (top)

It says so in the brochure...

by John Curnow, Editor, Sail-World AUS 8 Mar 2020 14:00 PDT
2019-20 World ARC - Espanola - Turtle © World Cruising

You know the one? Where the race there is only part of the complete package... Well when I read the following, I started to pack the bags, and I have gone further afield to chase the dream run as depicted in the brochure - "The wind might be south-east trades or strong westerlies, but the water over the deck is always warm!" So says Philippe Mazard, Cercle Nautique Calédonien (CNC) Commodore.

Since 2008, the strong yachting territory of New Caledonia has welcomed sailors biennially to test themselves against the longest windward/leeward race in the world - the 654 nautical mile GROUPAMA Race.

The GROUPAMA Race is a dream course; a circumnavigation around the 'Grande Terre', or 'main island', for monohulls and multihulls in racing or cruising mode, for either full, or short-handed crews. Sailors navigate among reefs, atolls and small islands along the East coast through the UNESCO listed World Heritage lagoon to the North, and then down the West coast to the finish off the capital Noumea. Turtles, whales, and other sea life are part of the 1200km course. It is right there on page three...

Organised by CNC, with Australia's highly-regarded professional administrator Denis Thompson as Principal Race Officer, the 2020 edition starts on June 21 and is already building a fleet of local, Australian and Kiwi owners and crew who are keen to head to the tropics midwinter, and sample a mixture of French and Melanesian culture and cuisine.

French yachting sensation, Franck Cammas, added weight to Miss Scarlet's Line Honours win in 2018, and a larger-than-usual Aussie and New Zealand field boosted the multinational fleet. Both the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia and Royal Akarana Yacht Club ran feeder races. The former was reinstated from the 1990s and is now called the PONANT Sydney Noumea Yacht Race. The two sailing nations also dominated the GROUPAMA results sheet, with the prized outright win under IRC going to Tony Kirby's Ker 46, Patrice, before he sold it.

For 2020, David Griffith and Rupert Henry's revamped JV62 Chinese Whisper is the largest keelboat so far. In the multihull division, the gargantuan is Sun Hung Kai FUKU Scallywag skippered by David Witt. The Hong Kong trimaran is sporting modifications too, which the team estimate has increased her reaching and running boat speed by 20-30%.

The last time the Scallywag team visited the region was in 2016 with the 100 foot supermaxi, when they established the current monohull record of 2 days 13 hours 19 minutes and 55 seconds. "Sailing around the atoll with clear, flat, blue water, breeze and high cliffs was one of the best sailing experiences the team has had," Witt shared. This year they are shooting for the multihull record with the ORMA 60 tri, hoping to own the double.

Discount marina berths at Port Moselle are being offered to competitors entered in both the GROUPAMA and PONANT races. Adjacent to the marina, the race village will come alive each evening with interactive race updates and entertainment, then once crews start arriving they will be called onstage to regale the crowd with their seafaring tales.

Entry closes on May 20, 2020 and you can get there by going to

Right oh - there is plenty of information on the website for you to review when you can - see below. Please avail yourself of it.

Now if your class or association is generating material, we can help you spread your word just by emailing us. Got this newsletter from a friend? Would you like your own copy next week? Just follow the instructions on our newsletter page. Whilst there, you can also register for other editions, like Powerboat-World.

Finally, keep a weather eye on Sail-World. We are here to bring you the whole story from all over the world...

John Curnow
Editor, Sail-World AUS

Related Articles

Speed = Smile on the Dial
Four articles and two events in play at the present, continue to captivate us all around the globe Flying Nikka, the MW40OF Offshore 40 footer, I feel the need…, and David Henshall's The Greed for Speed are unequivocally all about this very subject. Of course, there are also two events in play at the present, the Vendée Globe and America's Cup... Posted on 10 Jan
Sail-World NZ: Dec 30 - Latest NZ and World News
Sail-World NZ - Dec 30, 2020: Hard lessons from America's Cup WS... Vendee Globe latest Welcome to's New Zealand e-magazine for December 30, 2020 Posted on 29 Dec 2020
I feel the need...
It would have to be one of the most oft quoted lines from the movies It would have to be one of the most oft quoted lines from the movies, and finishes with... 'The need for speed!' (As well as that big high five.) Now it is no stretch to discover that we have used an aviation-based theme here. Posted on 28 Dec 2020
All hail the new Chief of the Village
Which village, you ask? Well that would be the one of the TeePees... Which village, you ask? Well that would be the one of the TeePees, and the very new CF 520 could well be the one adorned with the huge plumage. Now we won't have to wait too long to find out, either, because the first one will be out sailing next Spring. Posted on 20 Dec 2020
Adrian Finglas - unending smile and passion
After all these years, and the number of times I've written his name, you still simply type in, Aidz You know it's still funny. After all these years, and the number of times I've written his name, you still simply type in, Aidz. The nickname is as synonymous with the man, as that smile, and his faultless dedication to task. Posted on 14 Dec 2020
Offshore in a blow with Il Duce
Offshore training ahead of the Sydney Hobart Race in a blow, with Il Duce (Andea Francolini) Il Duce (Andrea Francolini) stepped on board InfoTrack as they departed Sydney Heads and went out and South looking for an inbound front, as part of their training ahead of the 2020 Sydney Hobart Race. Posted on 10 Dec 2020
SOLAS race images by Bow Caddy Media
It was a great day for sailing, and photographers, at the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge It was a great day for sailing, and photographers, when the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge marched around Sydney Harbour. Posted on 8 Dec 2020
C43, but it's not an AMG
It does share a lot of the performance attributes of the Merc. It does share a lot of the performance attributes of the Merc. Well, as long as you make sure you select the right one for the road, and the other for the water, that is. Posted on 6 Dec 2020
Sail-World NZ: Dec 4 - Latest NZ and World News
Welcome to's New Zealand e-magazine for December 4, 2020 Welcome to's New Zealand e-magazine for December 3, 2020 Posted on 3 Dec 2020
There's a place called Hobart
It's pretty special all year round, and it's also a good springboard It's pretty special all year round. Hobart is also a marvellous springboard from which to leap into history, culinary delights, nature's gifts of both flora and fauna, all manner of beverages, trails, bushwalking... Posted on 22 Nov 2020
MBW newsletters (top)