Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Groupama New Caledonia Race: A Crazy Finish !!!

Location of competitors. Image copyright Groupama Race.

by Florence Dhie

Four boats are passing the Uitoé Pass. ODM.NC is leading. Hundreds of meters behind is Province Nord and just after Team New-Zealand and Mumm.

The wind blows 10-15 knts South East. While inside the lagoon, a new regatta starts. It looks like a match racing. The scenario is just incredible after 1500 km racing and the different options they had.

ODM.NC is a Young 11, skipped by Cédric Bouchet. She hold the record of the race in 3 days 23 hours 20 minutes and 50 seconds. In 2008, Cédric was on board and his crew counted 3 Australians. This year, they are all Caledonian sailors working in water sports businesses.

Province Nord : this sloop of 10.66 m is skipped by Antoine Borde and the crew members are friends for a long time. Since 1988, they take part at all the regattas and are very often medal winners. They were the corrected time winner in 2008. On board this year, Philippe Naudin, ex-recordman of the Atlantic crossing on Jet services.

Mumm : with her 9.50 m, this Young Rocket is the smallest boat of the race. Her skipper, Patrick Baldi took part 3 time at the Tour de France à la Voile. On board, Yann Rigal, Tahitian sailor was 2nd in 2007 edition of the Tour de France à la Voile. The boat has electric problems et sails without light since a few days.

Team NZ Ramada Plaza : another Young 11 with four well experienced Kiwis on board. Jim Maloney, the skipper was 8 times USA champion on different type of boats. Josh Tucker, the tactician, took part at the Fastnet, a Cap Town Rio race as well as 3 Sydney Hobart,... The crew were bad placed for 2/3 of the race, they return by far and are worth considering. They haven’t eaten something hot, neither drunken coffee or tea since the departure due to a gas problem. On board, the Caledonian Christine Gaillard is one of the 6 girls of the fleet.

At 6.00 pm, Charles Cali, the race director will give the last positions.

Depending on the weather conditions, the first arrivals should be from 6.30 pm

Groupama New Caledonia Race