Please select your home edition
Edition
RS Sailing 2021 - LEADERBOARD

Groupama Race – The long-awaited return of Team Australia

by Lisa Ratcliff / OCC 16 Feb 2018 15:49 PST
Groupama Race – The long-awaited return of Team Australia © Andrea Francolini

The 2018 New Caledonia Groupama Race around the South Pacific's island gem will see the return of Sean Langman's multiple speed record-setter Team Australia, the giant ORMA 60 trimaran.

Team Australia is the holder of the World Sailing Speed Record Council's fastest time between Sydney and Auckland and between Sydney and Hobart. As well as setting speed records, Langman was tackling some of Australia's medium distance eastern seaboard races until the multihull was dismasted when leading the 2015 Pittwater to Coffs Harbour race.

For two years the tri sat idle as the skipper sorted through the logistics of a new rig and kept himself busy with an 18-footer campaign and multiple Sydney Hobarts on board his beloved Ranger called Maluka. Now the Sydney based Langman and his core crew are planning their long-awaited comeback knowing that Simon Hull's Groupama Race multihull record time of two days 33 minus 12 seconds set in 2016, with what was Team Vodafone Sailing, now Frank Racing, is ripe for the taking, given the usual tradewinds were largely absent in the record-setting year.

"We considered entering the last Groupama but the boat was in re-fit," Langman said. "Now we have a new mast and we are planning to enter the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron's Brisbane to Noumea feeder race to bring us to New Caledonia. My boat has a strong French flavour as she was French owned, as Banque Populaire IV, and won the double-handed Transat Jacques Vabre from northern France to Brazil."

Four feeder races delivering yacht fleets from three Australian capital cities and Auckland, New Zealand, will be a key component when it comes to the ultimate 654 nautical mile New Caledonia Groupama Race starting June 17.

The fleet leaves Noumea and sails counter-clockwise alongside reefs, past the compulsory waypoint at the Grand Passage and inside the UNESCO World Heritage listed turquoise lagoon. Warm waters and tradewinds are key selling points for the giant windward/leeward course from the east to west coast.

Nineteen crews took on the Groupama adventure in 2016 and record times were set in both the monohull and multihull class. Encouraging early numbers in the feeder races and 17 Groupama Race entries representing Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia point towards a great sixth edition.

Excitingly for organisers, one of the registered entries is the 2017 Sydney Hobart overall winner and 2018 Australian Yachting Championship division 1 winner - Matt Allen's champion TP52 Ichi Ban.

The organising club has arranged for all Groupama entries to be berthed together at Port Moselle, encouraging camaraderie and friendships among the race crews, and facilitating an onshore festival of parties and entertainment showcasing plenty of South Pacific hospitality.

Related Articles

The Vendée Arctic - Les Sables d'Olonne 2022
The first qualifying stage for the Vendée Globe 2024 The SAEM Vendée, the organisers of the Vendée Globe, will also organize the "Vendée Arctic - Les Sables-d'Olonne" which will be the first qualifying stage for the Vendée Globe 2024. The "Arctic Vendée Les Sables-d'Olonne" will leave from Port Olona Posted today at 5:16 am
Figaro Beneteau 3 – Quintessentially French
Can the Figaro Beneteau 3 be summed up in a headline or just one or two sentences? Maybe... She's quite happy to slap you back and forth across your face, or go off and sulk at a corner table with an espresso martini and deliver you scorchingly deathly stares. Posted today at 2:55 am
Snipes return to Boston
To compete for the Western Hemisphere & Orient Championship The Snipes are returning to Boston to compete for the title of the Western Hemisphere & Orient Championship. With the hiatus from the pandemic, the event was moved to 2021 and has 27 entries - a small but strong group representing 6 nations Posted on 20 Sep
2021 Hempel Mixed Two Person Offshore Worlds Leg 2
Team ESP have taken an early lead in the Adriatic Sea Team ESP have taken an early lead in Leg 2 of the 2021 Hempel Mixed Two Person Offshore World Championship in Italy. The 10 boat fleet of Figaro 3 keelboats started out from Bari at 0800 hours this morning on a 300-mile leg through the Adriatic Sea. Posted on 20 Sep
Multihull showdown for RORC Transatlantic Race
The race will feature three 70ft (21m) trimarans In association with the International Maxi Association (IMA) and the Yacht Club de France, over 20 teams are expected to race the 3,000 mile course across the Atlantic Ocean to Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada. Posted on 20 Sep
11th Hour Racing Team at Le Défi Azimut
The team experiences highs and lows at the event Victory in the Speed Runs and the runner's-up spot in the double-handed 48-Hour Race were the highlights for the US-based 11th Hour Racing Team, as it competed with two boats in the Défi Azimut regatta in Lorient on the French Brittany coast. Posted on 20 Sep
Audaz - another Brazilian entry for Cape2Rio Race
The Cape to Rio Race is a "bucket list" Ocean Race The Royal Cape YC and Iate Clube do Rio de Janeiro are proud to announce the arrival of the 9th entry for the iconic 2023 Cape to Rio Race. The entry, Audaz, is a 16-meter aluminum monohull designed by Finot and owned by Francisco Julio Galvão Lucchesi. Posted on 20 Sep
Italia Sailing Team enters The Ocean Race 2022-23
The goal is to give Italian tourism a further boost and enhance the Made in Italy brand During a press conference organised by the Yacht Club Italiano on Sunday evening, the Italian Minister of Tourism, Massimo Garavaglia, gave his full support for an Italian entry in the next edition of The Ocean Race, scheduled to start in late 2022. Posted on 20 Sep
49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 Europeans overall
Staniul & Sztorch narrowly win 49er Euros in a first for Poland Mikolaj Staniul with Kuba Sztorch (POL) won a tit for tat battle with Tim Fischer with Fabian Graf that played out over two 49er gold races on the final day in Thessaloniki. Posted on 20 Sep
Gladwell's Line: Irish caned over Cup indecision
Irish media cane Ministry of Sport bureaucrats over "indecision" on AC37 hosting The Irish editions of the weekend and Sunday newspapers have taken the Ministry of Sport bureaucrats to task over their "indecision" on the America's Cup hosting bid for Cork. Posted on 20 Sep
Lloyd Stevenson Catalyst 45 728x90px2 BOTTOMSelden 2020 - FOOTERArmstrong-A-Wing-728x90 gif BOTTOM