Sydney Noumea Race returns to the sailing calendar

  • Club
  • NEWS
  • By Intern Marketing
  • 19 Dec 2016 11:00:00
David Brogan

Tony Kirby is keen to go with Patrice


Following a sojourn of over 20 years, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA) is pleased to announce the reintroduction of the Sydney Noumea Race in 2018 - and the Notice of Race is now available to download from the Club’s website.

To be organised and conducted by the CYCA, with the co-operation of the Cercle Nautique Caledonien (CNC), the 1064 nautical mile race will start on Sydney Harbour on Saturday, 2 June, 2018. It is open to monohull yachts measuring between 9 and 30.48 metres and incorporates a rally for cruising boats.

Melbourne, Brisbane and Auckland clubs are also running races to Noumea in tandem with the Sydney Noumea Race.

CYCA Sailing Manager, Justine Kirkjian said, “We are very excited to bring back another Cat 1 race into our extensive sailing calendar. We hope the race will attract many of our regular Blue Water competitors as well as others that may not have raced with us before.”

Tropical trade wind sailing, the colourful array of four fleets arriving in Noumea within a short space of time, coupled with idyllic springlike conditions, not to mention the chance of catching up with old friends, or experience a holiday with family and friends, makes it an irresistible prospect for would-be competitors.

John Markos, CYCA Commodore, said, “The race has been included again in the Club’s sailing program due to popular demand following a survey of club members. The management team has worked hard to organise the race for the first time in more than 20 years. I congratulate them and the CNC for assisting with the race.

”Noumea is a scenic and popular sailing ground. We feel sure Australian boat owners will be attracted to the race, given that it falls during our winter. It’s a wonderful chance for a getaway and to take advantage of combining a race with a holiday,” the Commodore ended.

Among those to put their hands up early are Tony Kirby and Denis Doyle, and his partner Lynne Smith.

“I was one of the instigators, along with John Cameron (Immediate Past Commodore), so obviously I’m looking forward to the race,” said Kirby, remembering the last time he took part in what was a biannual race.

“I was about 20 when I raced there on Marshall Phillips’ Sweet Caroline with all the old legends - I was the junior. We had a lot of fun, both racing to Noumea, and then when we got ashore,” said Kirby, adding: “I love ocean racing – the longer the race – the better.”

Denis Doyle and his partner Lynne Smith have made a life of cruising and will be on the start line in 2018.

“Blue water cruising is our passion and we love to cruise in company, so it’s wonderful to see the revival of the Sydney Noumea Race, on the CYCA calendar,” Doyle said. 

“We’ve cruised there before and love returning, there are so many good memories,” added Doyle, who with Smith, recently updated from their yacht Sextant to Ariki Tai, a French designed Cigale 16.4 metre yacht. “By the time we set sail for Noumea, she will be our home.”

The Sydney Noumea Race will be a Category 1 race, with the overall winner to be decided under IRC. The existing race record was set by Brindabella (George Snow) in 1991 in the time of 5 days, 21hrs 35mins.

For further information, please contact Justine Kirkjian, CYCA Sailing Manager on (02) 8292 7800 or email:

For Notice of Race please log on to:

To enter online, please log on to:

By Di Pearson, CYCA Media


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