Frantic as she flies out of the Harbour at the Start of the Race. Credit: Andrea Francolini

Race record smoked by Frantic

Frantic, and her skipper Michael Martin, have claimed line honours in 4 days, 2 hours, 23 minutes, and 34 seconds – smashing the race record, previously held by Brindabella for 27 years.

Update 5:30pm AEST 7/06/18

Michael Martin’s Newcastle TP52 Frantic is the line honours winner and new record holder of the PONANT Sydney Noumea Yacht Race, riding the sou’east tradewinds conveyor for most of the four days two hours 23 minutes they spent between the start and finish lines.

Frantic took a whopping one day 19 hours 12 minutes off the previous race record set in 1991, the weather window setting up a dream run for not only a race record for the first Sydney Noumea race in 25 years, but for most of the fleet to finish under the previous fastest time.

Frantic finish video

A downhill reaching and running race suited the TP52. “It was neck-and-neck with the front group until the last afternoon,” Martin said at Port Moselle once berthed. “We had some of the best downhill sailing we’ve ever had. That’s why we sail!

“When the breeze got up to 25-30 knots we just smoked. Any kite work you had to go and see the bank manager; we blew up a fractional code zero and a kite – I’m still crying about that – but it was worth it.”

Frantic’s official finish time was 1:23:34pm on Thursday June 7.

Second across the finish line was GBP Yeah Baby, the Ryckmans twins, Marc and Louis’ Welbourn 50. The historical tally favoured GBP Yeah Baby over Frantic but a lack of training pre-race and blowing out a key sail within the first four hours proved costly according to Yeah Baby’s skipper Lindsay Stead.

“We were excited to see Frantic on day three and have a dosey-doe with them to the finish. Congratulations to Frantic; we would’ve should’ve could’ve beaten him, but that’s yacht racing and they did an awesome job.”

Third over the line on a rainy afternoon in Noumea was Smuggler, Sebastian Bohm’s Rogers 46 which is a strong contender for the IRC overall win in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s longest ocean race.

Smuggler also leads ORCi and PHS divisions overall and could take the treble.

Sibby Ilzhofer’s Dare Devil is the next yacht due to finish, likely to be mid-morning on Friday June 8.

South-east winds are expected to remain on the race track for the duration of the 1,064nm endurance race and the last boat in the fleet, currently Michael Graham’s Santana, is 400 nautical miles from the finish and due Sunday morning.

Other than two early retirements and stories of sail damage filtering through as yachts complete the PONANT Sydney Noumea Yacht Race, it has been a pretty straightforward event.


Update 1:00pm AEST 7/06/18

Mick and the crew will go down in history today after beating out close competition to claim line honours, just 6 miles ahead of the chasing pack.

After a 25 year hiatus, the PONANT Sydney Noumea Yacht Race has made a decisive return to the Australian sailing world with excitement at every stage. From the delaying of the start due to strong wind and wave conditions, to the dramatic dismasting of She’s Apples II in the first moments, the race that has become affectionately known as the “thousand and a bit” has re-captured the yachting world – and Frantic now holds the line honours crown.

And with a race time of 4 days, 2 hours, 23 minutes, and 34 seconds, Frantic smashes the previous record set by Brindabella in 1991, by an amazing 1 day, 19 hours, and 12 minutes. While the lead changed multiple times across the expanse of the Pacific Ocean, Frantic maintained a close watch on its closest rivals, GBP Yeah Baby, Smuggler, and Patrice, ultimately snatching the title away from Yeah Baby by a tiny 6 miles.

We now look to the rest of the fleet with GBP Yeah Baby set to come in second on line honours, with Smuggler and Patrice battling it out for third. Smuggler, and her skipper Sebastian Bohm should also take out IRC handicap, sending them to current leaders in Club IRC Handicap standings.


Update: 10:00am AEST 7/06/18

PONANT Sydney Noumea Yacht Race record to be annihilated

Mick Martin’s Frantic is set to blow the previous Sydney Noumea Yacht Race fastest time apart, by a staggering one day 20 hours based on their current speed of 11 knots with 53 nautical miles to go.

One thousand nautical miles is behind the Newcastle TP52 and more importantly so are those who have traded first place with Frantic over the past three days. Marc and Louis Ryckmans’ GBP Yeah Baby and Tony Kirby’s Ker 46 Patrice both had their moments until the tradewinds freshened and Frantic found its groove.

Based on the sou’east tradewinds the fleet are currently in, 15 out of the 20-boat fleet that left Sydney on Sunday June 3, 2018 will come in under the record time of 5 days 21 hours 35 minutes set in 1991 by George Snow’s Farr 65 Brindabella,

The fleet can be continuously tracked via and regular updates are being posted on the CYCA’s social media channels.

French cruise company PONANT is the major supporter of the CYCA’s longest fully-crewed yacht race out of Australia.

PONANT Sydney Noumea Yacht Race website

#PONANTSydneyNoumea #CYCA 

PONANT Sydney Noumea Yacht Race fast facts:

Race start:                        Sunday June 3, 2018
Organising clubs:             Cruising Yacht Club of Australia and the 
Cercle Nautique Calédonien
Distance:                          1064 nautical miles
Race record:                     
Brindabella (1991) – 5 days 21 hours 35 minutes

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