New Caledonia Groupama Race
A unique yacht race starting and finishing off the capital Nouméa, with one compulsory passage to the north of the South Pacific island, through the biggest …
informationabout the event
A unique yacht race starting and finishing off the capital Nouméa, with one compulsory passage to the north of the South Pacific island, through the biggest lagoon in the world, the « Grand Passage ». At 654 nautical miles in an anti-clockwise direction around New Caledonia, the New Caledonia GROUPAMA RACE is internationally regarded as a demanding race in paradise.
Since its creation in 2008, the New Caledonia GROUPAMA RACE has enthused sailors, the public and commercial partners.
It is a dream course; a circumnavigation around New Caledonia for monohulls and multihulls in racing or cruising mode, with crews full or short-handed. Sailors navigate among reefs, atolls and small islands that are part of the protected World Heritage listed site, passing turtles, whales and other sea life over the 1200km course.
Latitude 22° South
Behind the breathtaking scenery the New Caledonia GROUPAMA RACE is a challenging and very tactical offshore and coastal race, offering navigators a variety of options: head offshore or run along the coast, often close to the reef. Add to this changeable weather plus swell and ocean and tidal currents, and there are plenty of sleepless nights for committed sailors.
When the tradewinds are in, the New Caledonia GROUPAMA RACE is the perfect and world’s longest windward /leeward race; 300nms surfing along the east coast under spinnaker then 300nmsupwind along the west coast. This ideal scenario hasn’t played out in recent editions with mixed conditions on offer. The wind might be south-east trades or strong westerlies, but the water over the deck is always warm!
A French touch in the Pacific
Onshore the public takes a keen interest in the race. The race village is in a secure marina and media updates and nightly entertainment, including a warm on-stage welcome for each crew as they finish, brings the village to life every evening. Onboard videos are watched online all over the world and 20,000 players enjoy the virtual regatta.
The event atmosphere and competitor offerings are unique, a mixture of French and Melanesian culture in the Pacific. Organisers of the New Caledonia GROUPAMA RACE look forward to welcoming you in paradise in 2020.