This year’s Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race will again see Jean Luc Esplaas and his New Caledonian crew taking part when the yachts leave Sydney on 26 December headed for Tasmania.
The crew of 41 SUD has participated several times in this famous blue water classic. They gained a third place in their category in 1998, which was the worst year in terms of dangerous conditions and loss of lives since the inauguration of the race.
Recently 41 SUD was the only New Caledonian yacht to take part in the Noumea Sail 2012 race. In a race that was hampered by extremely difficult navigational conditions, 41 SUD crossed the line in second place.
41 SUD is a 12 metre Archambault 40, designed for regattas and races with difficult navigational conditions. Its 9/10 tapered mast is very balanced, with rigid sails and handles both fair weather and strong winds with ease. 41 SUD is also equipped with a carbon tiller and telescopic stick for dispatch of large sails.
New Caledonia with its tourquoise waters and warm sunny climate is the perfect place for 41 SUD’s crew to get in some practice before coming to Sydney to compete in the famous race.
Located in the South Pacific and only 2½ hours flying time from Sydney, New Caledonia is home to 245,580 inhabitants and boasts the largest lagoon in the world, listed as a World Heritage Site in 2008 by Unesco. The main island or “Mainland” is 400 kilometres long with the Isle of Pines in the south, the Belep archipel to the north and the Loyalty Islands of Lifou, Mare and Ouvea to the east.
Sounds like 41 SUD will be offering a serious challenge this year.
Sandra Tiltman PHOTO: John Pond