Groupama Race: Eye Candy slips in under the radar

New Caledonia: First Caledonian boat to reach home in the Groupama Race was Eye Candy, which was pushed along by her rivals and fellow Sydney 38s, Guilty Pleasures and Poulpito.

Kalolo, a catamaran, which had been the leading Caledonian boat for the majority of the race, was passed by Thierry Leseigneur’s Eye Candy in the final miles of the 654 nautical mile challenge.

Now Leseigneur and his crew also wins on corrected time, flying under the radar of both Axians Untouchable and BCI Brer Fox, which were each positioned at the top of the leaderboard for the majority of the race.

After many twists and turns, the three Sydney 38s took the top three places overall on corrected time, with: provisional first place for Eye Candy, followed by Guilty Pleasures – Speed Marine and Poulpito MLS – FCD.

The podium was snatched from the trio’s pursuers; Axians – Untouchable and BCI – Brer Fox, which battled for the lead for much of the race. This after a constant battle in weaker weather over the past 24 hours.

Eye Candy crew celebrate at the finish – Nic Douglass pic

Christophe Gallien, skipper of Axians – Untouchable, commented, “We are disappointed because we were very well placed. We had a great regatta, but the wind was capricious.”

Earlier in the night, the Blade Runner crew announced their retirement following rudder damage. Safe at the Koumac marina, Damien Meunier and Thierry Robert prioritised their safety and that of potential rescuers, making the incredibly tough decision to not finish.

Nineteen crews are now home. The final boat still racing, Cipango, the only boat in the Cruising Division, is expected to finish in the early hours of Saturday morning ahead of the prize giving at the Chateau Royal Sunday evening at 1800 hours.

A protest lodged by the Race Committee against Antipodes regarding Sailing Instruction 15.5 was heard yesterday and was dismissed.

Overall line honours and Multihull line honours winner: Rushour
Monohull line honours winner: Antipodes
Double-handed line honours: Motor Boat II

IRC overall
Eye Candy
Guilty Pleasure – Speed Marine
Poulpito MLS FCD, Axians Untouchable

Double-Handed IRC: Tosot Climitisation Ketal
Motor Boat II

Eye Candy
Guilty Pleasure – Speed Marine
Poulpito MLS FCD

Multi 2000
Oceans Tribute

M.O.S.S Australia
Race Yachts
West Systems
Jeanneau JY60
NAV at Home
Cyclops Marine