Noumea Race - Day 3: Beau Geste withdraws - Update @2300hrs

Beau Geste at the start of Evolution Sails Sail Noumea 2012

The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) has issued a release confirming they are currently coordinating the rescue of 18 people on board a yacht, Beau Geste around 100 nautical miles east of Norfolk Island.

Overall fleet locations - Evolution Sails Sail Noumea 2012. TVS is the northernmost boat, followed by Beau Geste
The 24 metre yacht, Beau Geste, is participating in the Auckland to Noumea yacht race.

The skipper of the yacht contacted RCCNZ at 7pm and advised the yacht had suffered damage to its decking and hull and was continuing to deteriorate.

RCCNZ issued a request for assistance from nearby vessels and the cargo ship Winchester Strait has responded and is making its way to the stricken yacht – the captain of the ship estimates they are approximately six hours away.

RCCNZ search and rescue mission coordinator John Dickson said Beau Geste had an experienced crew of racers and that remaining on board the damaged yacht while help arrived was the best course of action at this point.

Mr Dickson said RCCNZ had good communications with the yacht, through its satellite phone.

Zoom view of overall fleet position as at 0100hrs on Day 3 - Evolution Sails Sail Noumea 2012. TVS is the northernmost boat, followed by Beau Geste. V5 is the white boat that has broken away from the pack.
The yacht is equipped with two ten-man life rafts, in the event the crew needs to abandon ship.

A Royal New Zealand Air Force P3 Orion is also on standby to assist if needed.

2200hrs: It has been reported that the 80ft Farr design Beau Geste (HKG) has withdrawn from the Evolution Sails Sail Noumea 2012 race with structural damage.

At 1850hrs she reported that she had several cracks in her decks.

She is heading for Norfolk Island and is expected to arrive in the morning.
Other craft in the area are asked to stand by.

The race leader TeamVodafoneSailing (Simon Hull) is 250nm from Noumea and sailing in 25kt winds. She is expected to finish in eight hours time or just before 0600hrs on Tuesday June 5, 2012. She is currently believed to be sailing in 25kt winds and making speeds in excess of 35kts.

The nearest yacht V5 - a TP 52 is 150nm away from Beau Geste which is sailing a SW course at 8.5kts. The next nearest yacht is Akatea, a Cookson50 which is 170nm from Beau Geste. Both yachts seem to be on their optimised route and have not diverted.

Projected course for V5 as at 2200hrs June 4, 2012 - showing she is sailing to her optimised route, according to the tracker shots for the same time. V5 is currently in 25kt winds and sailing at over 12 kts.
The situation is being handled by the Rescue Co-ordination centre in New Zealand.

There has been no advice posted as to crew injuries, and all 18 crew are believed to be well on board.

The information on the radio sked at 1850hrs can be reviewed by http://www.sailnoumea.com/sites/default/files/img-6041947-0001.pdf!clicking_here

Beau Geste is owned by Hong Kong business man Karl Kwok and is skippered by former America's Cup helmsman Gavin Brady (NZL). Brady has four America's Cups to his credit along with two Round the World Races.

The new leading monohull is the TP52 V5 (David Nathan) she was 100nm astern of Beau Geste and reported 20-25kt winds from the NE - the predicted wind strength, which is expected to increase to over 30kts by morning, before easing. V5 is predicted to finish on the afternoon of Wednesday June 7, 2012.

0900: TeamVodafoneSailing, the ORMA60 trimaran skippered by Simon Hull is streaking to the finish line in the Evolution Sails Sail Noumea race.

As at 0900hrs June 4, 2012 she is sailing at speeds of 20kts and is on a course 77nm east of the direct line for Noumea. Despite a slow start, in which the 60fter sailed at speeds of less than 10kts until she was well clear of Cape Reinga at the northern tip of New Zealand, TVS is on pace for the multihull record. According to the latest projection from www.predictwind.com!Predictwind, TVS has about 40hours to the finish, with around 450nm to sail.

Behind her Beau Geste, the 80ft monohull skippered by Gavin Brady, is sailing at 16kts on a direct course for Noumea. She is 110nm head of the next monohull, V5 - a TP52 formerly owned by current TVS owner Simon Hull, but now under the tutelage of David Nathan.

TVS is leading the monohull group by about 20nm, and is also on a direct course for Noumea, sailing at 10kts. The first time she has hit double digits, since the race start on Saturday afternoon. Behind V5, the Cookson 50 Akatea leads the pack, but the rest of the fleet are in 'enjoying' breezes of various strengths and directions. One by one they are breaking free of the light airs that have gripped the upper North Island of New Zealand for the past three days.

The strong winds have re-emerged ahead of the fleet, V5 will be first into these on Tuesday, for the daylight hours, if she follows the blue GFS course (based on the GFS weather feed enhanced by Predictwind), she will be fast reaching at average speeds for much of Tuesday, with winds averaging 25kts.

Track and boat positions for the Evolution Sails Sail Noumea 2012, as at 0900 on June 4, 2012. The body of the fleet is still locked in light airs at the top of New Zealand.

Predictwind track for TVS, showing both CMC and GFS feeds in alignment, showing the fast direct track for Noumea. She will hit 25kts average speeds for much of the remainder of the race - Evolution Sails Sail Noumea 2012.

Predictwind track for V5 at 0900 on June 4, 2012, the blue GFS track will get her quickly through the 25kts winds on a fast reaching course - Evolution Sails Sail Noumea 2012.


0130hrs:Going into the third day of racing in the Evolution Sails Sail Noumea Race, the body of the fleet has compressed, and parked, in a patch of light winds, just short of Cape Reinga.

Meanwhile the two larger boats in the fleet, the ORMA60 TeamVodafoneSailing and the 80ft Beau Geste have cleared the northern tip of New Zealand.

TVS is moving away to Noumea nicely, however Beau Geste has slowed in the evening of Day 2. At 0130hrs on Day 3, TVS was sailing at 22kts on a course to the east of the direct route for Noumea.

Late on Day 2, it would seem that V5 has also got a sniff if a better breeze, and has made a break on the pack behind, sailing away at a meager 5kts, but on a steady course to Noumea. The rest of the group were still sailing at 2.6kts with a variable direction.

Overall fleet locations - Evolution Sails Sail Noumea 2012. TVS is the northernmost boat, followed by Beau Geste

Zoom view of overall fleet position as at 0100hrs on Day 3 - Evolution Sails Sail Noumea 2012. TVS is the northernmost boat, followed by Beau Geste. V5 is the white boat that has broken away from the pack.