The Naval Group yacht, crewed by a mixed Australian and French team, has completed the southern hemisphere’s best-known yachting classic, the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
Crewed by employees from Naval Group France and Australia, three representatives from the Royal Australian Navy and five professional sailors from Noakes, including the skipper, the multinational effort delivered a noteworthy first Hobart experience for the majority of the crew in what was largely a warm downwind race.
Trapped in the notorious Derwent River after sunset on December 28, the mixed Australian and French team inched towards the finish line to record an elapsed time of two days, 10 hours, 11 minutes and 14 seconds for the 628 nautical mile ocean event that began on a busy Sydney Harbour at 1pm on December 26.
“It’s poignant given the 100-year alliance between France and Australia that the crew has come together to not only complete the 628 nautical mile challenge, but to finish 11th across the line from a strong 85-boat fleet,” said Herve Guillou, Chairman and CEO, Naval Group whose last Hobart race was 27 years ago.
Ripping their A2 spinnaker on the first afternoon cost the boat performance-wise, however this joint venture was always about bringing two cultures together to fulfill a mission.
“In a limited timeframe the crew joined together to learn about the mission, their role within that mission and how to work together as a team, the same way they will work together to plan and deliver the largest single naval procurement program in Australia’s history, the Australian Future Submarine Program,” said Mr Guillou.
The Naval Group yacht was launched in 2008 as an RP65 called Moneypenny and raced overseas under various owners. Langman purchased the boat in 2018 from Newport, Rhode Island, and delivered it to Sydney for minor modifications and to carry out an intense training regime to bring the crew up to speed for the ultimate annual yachting challenge.
Naval Group is Australia’s design and build partner for the Future Submarine Program. Australia’s new future submarines will be known as the Attack class and will be delivered to the Royal Australian Navy in the early 2030s.
The Naval Group crew
- Sean Langman, skipper, Noakes
- Murray Spence, navigator Noakes
- Josh Alexander, Noakes
- Shaun McKnight, Noakes
- Tony Powell, Noakes
- Rear Admiral Lee Goddard, Royal Australian Navy
- Lieutenant Ed Bramich, Royal Australian Navy
- Sub-lieutenant Tori Costello, Royal Australian Navy
- Herve Guillou, Naval Group
- Luc Remont, Naval Group
- Jerome Vol, Naval Group
- Gaetan Bourdeaux, Naval Group
- Jean-Francois Lucas, Naval Group
- Antoine Caillaud, Naval Group
- Diane Roy, Naval Group Australia
- Steven Patriarca, Naval Group Australia
- Tabitha Stevenson, Naval Group Australia
- Siobhan Byrne, Naval Group Australia
- James Wilkes, Naval Group Australia