The Naval Group yacht, crewed by a mixed Australian and French team, has completed the southern hemisphere’s best-known yachting classic, the Sydney to 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 28 December, 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 AEDT on 26 December.
"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 of 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 fulfil a mission.
"In a limited time frame 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 $50 billion SEA 1000 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.
Naval Group's successful Shortfin Barracuda design, which serves as the basis for the new Attack Class, is a conventionally powered variant of the nuclear powered Barracuda fast attack submarine currently under construction in France for the French Navy.
The Attack Class vessels will begin replacing the ageing Collins Class vessels at a time when 50 per cent of the world's submarines will be operating in the Indo-Pacific region.