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Smuggler returns to the PSNYR six feet longer and eager for a fast ride

Smuggler returns to the PSNYR six feet longer and eager for a fast ride

Smuggler returns to the PSNYR six feet longer and eager for a fast ride

Returning to the Ponant Sydney Noumea Yacht Race is defending champion, Smuggler. With just over 10 days before the official start of the 1,064 nautical mile ocean race, Sebastian Bohm, skipper, and owner, is feeling ready for the challenge ahead.

“We would never miss defending our crown, and we have been looking forward to this race for 6 years. To be honest, we are beyond excited that the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia is organizing an ocean race that is away from the coast and allows us to dive into isolated waters.”

The Smuggler crew and program have been transformed since the last edition of the PSNYR. With a new boat and several new core crew members, Bohm and co have been campaigning their steel blue TP52 around Australia in good fashion.


(Smuggler after the start of the 2023 Noakes Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race, image by Andrea Francolini | CYCA)

“We have a very good boat, which is competitive both inshore and offshore. This means we race the boat a lot, but our heart lies offshore. We just love getting away from the land and sending it in big waves. Tim and I have built a very solid crew over the last five years, and we have a big pool of people that are part of the team, but the core crew is very talented and dedicated."

With the start fast approaching, Seb, Tim, and their navigator David Van Der Wende have started running their first models for the race ahead. Bohm, admitting that this race will be interesting when it comes to navigating, says that the aim is to get away from the Australian coast and jump into the SE trade winds.

“Last time it was rough and cold out there; we managed to latch onto quite a unique weather system that propelled the fleet at high speeds towards Noumea. Frantic broke the record during this race." The record in question had been standing previously for 27 years and was held by Brindabella. Breaking this record was a fantastic feat of skipper Michael Martin and his crew. 

With the current forecast, which admittedly is still rather unreliable and shows some variability, predicting anywhere between a 3.5 to 5-day race, it is still too early to predict if the Race Record is in jeopardy. As far as  Bohm is concerned, the record is not the main priority.

“We are hoping for a safe, fast, and exhilarating race. We want to do well, but we are here to defend our crown; taking the record would be a great bonus.” The crew is also looking forward to the New Caledonia Groupama Race. It will be the first time that we will do this race, but it should be a good time.

Make sure to follow the race through the tracker and news section.