Zana was in no mood to leisurely cruise to Noumea as she sprinted all the way from start to finish in record time in a total of 70 hours. The current record holder, Hydroflow, completed the race in 111hours 59:17 in 2002.
For Stewart THWAITES and his crew, this race to Noumea was a sneak preview on what's to come later year with the Sydney to Gold Coast Race as well as the Hahn Hamilton Island Race as she builds up for the 2004 60th Anniversary Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
Zana's main rival in the West Island is Grant WHARINGTON'S Skandia and this year's meetings between the two yachts will be more intense then their previous meeting as both teams are determined to beat each other at whatever opportunity.
It has been a race of all sorts with wet and wild weather on the first day and lighter winds on the second as she eased her way toward Noumea. Couple of sea sick yachties and losing a spinnaker on the second night of racing did not put a dampener on the crew as they braved the weather conditions in stalwart determination to break the record.
With winds up to 20knots south easterly in the last day of sailing to Noumea, Zana not only broke the record to reach Noumea but also broke a spinnaker pole, spinnaker and jockey pole on her way to success.
The owner, helmsman, Stewart THWAITES and the crew are ecstatic with the result and even more so for reaching Noumea in record time. The crew is made up of both men and women who are rookie and experienced yachties.
When interviewed, Stewart THWAITES said. "I am looking forward to the Sydney Gold Coast, the Hahn Hamilton Island races. Sydney Hobart is still the race to win. We are very happy with the win and very happy with the new record."
Let the New Zealand v Australia rivalry continue in sailing when the two yachts meet later this year.