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X-Yachts AUS X4 728 - 3

Australian TP52 Southern Cross Cup 2013 - Baptism of fire

by Lisa Ratcliff on 7 Feb 2013
Shogun V will slug it out with other contenders at the Australian TP52 Southern Cross Cup Teri Dodds - copyright http://www.teridodds.com
Australian TP52 Southern Cross Cup 2013 marks the birth of sailing’s new Formula 1 circuit which starts on Port Phillip Friday at Sandringham Yacht Club.

Mistakes will be costly as seven TP52s and one RP52 race under IRC handicap with an age allowance for the three early generation TPs, which has encouraged owners of these older boats to be part of the exceptional line-up.

The countback finish at Geelong’s Festival of Sails for Rob Hanna’s Geelong registered Shogun V and Marcus Blackmore’s Hooligan from Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club is still fresh, and bets are on a re-match between the sparring partners.

Shogun V’s crew has confidence from their stirring win less than a fortnight ago to mount a solid defence and equally Blackmore, the dual Audi IRC Australian Champion who was shaping up for the trifecta until Hanna thwarted his plan at Geelong, is raring to get in the ring again and reverse the result.

'While it was good for the class and all credit to Shogun who was always knocking on the door, coming second is a bit like coming second in a fight - it’s not fun,' admitted Blackmore today.

'I’m really looking forward to this weekend. Four of the best TP52s in the world will be there and as owners we’ve adopted some exciting initiatives. I think the clue is keeping the owners happy by letting them take responsibility for the location, the format and the race officers. If this weekend works, we are hoping to take yachting in Australia to another dimension,' he added.

With the Audi IRC Australian Championship leaning on the final race at Geelong, nerves have barely had time to settle for Steve McConaghy, tactician on Shogun V.

'Our Geelong result has given us the confidence, but the breeze will play a big part,' he said this morning. 'Hooligan is hard to beat in under 15 knots and Beau Geste will have the brilliance of Gavin Brady on the helm.

'It’s going to be super close, the four latest TPs will be inches apart and mistakes will be very costly. Final results will come down to boat speed, handling, and staying out of Australian TP52 Southern Cross Cup
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