Please select your home edition
Edition
Sail Port Stephens 2017 728x90

Bump and grind TP52 regatta could be sail maker’s dream

by Lisa Ratcliff on 25 Apr 2013
Shogun V at TP52 Southern Cross Cup Teri Dodds © http://www.teridodds.com
Strong westerly winds in Bass Strait hold the key to the all-important forecast for stage two of the TP52 Southern Cross Cup this weekend. If they push north into Victoria’s Port Phillip there could be plenty of bump and grind to potentially mix up the stage one results. If the high pressure system wins the arm wrestle, yacht crews will have to rely on brains more than brawn.


Light winds and warm temperatures were a feature of February’s opening bout hosted by Sandringham Yacht Club. Autumn has since brought a chill to the waters of what’s commonly called ‘the Bay’, and the current season can also mean wide variations in local breezes.


Barney Walker, helmsman on local boat Calm 2, owned and skippered by Jason Van Der Slot, says the forecast for gradient NW-W winds looks likely to bring decent pressure to the race track, particularly on Saturday. If there’s some SW influence that can stir up a fetch, meaning choppy conditions for the eight TP52s contesting the three-day regatta.

'It’s going to be a tricky weekend for sure,' says Walker. 'How much breeze we get on the day will vary on how far north the westerlies come up from Bass Strait into Victoria. If there’s cloud cover this can also change the Bureau’s forecast day-by-day, and even hour-by-hour.'

Shogun V’s skipper Rob Hanna is well aware of the local vagaries at this time of year. 'Forecasts really don't mean much other than to help with sail selection. There could be five knots of nothing or 15-20 knots, and not much in the middle,' he said earlier in the week. Of one thing he was certain: 'On the day there will be weather.'

Now that the regatta is imminent, Hanna has a more reliable set of figures and he’s predicting Saturday will be the heavy air day, potentially a 'sail maker’s dream day' with plenty of torn kites, though manageable seas.

Off the back of their Audi IRC Australian Championship win at Geelong’s Festival of Sails in January, Shogun V was one of the red hot favourites going into round one of the TP series. Racing without instruments and sluggish starts had the newly crowned IRC champions and those looking on scratching their heads in the first half.

As the breeze increased and their start sequences improved, the Geelong champion climbed impressively back up through the pecking order. Their two wins on the final day put them back in familiar territory and were enough to give them a fourth place overall behind Team Beau Geste (HKG), Hooligan (NSW) and Calm 2 (VIC).

Shogun V will race this weekend with a new addition, seasoned navigator Bryan Northcote, plus regular tactician Steve McConaghy among the gun crew. 'It will be very tight racing and starts once again will be critical,' added Hanna.


Rob Date, weddings and TP52 regattas don’t seem to mix. Date will miss the entire round this weekend while attending a country wedding while for round one he was whisked ashore as soon as Scarlet Runner crossed the finish line on the last of the Saturday races so he could attend a family friend’s evening nuptials.

In charge of the RP52 in the owner’s absence this weekend will be veteran yachtsman Ross Lloyd on the wheel and boat manager Brett Avery.


Date’s still monitoring the forecast of course, and given Scarlet Runner beat Shogun V around the track in a recent Association Cup light air race, he was hopeful of another perfect window for the Reichel Pugh design, 5-11 knots and flat seas. 'Friday’s forecast 15-20 knot nor’wester is not great news for the red boat. This weekend looks like Shogun’s weather for sure,' Date ventured.

This will be the RP52’s final batter up for the Southern Cross Cup before Date switches the boat back to ocean racing mode and sets off on an epic journey of hopefully many downhill runs starting with July’s Audi Sydney Gold Coast yacht race. Next on Scarlet Runner’s itinerary is the Brisbane to Keppel Island race then on to Cape Town for the Cape Town to Rio Race starting January 4, 2014. Antigua Race Week in the Caribbean is on the calendar and finally the Pacific Cup in July, billed as the ‘fun race’ from San Francisco to Hawaii.

Today, ANZAC Day, is the official crew training day for the eight TP52 crews, among them multiple America’s Cup, Olympic and Volvo Ocean Race sailors.

The Bureau of Meteorology’s forecast for tomorrow’s opening day is W-NW 15-20 knots tending westerly at 10-15 knots in the afternoon.

Saturday is likely to deliver NW winds 15-20 knots during the morning and 20-25 knots by early afternoon.

The competition will run through to Sunday with up to three races scheduled daily starting from midday on Friday and Saturday and the family friendly time of 10am on Sunday so interstate and international crews can be home that evening.


The stakes are high for Karl Kwok’s Team Beau Geste sailing for the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, which is one up in the four-part series.

Beau Geste’s helmsman Gavin Brady is looking forward to a pressured-up rematch, '52 sailors love the breeze, there is no other keel boat in the world that perform like a 52 downwind in wind and waves.'

List of entries:

Boat name Skipper’s name Yacht club
Frantic Michael Martin LMYC / NCYC
Calm 2 Jason Van Der Slot SYC
Team Beau Geste Karl Kwok RHKYC
Scarlet Runner Rob Date SYC
Shogun V Rob Hanna RGYV / RYCV
Calm John Williams SYC
Hooligan Marcus Blackmore RPAYC
Cougar II Anthony Lyall RYCT

Results will be posted daily at http://www.syc.com.au/

Sail Exchange 660x82 New SailsWildwind 2016 660x82Harken AUS HL Snatch Block 660x82

Related Articles

Farr 40 OD Trophy - Newcastle throws up Day 1 challenges for Farr 40s
Skipper of Estate Master Martin Hill/his tactician David Chapman used their big swell experience in a different class The skipper of Estate Master Martin Hill and his tactician David Chapman used their big swell experience in a different class to their advantage on the opening day of the Farr 40 Newcastle One Design Trophy.
Posted today at 10:09 am
Vendee Globe - Romain Attansio at the Horn
Romain Attanasio rounded Cape Horn, the third of the legendary capes in the Vendée Globe at 2043hrs UTC on Friday Romain Attanasio (Famille Mary-Étamine du Lys) rounded Cape Horn, the third of the legendary capes in the Vendée Globe at 2043hrs UTC on Friday after 75 days 8 hours and 41 minutes of racing. Only Dutchman Pieter Heerema and Frenchman Sébastien Destremau are still sailing in the Pacific.
Posted today at 8:58 am
History repeats as Melbourne to Geelong Race kicks off 2017 FoS
Line honours in the 174th Melbourne to Geelong Passage Race, the curtain opener to FoS, was a repeat of the 2016 finish Line honours in the 174th Melbourne to Geelong Passage Race, the curtain opener to the Festival of Sails, was a repeat of the 2016 finish with Geoff Boettcher’s TP52 Secret Mens Business (SA) the first monohull and Bare Essentials (VIC) the first multihull across the finish line.
Posted today at 7:39 am
Former Clipper Race skipper equals British record in Vendee Globe
Alex Thomson, has finished in second place after a thrilling fight to the finish to the Vendee Globe. The youngest skipper to win the Clipper Race, Alex Thomson, has finished in second place after a thrilling fight to the finish to the Vendee Globe.
Posted today at 6:38 am
Le Cléac'h and Thomson revel in the Vendée Globe glory
Armel Le Cléac'h and Alex Thomson were basking in the glory of becoming the solo round the world race's fastest sailors. Armel Le Cléac'h and second-placed Alex Thomson were today basking in the glory of becoming the solo round the world race's fastest ever sailors. Le Cléac'h and Thomson arrived in the race's home port of Les Sables d'Olonne in France just 16 hours apart after more than 27,000 nautical miles of racing over 74 days to claim the top two podium places.
Posted on 20 Jan
Jules Verne Trophy – New equator record for IDEC Sport
Francis Joyon, Sébastien Audigane, Clément Surtel, Gwénolé Gahinet, Alex and Bernard achieved the best performance ever Francis Joyon, Sébastien Audigane, Clément Surtel, Gwénolé Gahinet, Alex Pella and Bernard Stamm achieved the best performance ever for the stretch betweenUshant and the Equator after rounding the three capes (Good Hope, Leeuwin and the Horn) with a time of 35 days, four hours and 45 minutes.
Posted on 20 Jan
Alex Thomson takes the runner-up spot in the Vendée Globe
Thomson set out to become the first Brit ever to win the Vendée Globe but following an epic battle with French skipper. Thomson, 42, set out to become the first Brit ever to win the Vendée Globe but following an epic battle with French skipper Armel Le Cléac'h missed out on the top spot by just shy of 16 hours. The skipper of Hugo Boss crossed the finish line at 0737 UTC in a time of 74 days, 19 hours, 35 minutes and 15 seconds in one of the closest finishes ever in the race's 27-year history.
Posted on 20 Jan
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta – Tweaks and changes
Paul Miller, Racing Director for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta spoke about the tweaks and changes to the 37th edition Paul Miller, Racing Director for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, spoke about the tweaks and changes to the 37th edition of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, including free entry for the Gill Commodore's Cup, sensational Beach Cat packages including very attractive shipping costs from Europe and a novel finale to the Caribbean's most popular regatta.
Posted on 20 Jan
Alex Thomson finishes second in the Vendée Globe
Thomson, 42, crossed the finish line of the race in Les Sables d'Olonne, today on his 60ft racing yacht Hugo Boss. Thomson, 42, crossed the finish line of the race in Les Sables d'Olonne, France, at 0737hrs UTC today on his 60ft racing yacht Hugo Boss.
Posted on 20 Jan
Alex Thomson defies the odds to finish second in the Vendée Globe
After 74 days, 19 hours and 35 minutes at sea, British sailor Alex Thomson reached the finish line on his boat Hugo Boss After 74 days, 19 hours and 35 minutes at sea, British sailor Alex Thomson reached the finish line on his boat Hugo Boss at 7:37 UTC Friday 20th January 2017, and in doing so broke his own British record of 80 days for the fastest solo circumnavigation of the globe in a monohull.
Posted on 20 Jan