Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars

Festival of Sails - Hooligan ready for the challenge

by Lisa Ratcliff on 24 Oct 2012
Hooligan in action Craig Greenhill / Saltwater Images © http://www.saltwaterimages.com.au
The 2012 Audi IRC Australian Champion, Marcus Blackmore and his TP52 Hooligan, will reign for less than five months before being challenged at the next championship, that is to take place at the Royal Geelong Yacht Club in January as part of the annual Festival of Sails.

'We only get to savour the glory for a few months...we’ll have to win it again,' quips Blackmore. He has every reason to speak so boldly given Hooligan has dominated at every Australian regatta for the past two years, a second their worst result.

Hooligan won the Festival of Sails IRC grand prix division in 2010 and Jim Farmer and Chris Meads’ New Zealand fifth generation TP52, Georgia, built from the same mould as Hooligan, swept to victory unrivalled last year.

The 2013 Audi IRC Australian Championship will be top heavy with TP52s as shortly after the Festival of Sails the class will host the first of a three-part Australian east coast circuit from Sandringham Yacht Club.

Peter Harburg’s Reichel Pugh 66, Black Jack, gave Blackmore, of Blackmore’s vitamin empire, a real scare at the 2012 Audi IRC Australian Championship, raced as part of the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week in August. Harburg was tipped to win the Championship, until the final race delivered Hooligan outright victory by a single point from Shogun and consigned Black Jack to a gut wrenching third.

'He who makes the least mistakes wins, and that was telling at Hamilton Island,' surmises Blackmore. 'We kept going over the week and with a little bit of luck...boom! We were in. To win the championship like that was pretty neat, probably the best win I’ve had'.

'When we come to Geelong we’ve got to be careful to avoid the situation we had at Hamilton Island Race Week where the TPs fought one another and Black Jack took off on its own,' he cautions himself and his class mates.

Black Jack’s skipper Mark Bradford is looking forward to the even conditions and flat water of Geelong’s Corio Bay, and another shot at the TP52s, which have affirmed their IRC dominance in the past couple of years.

'We are one of the few IRC boats to have come so close to a TP,' said Bradford of the final Hamilton Island scoresheet, the upshot of the costly IRC optimisation undertaken by Harburg, a Queensland property developer, for exactly that outcome.
Before Geelong, Harburg and his crew have to finish the Rolex Sydney Hobart unscathed. 'First we have to get through the Hobart without gear failure' Bradford added.

Showing their keenness, the first four entries for the Audi IRC Australian Championship are TP52s, including Shogun, Hooligan, Calm (Williams / Van der Slot) and Calm 2 (Jason Van der Slot).

Organisers are anticipating seven or eight TP52s at the Australian Championship, including 'four of the best TP52s in the world' tips Blackmore, plus other high performance Australian and international IRC yachts.

The four day Audi IRC Australian Championship, starting Thursday January 24th, will form part of the annual Festival of Sails regatta which is acclaimed as the southern hemisphere’s largest annual sailing Festival of Sails website

Related Articles

Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
Pantaenius – Smooth sailing is more than a favourable weather forecast
Pantaenius get ready to launch into their fourth year operating in Australia As Pantaenius get ready to launch into their fourth year operating in Australia, we get to see why they continue to grow their happy crew of customers. Sitting down with Pantaenius Australia’s MD, Jamie MacPhail, you immediately get a sense that the smooth sailing is a direct result of both their unique product and the marketplace’s willingness to embrace the better mousetrap
Posted on 27 Apr
100 days to Rio, are there potholes and bumps ahead?
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for most crews.
Posted on 26 Apr
Is George Lucas a sailor?
He’s very famous for a lot of things, and justifiably so. One of them is Industrial Light and Magic He’s very famous for a lot of things, and justifiably so. One of them is Industrial Light and Magic, which has been instrumental in the making of many of the special effects that have made the digital world so impressive. Gone are the smears of Vaseline along the bottom edge of the clear filter to hide the trolley that was actually transporting Luke Skywalker’s Speeder, for instance.
Posted on 25 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Thou doth protest too much, me thinks
And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen about now. At any rate, it is simply an adaptation of Lady Gertrude’s original line. We merely seek to use it as a way to demonstrate that when there is a lot of brouhaha going on, the smoke screen ultimately ends up as a lovely, colourful flag as to the real intent behind it.
Posted on 18 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Can World Sailing learn from dear old Oz?
Why just lay the drop sheets out and tape up the edges of the windows for a splash of paint Some time ago now, Sail-World proposed that ISAF had a really good opportunity at hand when it morphed into World Sailing (WS). Why just lay the drop sheets out and tape up the edges of the windows for a splash of paint, when you could bring out the jackhammers and do a proper reno??? A call was issued for 200,000 sets of goggles and earmuffs to be supplied and for the real work to be commenced.
Posted on 11 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Barz Optics - FloatersSafety at Sea - Baltic - 1Naiad/Oracle Supplier