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TP52 Southern Cross Cup - Weather conspires against Newcastle skipper

by Lisa Ratcliff on 26 Apr 2013
Frantic racing during Round One - TP52 Southern Cross Cup 2013 Teri Dodds
Weather conspires against the Newcastle skipper, Mick Martin to making today’s opening three races of stage two of the TP52 Southern Cross Cup.

Foul weather cost the delivery crew a day-and-a-half waiting at the popular coastal port of Eden, plus a mainsail that has been torn to shreds. Now the boat is now limping under storm jib to Sandringham with 80 nautical miles to go at 9am this morning.

The boat is low on diesel after beating into headwinds and lumpy seas, the reason the engine isn’t running, and the crew were this morning looking at refuelling options between Cape Patterson and Sandringham on Port Phillip, Victoria, where the remaining seven TP52s are about to commence the first of today’s three scheduled races.

Frantic’s helmsman Ken Saladine and the remainder of the race crew are at Sandringham Yacht Club having arrived by various means; five drove from Newcastle, two flew and one rode his motor bike to meet up with a couple of local Melbourne sailors.

This morning they were circumspect about their predicament, 'It is what it is,' said Saladine.

Sandringham Yacht Club has offered Frantic’s shore-bound crew the use of a couple of club Beneteau 7.5 metres so they can watch the racing close-up.

When Frantic does finally arrive, the four exhausted delivery crew will be put to bed while the remainder strip the delivery gear off and try out a new mainsail, which has been driven from Newcastle but not yet fitted.

If it’s a misfit a local sail maker will be sought to either modify the new main or try and repair the torn mainsail.
Calm 2’s skipper Jason Van Der Slot has offered to lend Frantic’s crew a main so they can join the rest of the fleet for the remaining two days of the regatta.

'We’ve had great support from all the other guys,' added a thankful Saladine.

Frantic was given a special mention at last night’s welcome function with all the other TP owners appreciating the effort Martin, a former Wallaby who played six Tests for Australia in the 1980s, and his crew are making by undertaking back-to-back events.

Frantic won the recent Gosford to Lord Howe ocean race on IRC and ORCi then headed back to Sydney for the final coastal leg to Melbourne. It was always going to be tight but Martin, who likes to squeeze the most out of life, figured on a late Wednesday arrival.

'Why do you think the boat’s called Frantic?' joked crewman Gary Waterson last night.

At an owner’s meeting this morning at the host club the decision was made to stick with the centre gate start with the option of an on-water amendment if the owners decide they want to revert to a traditional bottom gate windward/leeward format.

For the remaining two stages Sydney will host, there will be multiple course options offered, depending on the venue and conditions.

Owners also agreed for this round to maintain the upper limit of 24 knots, to avoid breakages. This means the fleet won’t race if the wind is blowing consistently above 24 knots, subject to sea state.

Tomorrow’s forecast is for mild temperatures and northerly winds 15 to 25 knots increasing to 20 to 30 knots in the morning.

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

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