TP52 Southern Cross Cup Day 1 - strong conditions
by Lisa Ratcliff on 22 Nov 2013
TP52 Shogun V bowman Bob Fowler
The breeze regularly hovered near the upper wind limit of 25 knots for the class. It averaged 20 knots out of the NNE for race one, climbing to an average 22 knots for race two with 28 knot gusts. Prior to a scheduled third race the sea state worsened and gusts peaked at 37 knots under an ominous sky when the race committee hoisted the postponement flag and sent the dwindling fleet ashore, then called it a day.
Rob Hanna’s Shogun V, with New Zealand’s Stu Bannatyne (ETNZ) calling tactics and Oracle Team USA mainsail trimmer Kyle Langford on the runners, duelled with Karl Kwok’s series leader Team Beau Geste (HKG) on the track. The pair traded wins to be level pegged at the end of the day, both on three points with Beau Geste ahead on a countback.
John Cutler, Team Beau Geste’s tactician said, 'It was great fun. It’s good to sail at the top end, often we go home when it’s too windy but it’s useful to do these kind of races, though a third race may have caused too much damage.'
A couple of minor tears and a broken stanchion plus one round-up were minor blips for the Gavin Brady helmed Hong Kong TP52 with its predominantly Kiwi crew. More challenging for them was the constricted course and Sydney’s harbour traffic - very different to the wide open space of the Hauraki Gulf. Tomorrow the harbour will be in full bloom with most clubs sending fleets out.
Geelong yachtsman Rob Hanna scored the first bullet of the day and recorded a top boat speed of 25 knots downwind. 'We managed to keep the boat upright; there was plenty of water over the deck. It was an exciting day but it was starting to get hairy when the committee called racing off,' he said.
Connel McLaren’s Vamos (formerly Shogun IV) had a baptism of fire and came through intact. The Kiwi crew, also new to the series, were in Sydney two weeks ago for their very first sail on the boat. McLaren likened that training run to being in a Westfield shopping mall due to the weekend traffic. In contrast their weekday induction to TP52 racing today offered more elbow room, and a ton more breeze. Vamos is currently third on the pointscore.
'It was a quick introduction,' admitted McLaren at the host RSYS this evening. 'We took it pretty cautiously, the boat felt good and crew held it together really well.'
Five TP52s started the regatta and only three finished both races. Bob Steel’s Quest, another series newcomer but a stalwart of the class, suffered rigging and sail damage and sadly their event is over.
Mick Martin’s Newcastle based Frantic attempted to start both races but boom and vang damage put paid to that plan. The crew has every intention of being on the start line for tomorrow’s 25 nautical mile inshore passage race starting at 1245hrs.
The heavy rain falling in Sydney is expected to ease overnight to isolated showers tomorrow, Saturday 23rd November, and the breeze to moderate to NNE 10-15 knots turning SSW and variable at 10 knots.
Racing finishes Sunday.
TP52 Southern Cross Cup 2013 Round 3, Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron
Series Results [SCRATCH] for D1 up to Race 2
Sail No Boat Name Skipper Sers Score Place Race 2 Race 1
IVB1997 TEAM BEAU GESTE Jamie Gale 3.0 1 1.0 2.0
AUS280 SHOGUN V Ben Morrison 3.0 2 2.0 1.0
AUS6952 VAMOS Ben Costello 7.0 3 3.0 4.0
52002 QUEST Bob Steel 9.0 4 6.0C 3.0
GBR5211L FRANTIC Michael Martin 11.0 5 5.0F 6.0S