TP52 Southern Cross Cup, hosted by the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, is currently underway. Ripped sails and ripping runs on a white-capped Sydney Harbour yesterday, November 22nd, contrasted with a day two lottery that had the TP52 tacticians scratching their heads. Zero to 15 knots of wind, lightning and pelting rain in the morning eventually cleared to warm spring sunshine and a classic Sydney nor’east sea breeze.
Shogun passage race - TP52 Southern Cross Cup 2013
Karl Kwok’s Team Beau Geste, representing Hong Kong and boasting a bevy of international yachting stars, is inching towards a trifecta of victories. Team Beau Geste won round one and two at Melbourne’s Sandringham Yacht Club earlier in the year. Two bullets from three starts this long weekend has them poised to triumph in round three, sponsored by Sydney City Marine.
On today’s race Kwok said, 'All the other boats made the start interesting. Gavin’s [Brady] match racing skills came into play before we cleared away from Shogun V. The level of racing is so high here the other crews can smell the wind; however once you develop a gap it’s difficult to catch up [to the lead boat].
'The whole harbour filled up, it’s similar to sailing in Hong Kong, but even more boats. Everyone knows the rules, it’s very polite and I haven’t seen any collisions yet,' Kwok added.
He praised the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron’s race committee for their professionalism given today’s weather vagaries, which forced a postponed start and a new start line off Shark Island.
The successful Chinese businessman will be back for round four of the inaugural TP52 series next month then again at Christmas for the iconic Rolex Sydney Hobart yacht race with his newly built Botin 80, also called Beau Geste.
TBG upwind - TP52 Southern Cross Cup 2013
Four TP52s contested today’s 20 nautical mile inshore passage race, each in search of lucky breaks. Off Nielsen Park on Sydney Harbour’s eastern shore, both Shogun and TBG’s bowmen were hoisted up the mast to scout for breeze when the fleet was stuck in the doldrums.
Finally the clouds burnt off and a nor’easter trickled down from Manly, and built to 8-10 knots.
Sydney Harbour was abuzz with boats. Foiling Moths, old and new 18-footers, Lasers, Manly juniors and Hobart hopefuls shared the tight space.
Vamos & MJs - TP52 Southern Cross Cup 2013
When the TP52 fleet met the MJs at the Manly mark there were some anxious moments on both sides. The 52 footers nimbly weaved through the sport’s next generation, giving the bug-eyed youngsters some words of encouragement as they rounded the top mark and accelerated away.
There’s already a bunch of high profile professional sailors among the Southern Cross Cup crews, then Anthony Bell’s 100ft supermaxi Perpetual Loyal snaked through the racing fleets on a Sydney Hobart training outing. Olympic gold medallist, winning America’s Cup strategist and sailing’s favourite redhead, Tom Slingsby, was at the helm.
TP52 passage start to Frantic - TP52 Southern Cross Cup 2013
Mick Martin’s Frantic was back amongst the action today and nailed the start, beating the three newer generation TP52s off the line. 'It was a good day at the office,' said Martin. 'It’s just great to be part of this competition; we are really an offshore boat racing with inshore boats.'
Tomorrow’s first windward/leeward race is scheduled for a 945hrs kick-off. The class is aiming to get three away and an early finish so the international and interstate crews can fly out for the start of the working week.
South-westerly 10-15 knots turning to a 10 knot southerly in the middle of the day then increasing to 15 to 20 knots in the early afternoon is the scenario for tomorrow’s competition closer.
Frantic & MJ - TP52 Southern Cross Cup 2013
TP52 Southern Cross Cup 2013 Round 3
Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron
Series Results [SCRATCH] for D1 up to Race 3
|Sail No||Boat Name||Skipper||Sers Score||Place||Race 3||Race 2||Race 1|
|IVB1997||Team Beau Geste||Karl Kwok||4.0||1||1.0||1.0||2.0|
|AUS280||Shogun V||Rob Hanna||5.0||2||2.0||2.0||1.0|