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Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - Hooligan´s wreak havoc in IRC fleet

by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team on 20 Aug 2013
The Hooligan´s August 2013 ©
Out on the race track at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2013, Marcus Blackmore´s TP52 Hooligan has won all three IRC races sailed by the top end fleet and the damage wreaked to the aspirations of other owners and crew this owner and boat has exhibited over recent years on the Australian circuit looks set to continue.

Blackmore set out in 2011 to win the IRC Nationals. He consulted with Cloud´s Badham about the average wind speeds across the courses and configured the former Emirates Team New Zealand TP52 now Hooligan for those conditions. Then he added a very talented team.

Surprise, surprise he won and has kept winning. He won the Australian Championships and Audi Hamilton Island Race Week in 2011, 2012 and is on track for 2013.

Yesterday on the race track in the trickiest of conditions, 68 year old Blackmore was a picture of concentration on the tiller, as he ghosted Hooligan to a convincing handicap win after his boat and Rob Hanna´s Shogun V had swapped the race within a race lead three times.

A good boat, well sailed. And just look at the depth of talent in this 2013 Audi Hamilton Island Race Week roster.

Marcus Blackmore - 'We are happy with the boat, it’s like new. . We have my regular crew, including Stu Ballantyne, Richie Allanson, Terry Wetton and the guys.

'We have got a bit of change in the back of the boat. We have got a couple of additions this time. We have got Malcolm Page, (dual Olympic Gold medallist) who I have known for years of course, and Kiwi Finn Olympian Dan Slater. Dan did a couple of regattas in Asia with us with the TP52 up there and we won those regattas. He got on really well with the crew so we have got a tactician and a strategist this time.

'We have got Will Oxley and Will’s a Townsville boy and he has done this regatta 17 times. Somebody said to me have you got a bit of local knowledge on board. I think we have. We are in good shape.

Shogun V is always hard to beat and we always have great racing with those guys. I don’t know some people say they are not so good in the light air and then they tell us we’re not good in the light air and then they tell us we are not good in the heavy air.

'But we´ve come first and second in every regatta that we have ever been in. We have had light air and heavy air regattas. 'When we first sailed the boat, I think we have got a reputation of not being good in light air because the boat was obviously in its Med Cup trim. It was a specialist over 12 knots.

'But it’s been IRC’d. We 300 kilos of lead out of the hull and put some of that on the keel so it is a different boat. We are just having fun sailing and the results keep coming.

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