Please select your home edition
Edition
Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - Hooligan to compete

by Rob Mundle on 9 May 2011
Hooligan - Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2011 Hamilton Island www.hamiltonisland.com.au
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2011 and a 28-year dream of winning the Grand Prix division may be realised for Sydney yachtsman Marcus Blackmore in August following confirmation he will be entering his all-conquering TP52 class racer, Hooligan, in the great regatta.

Since January Hooligan has shown she is the hottest IRC rated yacht on the east coast circuit: she has won every major series she has contested, including Audi Victoria Week, the Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta and the NSW IRC Championship at Port Stephens. She is also on top of the points table for the Audi IRC Australian Championship, a series where the final round is scheduled for Hamilton Island.

'For many years I’ve had two great ambitions in sailing,' declared Blackmore. 'One – because I was originally a Queenslander – was to win the Brisbane to Gladstone race, and we’ve just done that; the other was to win the Grand Prix division at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week. So, there is no way I’m not going to be there with Hooligan and the team this year to give Race Week our best shot.'

Blackmore explained that his dream of winning at Hamilton Island was ignited at the inaugural Race Week in 1984 when he won the Arbitrary Division with his 43ft sloop, The Manly Ferry. Ironically, he bought that yacht from his friend, Bob Oatley, the famous Australian winemaker and yachtsman who, with his family, now owns Hamilton Island.

'Hamilton Island Race Week had everything going for it from Day One, and it just keeps getting better these days under the stewardship of Bob Oatley,' said Blackmore, whose enthusiasm for the regatta saw him take up the role of commodore of Hamilton Island Yacht Club for some years. 'When I saw Hitchhiker come across from Perth and win the Grand Prix division that first year I told myself that it was something I wanted to achieve one day, and hopefully that day will come in August.'


Hooligan is not likely to get it all her own way this year as some of Australia’s smartest IRC rated racers are expected to be there to throw down the gauntlet, including Stephen Ainsworth’s Loki, which won Audi Hamilton Island Race Week last year. Currently, after two rounds, Loki sits only three points behind Hooligan in the Audi IRC Australian Championship.

Blackmore received some good news last week as he began to make preparations for Hamilton Island. In response to a recent request from an Australian rival for a handicap review, officials at the Royal Ocean Racing Club in England stated they could see no grounds for change to Hooligan’s IRC rating certificate.

Hooligan was originally named Emirates Team New Zealand, and when Blackmore purchased her last year she was the yacht to beat on the international TP52 class circuit in the Mediterranean. Today he credits the outstanding effort put in by his crew, as much as the design of the yacht, for the success that has come Hooligan’s way:

'We learned a lot from the Kiwis when I bought the yacht, nothing more so than the importance of exceptional crew work. That’s really rubbed off on us: we are getting our asymmetric spinnakers set and drawing in just eight seconds after rounding a mark while some of our rivals take 18 seconds. That’s a big advantage in this level of racing.'

With more than three months to go to the start of Audi Hamilton Island Race Week on 19 August there are near 50 yachts on the entry list. This compares favourably with the same period last year: fair indication that a fleet of around 200 can be expected this year.

Hamilton Island Race Week’s naming rights sponsor, luxury car maker Audi, is Australia’s largest corporate sponsor of yachting.

Audi Hamilton Island Race Week: Website

Wildwind 2016 660x82Barz Optics - Melanin LensesMackay Boats

Related Articles

Vendée Globe – Didac Costa takes 14th place
The tenacious, driven Costa succeeded with one of the smallest budgets of 29 skippers who started race on November 6th. The tenacious, driven Costa has succeeded with one of the smallest budgets of the 29 skippers who started the race on November 6th.
Posted today at 9:36 am
Vendee Globe - Foresight Natural Energy Day 109 - Ancient Homer
The wind has died. The one proud mainsail drags lazily back and forth across the cabin top. The wind has died. The one proud mainsail drags lazily back and forth across the cabin top. Even the rippling laughter of the wake down the side of the hull has dulled as Foresight Natural Energy lethargically crawls across the dark disk of the horizon. The bright orange jib is the only flash of colour in a quiet world where a dull lead coloured sea lolls under a pewter sky.
Posted today at 4:36 am
CCA welcomes America's fastest non-stop solo circumnavigator
The CCA is particularly proud of member Rich Wilson’s accomplishment in the just completed Vendée Globe race The Cruising Club of America is particularly proud of member Rich Wilson’s (Marblehead, Mass.) accomplishment in the just completed Vendée Globe race. Sailing solo for nearly 27,500 miles aboard Great American IV, Wilson finished the planet-rounding competition in just over 107 days, returning to the west coast of France on Tuesday February 21, 2017 after having started there on November 6, 2016.
Posted today at 3:44 am
RORC Caribbean 600 - Rambler 88 takes Monohull Line Honours
George David's American Maxi, Rambler 88 finished the 2017 RORC Caribbean 600 on Wednesday 22 February 2017 George David's American Maxi, Rambler 88 finished the 2017 RORC Caribbean 600 on Wednesday 22 February 2017 at 11 hrs 56 mins 17 secs AST taking Monohull Line Honours.
Posted today at 1:14 am
Vendee Globe - Colman progressing in right direction - speaks to BBC
Conrad Colman's pace has not increased substantially in the last 12 hours, his direction has become more direct. Although Kiwi solo sailor Conrad Colman's pace has not increased substantially in the last 12 hours, his direction has become much more direct. After a frustrating passage through an area of light winds, Colman is now heading for a weather system which should allow him to hook in a wind system that will take him to the finish. He spoke to BBC's Radio 4 today:
Posted on 22 Feb
Vendée Globe – Costa to cross Thursday morning for 14th
Progress has remained painfully slow for Kiwi skipper Conrad Colman today as he sails into a wide high pressure ridge Progress has remained painfully slow for Kiwi skipper Conrad Colman today as he sails into a wide high pressure ridge which stands between him and the favourable westerly breezes which should finally allow the jury rigged Foresight Natural Energy to sail more directly towards the French coast and the finish line
Posted on 22 Feb
Sanya awarded Youth Sailing World Championships
World Sailing, the world governing body of the sport is pleased to announce that Sanya, China will host the 2017 edition The 2017 selection process opened in November 2016 after the Israeli Sailing Association exercised the right to withdraw from hosting the 2017 edition as a final contract had not been concluded.
Posted on 22 Feb
RORC Caribbean 600 – Day 3 – Phaedo3 takes multihull line honours
While the multihull race record was not broken this year Phaedo3 and Maserati had an incredible 600 mile high-speed duel Phaedo3 held on to win the battle of the trimarans, just 12 minutes ahead of Giovanni Soldini's Italian MOD70, Maserati. The high-speed battle saw the lead change hands at least four times during the race.
Posted on 22 Feb
Volvo Ocean Race – Pablo Arrarte joins MAPFRE as watch captain
With just 242 days to go until the start of the 2017-18 edition on October 22, preparations are already well underway. Arrarte, who raced onboard Brunel in 2014-15, will also assume the role of deputy to Olympic gold medallist Xabi Fernández, who was named as skipper on Friday.
Posted on 22 Feb
Maserati Multi70 finishes a close second in RORC Caribbean 600
Soldini and his seven-man crew brought Maserati Multi70 across the finish line off Charlotte Point in Antigua. Soldini and his seven-man international crew brought Maserati Multi70 across the finish line off Charlotte Point in Antigua.
Posted on 22 Feb