Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad

Hooligan shows she's set for Audi Australian IRC series

by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team on 23 Jan 2011
Audi Victoria Week 2011 HOOLIGAN © Andrea Francolini Photography http://www.afrancolini.com/
While many of the Grand Prix IRC boats racing in the Audi IRC series at Audi Victoria Week have just returned from the Rolex Sydney to Hobart race and are either Victorian locals or are racing at Audi Victoria Week and will then head back to Queensland NSW or South Australia, there are numbers of other boats that have come a long way specifically for this event, the first in the Audi Australian IRC series.

One such boat is Marcus Blackmore’s TP52 Hooligan. Built in 2009 by Cooksons New Zealand for Emirates Team New Zealand, the Botin designed TP52 raced in the 2010 Rolex Trophy series. Hooligan was just three days out of the McConaghy yard in Sydney after undergoing IRC modifications when the TP52 competed in that series in mid December.

It was an impressive start for Hooligan - she won three of the five races and won the Rolex Trophy series. Second overall behind Hooligan was Stephen Ainsworth’s Reichel Pugh 63 Loki, the winner of the 2009 Audi Australia series with Melbourne yachtsman Rob Hanna and his TP52 Shogun finishing in third place overall.

Sail-world.com interviewed Marcus Blackmore after she took two wins in races two and three of the Audi IRC series at Audi Victoria Week today.

‘We are really pleased with our progress so far and we are happy with today's results. For this year the plan is to do all the Audi series. I am terribly impressed by the Audi sponsorship and we all should take a deep breath and thank them for the sponsorship of yachting in Australia over the last few years, I think that it’s been absolutely fantastic.


‘There’s an increasing number of TP52s on the Australian scene. I ‘ve had a meeting with the TP52 owners down here and we are going to try and get together and run a regatta. It is not finalised yet, we have still have to check with a few of the other owners.

‘Our aim is to have a TP52 regatta a couple of weeks before the Audi Sydney to Gold Coast Race, that is mid-July. I just think it would be awesome if we could get eight or nine of these boats on the start line.’

Marcus continued. ‘It’s great to get back into serious racing. I have been on the sidelines, I guess for a couple of years, but I have been doing a bit of cruising in Alaska and Costa Rica on my motorboat and I have been doing a bit of flying around Australia in my helicopter.

‘I had a bit on and although I did have a few other things that occupied my time I missed sailing and I wanted to get back into it. I wanted something a little bit bigger than a Farr 40, which was what I had been most recently campaigning but I am keen to try and replicate some of that experience and that comes from owners deciding how they are going to manage their own racing and yachting and perhaps the owner drive and rule and just have a bit of fun like the Farr 40s.

‘Looking at the IRC rule, the sweet spot in terms of handicap racing might still be the heavier 45 footers like the Beneteau 45’s, but I think the IRC rule over time has come back to making life a little bit easier for the 50 and 60 footers and I think that is to the credit of RORC and Mike Irvine.

‘Now that the IRC rule has been adopted as a Grand Prix rule around the world what they can´t do is hammer the 50-60 footers too much. I think they have made it a little bit fairer, so that is where a lot of new boat development is happening,

‘We need that in yachting and we need people building boats and putting backsides on the rails.

‘So I decided to get into a TP52. I wanted a later model as the later models were built to ABS standards, which means they are better suited to offshore racing. I think as the class has evolved so has the hull form shape in the last few years.

‘There were three boats built two years ago and Team New Zealand had one of these boats and they were great guys to deal with.

‘I’ve been able to assemble a very good crew and I think we demonstrated that with the Rolex Trophy series result in Sydney despite the fact that we were late getting the boat ready.

‘I said to my crew ´Look I don´t have great expectations but I would like to do well. We have really got to spend some time on the crew work and make sure we have the boat set up right so that when we get to Geelong we will be ready to go.’

‘Then we went out and Hooligan won the first two races, it certainly exceeded our expectations. The boat is obviously a good boat but we have very good crew, there is no question about that.

‘Beyond the Audi Australian IRC Championship I might even be talked into doing the Brisbane to Gladstone. I think this would be a good boat for that race, and me being a Queenslander originally, I would like to do that race so we might fit it in the middle of the campaign .We are looking forward to a lot of sailing for this year.


‘Beyond September I don’t have any plans. What I generally do with my boats is to say ‘here is the plan for the next twelve months’ and get the crew to commit to the 12 months and somewhere down the track we decide what we do the following year.

'I have done 13 Hobarts and I don´t have a great desire to do another one…well I actually have a desire to do one but not two.

‘Whether I can be talked into that one, I am not sure. My own personal preference is the sort of racing we are doing at Audi Victoria Week - we go out and have three races in a day, come back hose the boat off and sleep in a good bed. It is not bad yachting.’

Marcus continued. ‘But I still have an enormous affection for the Farr 40 course and I spoke to Victor Kovalenko about the upcoming Farr 40 Worlds in Sydney. I suspect there is no more positive individual in the world than Victor. I said to Victor ‘I would love to do the Farr 40 Worlds just for fun and get a good crew together but really it is a bit silly going up against those guys that are sailing all the time.’

He said ‘Marcus, you are quite good, in fact you are very good and you can win.’ I said ‘Alright if you think so’. Anyway I went out the next week and chartered a Farr 40 and now I am going to do the Farr 40 Worlds.

‘I have chartered Transfusion I think it’s a good boat. Grant Simmer is doing tactics for us and Adam Beashel is going to do the main with me so we will get a good crew together’ he concluded.

Mackay BoatsNaiad/Oracle SupplierBarz Optics - Kids range

Related Articles

The Great Dane dies at 88 + Video
One of the heroes of sailing, Paul Elvstrøm (DEN) has died at the age of 88 years. One of the heroes of sailing, Paul Elvstrøm (DEN) has died at the age of 88 years. Known as the Great Dane, and winner of four Olympic Gold Medals, and many world championships in multiple classes from dinghies to keelboats, Elvstrøm put a footprint on the sport like no other.
Posted on 7 Dec
A Q&A with Olympic champ Malcolm Page about his new job at US Sailing
I recently talked with Malcolm Page, US Sailing’s newly hired Chief of Olympic Sailing, to learn more about his new job. Malcolm Page (AUS; 44) is a hyper-talented Men’s 470 sailor who won two Olympic gold medals (2008 and 2012) sailing with two different skippers, as well as seven World Championship titles, and who has long studied under the legendary Ukrainian coach Victor Kovalenko. I recently talked with Page, who was just hired as US Sailing’s new Chief of Olympic Sailing, to learn more about his new job.
Posted on 5 Dec
America's Cup - Kiwi lodges Appeal against Jury in San Francisco Cup
Former Oracle Team USA crew member, Matthew Mitchell (NZL) has lodged an Appeal against a Decision to dismiss his case Former Oracle Team USA crew member, Matthew Mitchell (NZL) has lodged an Appeal against a Decision to dismiss his case taken against the International Jury for the 34th America's Cup in San Francisco. On October 28, 2016, US District Judge Vince Chhabria dismissed Mitchell's claim against the five-person International Jury on the basis that it was lodged too late.
Posted on 2 Dec
A Q&A with Nick Bice about the recent changes for the 2017/2018 VOR
I caught up with Nick Bice, the VOR’s director of boats and maintenance, to learn more about the VOR’s new directions. I recently had the pleasure of hearing Nick Bice, the Volvo Ocean Race’s director of boats and maintenance, deliver a keynote speech to an audience of marine-industry professionals and official Volvo Ocean Race suppliers at the 2016 METS trade show in Amsterdam. I caught up with Bice after his presentation to learn more about the new directions that the race is taking for its thirteenth edition.
Posted on 28 Nov
A Q&A with Sharon Green about the prep work that ensures great images
I talked with ace photographer Sharon Green to learn more about the prep work that goes into each image that she snaps. I caught up with ace photographer Sharon Green at the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds to learn more about the behind-the-scenes preparation work that goes into each image that she snaps. While some of Green’s tips are specific to professional shooters (e.g., helicopter time or juggling multiple camera bodies), plenty of amateur lensmen will be well served to consider Green’s racecourse-proven tips.
Posted on 23 Nov
Dockside with CQS - radical, revamped supermaxi up close
The revamped supermaxi CQS is currently in Auckland's Silo Marina, ahead of her first race on Friday The revamped supermaxi CQS is currently in Auckland's Silo Marina, ahead of her first race on Friday - the White Island Race which will double as Rolex Sydney Hobart Qualifier. Originally the 90ft Nicorette designed by South African Alex Simonis, the new project to upgrade to a 100ft supermaxi has been led by Brett Bakewell-White (NZ) and Bakewell-White Yacht Design.
Posted on 22 Nov
Gladwell's Line - President Croce caught at helm in Perfect Storm
No real surprise that incumbent President Carlo Croce (ITA) was unseated mid-way an eight-year term After a year or more punctuated with issues that should not have happened, it is no real surprise that incumbent President Carlo Croce (ITA) was unseated mid-way through what should have been an eight-year term. Also gone is one of his lieutenants, Chris Atkins (GBR) as Vice President, who remarkably polled 13th out of the 15 candidates.
Posted on 15 Nov
Gladwell's Line -The America's Cup settlement deal
The 'News' today that Emirates Team New Zealand has won their case before the Arbitration Panel is not news The 'News' today that Emirates Team New Zealand has won their case before the America's Cup Arbitration Panel is not new - Sail-World reported the same story in the first and second weeks of September. The Hearing on the amount of compensation to be paid is yet to be held. So far we have been unable to discover a date if indeed one has been set. Maybe next year?
Posted on 11 Oct
Debriefing the 2016 J/70 Worlds with Winning Skipper Joel Ronning
I talked with Joel Ronning after the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds to learn about his team’s win at this high-level regatta. Since its inception in 2012, the J/70 has become the most popular One Design boat in decades, with 1,100+ boats sailing in myriad countries. Some 68 boats from 15 countries arrived on San Francisco Bay last week to determine bragging rights at the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds. I caught up with Joel Ronning to learn more about the Catapult team’s road to becoming the 2016 J/70 World Champions.
Posted on 5 Oct
Rio 2016 - America's Cup champ says Paralympic racing is closest ever
Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar keelboat class at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. The regatta is being held in Guanabara Bay on three of the courses used for the Olympic Sailing Regatta in August.
Posted on 13 Sep