Please select your home edition
InSunSport - International - Endure

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
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. 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.

North Technology - Southern SparsT Clewring J-classBarz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best Eyewear

Related Articles

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
Debriefing the Rio 2016 Olympics with Team USA’s Helena Scutt
I talked with Team USA’s Helena Scutt to hear about her Olympic experience, and to learn more about her post-Rio plans. The 49erFX was introduced to Olympic circles when it replaced the Women’s Match Racing event following the 2012 Games. Not surprisingly, it drew high-performance sailors for the Rio 2016 Olympics, including Team USA’s Paris Henken and Helena Scutt. While Henken and Scutt were Olympic first-timers, they put on a strong show. I caught up with Scutt to hear more about her Olympic experience.
Posted on 8 Sep
A Q&A with Peter Bresnan ONE Palma’s founder and director
Sail-World interviewed ONE Palma’s founder Peter Bresnan to learn about the company’s partnership with McConaghy Boats For the past eight years, ONE Palma (formerly OneSails Spain) has been building a strong name, first as a sailmaker and later with refit work. Recently, ONE Palma and McConaghy Boats-legendary boatbuilders who have crafted some of the planet’s fastest sailboats-entered a business partnership. I caught up with Peter Bresnan, ONE Palma’s founder and director, to learn more about this new direction.
Posted on 2 Sep
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ train late on the Waitemata Harbour
Emirates Team NZ were out for a training session that ran into the early Thursday evening. Emirates Team NZ were out for a training session that ran into the early Thursday evening. The team were sailing their recently launched AC45 Surrogate test boat which features an articulated rudder gantry - taking the AC45 close to the geometry of the AC50 to be used in the 2017 America's Cup.
Posted on 1 Sep
Dateline Rio - Sailing Olympics review - as good as it gets?
The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The weather was better than Weymouth and Qingdao, the courses more varied, but from a working media perspective, it was the people running the Rio regatta who really made the difference.
Posted on 26 Aug
Rio 2016 - Plain speaking by triple-medalist on Olympic sailing moves
Triple Olympic medalist, Santiago Lange has been on the sharp end of changes made to Olympic classes and formats Santiago Lange, a six-time Olympian and Bronze medallist in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, won his third medal – Gold sailing in the Nacra 17 class. With that length of experience at an Olympic level, having sailed the Laser, Tornado and now Nacra 17 classes his comments on the future shape of the Olympic regatta was one of the highlights of the Medallists Media Conferences.
Posted on 25 Aug
An Q&A with Steve and Heidi Benjamin about the NYYC’s 2016 Queen’s Cup
Sail-World caught up with Steve and Heidi Benjamin to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup. When it comes to U.S. Grand Prix sailing, it’s hard not to encounter the names of Steve and Heidi Benjamin. The two highly polished sailors have been successfully campaigning their series of yachts, named SPOOKIE, for years, starting first with a Carkeek 40 and progressing to their TP52. I caught up with Steve and Heidi to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup
Posted on 19 Aug
Rio 2016 - Images of the penultimate race in the Finns - Scott wins
Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn, in what potentially could have been Giles Scott's (GBR) Gold medal winning race. In the end, the current world champion won in style.
Posted on 15 Aug