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Pallas Capital TP52 Gold Cup: Matador to defend title

by Di Pearson / TP52 media 21 Mar 18:51 PDT
Matador is back to defend her title - Pallas Capital TP52 Gold Cup © Crosbie Lorimer

Act 1 of the 2023 Pallas Capital TP52 Gold Cup series will be hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia this weekend when David Doherty and his Matador team will be back to defend the overall title they won last year.

Matador has retained the form that earned her victory at the inaugural 2022 TP52 series. Hot to trot, Doherty's boat also won the 2022 CYCA Trophy and placed second overall to the new TP52, Caro, at the 2022 Australian Yachting Championships at Hamilton Island.

However, others have further honed their skills more recently with the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, the 2023 Australian Yachting Championships and other regattas, events Matador did not attend.

Among the starters in Act 1 are old foes and new challengers - the former includes Craig Neil's Quest and Chris Townsend and Matt Donald's Gweilo.

Quest won the 2021 Gold Cup and finished runner-up 2022. She has twice won the Sydney Hobart and has also finished runner-up and third.

Gweilo won the 2022 IRC component of the Series from Matador, was second in the CYCA Trophy and placed second overall in the 2022 Sydney Hobart.

Gordon Ketelbey's Zen and Sebastien Bohm's Smuggler also return to the fold to settle old scores. Zen placed third overall under IRC in last year's Series, won division in January's Festival of Sails in Geelong and placed second to SMB at the Australian Yachting Championships.

Smuggler was third overall in the 2022 TP52 Series and won the IRC CYCA Ocean Pointscore that year. She placed ninth in the 2022 Sydney Hobart and third at Geelong in January.

"We're starting from scratch really," says TP52 Class President, Craig Neil. "New challengers in Act 1 (15-16 April) include Mark Spring's Highly Sprung, Peter White's First Light and Damien Parkes' Denali. There will be others join in for the remaining Acts."

Geoff Boettcher is another new piece on the chessboard. Boettcher, winner of the 2010 Sydney Hobart with a former Secret Mens Business (SMB), will bring his latest boat of the same name from Adelaide in time for Act 2, to be held in conjunction with Sailfest Newcastle Regatta, hosted by Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club.

'Boettch', the new Division 1 Australian Yachting Championship title holder, will stay on for Act 3 at Sail Port Stephens, hosted by Corlette Point Sailing Club in partnership with Events Port Stephens and to be held from 5-7 May.

Matador's crew will need to take heed of the old and the new this weekend. The top three will l be decided in up to five windward/leeward races, but there is the flexibility to run a passage race on one of those days.

"The the Pallas Capital TP52 Gold Cup series consists of 4 Acts. The final Act, to determine the overall winner, will be held at Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club on 10 and11 June, where the presentation night will also take place on the evening of 11th of June," Neil explained.

The overall winner and main prize will be decided under TPR, a rating system created by Terry Wetton, the event founder and class captain. It ensures a fair playing field as it supports youth sailors (Under 25) and levels the professional field out with clicks added to the handicap.

Also scored under IRC, prizes will be awarded to first, second and third places in both handicap categories.

Organisers of the TP52 Gold Cup Series thank naming rights sponsor, Pallas Capital and support sponsor, Zhik, for their commitment to the 2023 event.

For all information, including results, please visit:

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