Please select your home edition
Armstrong 728x90 - Performance Mast Range - TOP

New Hooligan to test its prowess at Festival of Sails 2024

by Nic Douglass 17 Nov 2023 22:43 PST 26-28 January 2024
The last Hooligan at Hamilton Island Race Week 2019 © Nic Douglass /

The journey of the newest TP52 that will hit Australian waters has been spoken of across many sailing circles in the last twelve months. We spoke to Terry Wetton, Team Manager and Marcus Blackmore, the owner, about the brand new Hooligan which will first race at the Festival of Sails 2024.

"With the Australian TP52 Gold Cup Series growing with up to 12 boats racing and a successful four regatta series sponsored by Pallas Capital and Zhik, Marcus [Blackmore] was keen to get back into it. Especially after campaigning two TP52's very successfully in previous years", said Wetton.

"I said to him [Marcus], unfortunately with the 52 Super Series having a 'no new-build rule' for a year or two, it will be hard to find a good boat on the market. Then Paul Westlake from North Sails who also competes on the 52 Super Series said to Marcus....'but there is nothing stopping you from a new build'".

The seed for a new TP52 was firmly planted.

"I've had two before with amazing success", agreed Blackmore. "And it's a development class, and every extra development is just a little bit faster. So we decided it [a new boat] was the best opportunity, and I really wanted to play!"

So after reservations at first for both Marcus and Terry, with a bit more homework and the help of Don Cowie from the 52 Super Series "Sled" program, both were on a plane to New Zealand to have meetings with Adolfo Carrau from Botin Partners Naval Architects, and Pure Engineering, Sail GP Technologies, Southern Spars and North Sails NZ.

"Marcus was incredibly impressed with all of their input, their enthusiasm for the project and how closely they all worked together as a team" said Wetton. So by the time we got home he was very keen to go ahead".

Don Cowie was appointed project manager and the build process began.

"Lots of meetings, lots of decisions, and following a huge effort from everyone involved we are now close to completion", said Wetton. "Paul Montague has been appointed Boat Captain and is now in NZ working with Don and all the team pushing an imminent boat launch".

Blackmore is already extremely proud of his team and the project that has developed, and the potential of the new Hooligan.

"I believe that we have developed the fastest, lightest, strongest TP52 that has ever been built on the planet to take part in, without a doubt the best monohull racing in the world", proclaimed Blackmore. "But then if we are light, it's about, 'how does the handicapper treat us', so all that remains to be determined when we get on the race track. And the first time that we get serious about this boat and how she will perform is in Geelong".

The boat is due to be on a ship to Australia so that it is ready for the team's first regatta in Geelong at the Festival of Sails.

"We are looking forward to racing the new Hooligan for the first time at Festival of Sails in Geelong in January 2024", stated Blackmore. "It will be a great test ahead of our Gold Cup Season which commences in March and runs through until May. We have up to 12 TP52's racing on the East Coast of Australia, which is a combination of class camaraderie and the closest possible racing in just brilliant boats".

To see the brand new Hooligan, or to come and join in on the racing yourself, make sure you put Festival of Sails in your diary, 26-28 January 2024.

Early bird entries close on Thursday 30th November 2023.

Enter here.

More about the TP52 Class in Australia here.

Related Articles

Festival of Sails concludes with parade of colour
Some big jumps in standings across all nine divisions Festival of Sails 2024 concluded its 181st edition with a day of shifty, lighter winds that saw some big jumps in standings across all nine divisions. Corio Bay was awash with colour as the courses spread the fleet across the inner and outer Harbours. Posted on 28 Jan
SheSails & Youth at the Festival of Sails 2024
SheSails & Supporters breakfast, and a presentation with the local Cadet fleet Festival of Sails had a women and youth sailors focus on day two, bookending the racing with the SheSails & Supporters breakfast, and a presentation with the local International Cadet fleet. Posted on 27 Jan
181st Festival of Sails Passage Race
200-strong fleet challenged with high winds and a steep, confused sea state The 181st Melbourne to Geelong Passage Race challenged the 200 strong fleet with high winds and a steep, confused sea state. Posted on 26 Jan
Festival of Sails' back bigger and better in 2023
Celebrating 180 years of the iconic passage race and ready to party! Geelong's Festival of Sails will be celebrating a major milestone and is ready to party when it returns in January 2023, as it salutes the 180th anniversary of its iconic Passage Race between Melbourne and Geelong. Posted on 19 Dec 2022
Festival of Sails 2021 cancelled
Royal Geelong Yacht Club Board make the difficult decision The Festival of Sails Executive Committee and the Royal Geelong Yacht Club (RGYC) Board have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2021 Festival of Sails, which was scheduled for Saturday 23 - Tuesday 26 January, 2021. Posted on 15 Oct 2020
Shutters come down on MacGlide Festival of Sails
The TP52 division offered spectacularly close racing Some of the thousands of MacGlide Festival of Sails sailors weary from three days of racing and partying over the Australia Day long weekend are fortunate to be heading home with a trophy for their efforts. Posted on 27 Jan 2020
MacGlide Festival of Sails wraps up
RGYC sets its sights on 2022 Youth Worlds As the MacGlide Festival of Sails wraps up for 2020, the Geelong Yacht Club has its sights on winning the rights to host the 2022 Youth World Sailing Championships - the world's ultimate youth sailing regatta. Posted on 27 Jan 2020
MacGlide Festival of Sails Super Sunday
A chance to blow away the cobwebs from a long opening day passage race For thousands of sailors gathered at Geelong, Australia Day was also 'Super Sunday' at the MacGlide Festival of Sails and a chance to blow away the cobwebs from a long opening day passage race down from Melbourne. Posted on 26 Jan 2020
RGYC announces FOS naming rights partnership
RGYC is proud to announce the 2020 Festival of Sails naming rights partnership Royal Geelong Yacht Club (RGYC) is proud to announce the 2020 Festival of Sails naming rights partnership between the club and MacGlide, by Mactac, a world leading biocide-free fouling release film manufacturer. Posted on 2 Dec 2019
Aussie rock performers set for Festival of Sails
Free, live entertainment from Richard Clapton and more Australia's biggest celebration of sailing Festival of Sails will have a distinctive rock 'n' roll flavour in 2020 with renowned Aussie singer/songwriter Richard Clapton headlining the line-up for the Australia Day long-weekend event. Posted on 16 Nov 2019
Doyle_SailWorld_728X90px-03 BOTTOMLloyd Stevenson - SYA3 728x90px BOTTOMMackay Boats 728x90 BOTTOM