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Cyclops Marine 2023 November - LEADERBOARD

Pallas Capital Gold Cup Act 2 Day 2

by Nic Douglass 6 Apr 04:24 PDT 5-7 April 2024
Quest took out the Passage Race on TPR today and sits in second overall after SailFest Newcastle Regatta and Australian Yachting Championships Day 2 © Nic Douglass for @sailorgirlHQ

Act Two of the Pallas Capital Gold Cup got under way after yesterday's abandoned racing with a more lively than forecast passage race starting in Newcastle Harbour.

The 11 TP52's were straight into battle mode, and with the strong nor'wester as well as outgoing current and deluge from the prior 24 hours of rain pushing them over, there were some interesting tactics to stay behind the line with reaching sails at the ready.

Matador and Koa pushed the line a little too much and were called over, losing significant time as they hunted for a lane to turn back in the ebbing tide. Marcus Blackmore's Hooligan made the most of a great start and clean lane to extend early and had already established a significant lead as the fleet headed out of the heads. Next behind them a tight tussle eventuated between Geoff Beottcher's Secret Men's Business (SMB) and Gordon Ketelbey's Zen, with Peter White's First Light, Seb Bohm's Smuggler and Craig Neil's Quest who opted for a jib top out of the Harbour just on the outside.

Zen opted for a lower angle on the south bound leg, which didn't reap high rewards, and SMB, the fast recovering Matador and Quest made gains. The final leg saw Hooligan cap off a dominant performance to finish more than two minutes ahead of SMB across the line. Craig Neil and his crew on Quest took out a well-earned first place on TPR, followed by Zen and David Doherty's Matador.

Race two saw a move to windward-leeward racing in the four metre swell and nor-west breeze with a 1.75 Nautical Mile course set at 300 degrees back towards Stockton Beach. Andy Kearnan's KOA, Zen and Matador were fighting for the lead off the line and for most of the first work. Most of the fleet headed left, but the right paid and tightened the pack back up midway down the leg.

Confusion on the course saw half of the fleet rounding a closer laid mark, which was also white as described in the Sailing Instructions. Those taking the left-most mark, which was also 0.8nm closer, had a significant lead over those rounding the other (the intended top mark) by the bottom, which they maintained throughout the race. Those boats were later scored NSC for failing to sail the correct course.

The revised results saw Matador take honours from Smuggler across the line and on TPR, with First Light and SMB next on TPR.

"It was a really tricky day on the water, big swell leftover from yesterday and shifty conditions that made it quite challenging," said Alice Parker, navigator on Matador.

"We had a great day overall though, despite being over the line in the first race. Dave did an amazing job driving the boat today in that huge swell and the guys really got the boat moving so we managed the climb back up to 5th for the passage. After that we had two really great starts and the boys did a great job keeping the boat moving in the crazy sea state.

"We're glad to see the results for race two updated to reflect the boats that went round the right top mark. I think the mark layers did an amazing job today getting buoys in for us in those conditions and the committee did well to run three great races. Huge thanks to the volunteers in those ribs", she finished.

Race three saw the fleet fighting for the boat end line create a fiery battle as half the fleet looked to hold each other out. SMB, Hooligan and Zen pulled out their match racing tactics as they looked to gain the upper hand early. Matador managed to just hit their pedal at the right time to trigger at the right time and get the gun start. SMB headed right early, and with the right-hand side of the course again paying, made significant gains.

SMB continued to lead Hooligan and Matador around the top mark. SMB gybe set, and Hooligan and Matador opted for straight. The gybe set proved valuable, with SMB leading again at the bottom, and lengthening their lead to over 40 seconds by the time they crossed the line.

The TPR results sheet for race three highlighted the importance of consistency, with Matador taking the top honours over SMB, followed by Zen.

After a mixed day across the fleet, owner and skipper of Zen, Gordon Ketelby summed up where Act Two stands.

"That's what this class is about. Real racing, proper racing," said Ketelby.

"Tomorrow is going to be a little bit harder. Hopefully this swell has disappeared by then. It's supposed to be lighter, so let's hope it's slack water because if it's lumpy and like this it's going to be really hard," he added.

Matador leads the overall (TPR) leaderboard from Quest and SMB tied for second behind them. With just 11 points covering second to seventh place and up to three races remaining, the tight racing is certain to continue.

On IRC for the Australian Yachting Championship as part of SailFest, Doherty's Matador leads from defending champion Boettcher and his SMB who have travelled from South Australia to take part.

To follow the action of the Pallas Capital Gold Cup in real-time, head to the TP52Aus Facebook page.

Thanks to sponsors Pallas Capital and Zhik for their support.

Results so far can be found here.

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