Friday, November 22, 2013

Shogun V and Team Beau Geste Draw Swords at TP52 Southern Cross Cup - Sydney - Round 3

Sydney Harbour threw up some hairy conditions for day one of round three of the Sydney City Marine TP52 Southern Cross Cup. Round-ups, multiple breakages and mountains of water over the decks put the small fleet through the wringer.
Team Beau Geste and Shogun V Photo: Bob Fowler
The breeze regularly hovered near the upper wind limit of 25 knots for the class. It averaged 20 knots out of the NNE for race one, climbing to an average 22 knots for race two with 28 knot gusts. Prior to a scheduled third race the sea state worsened and gusts peaked at 37 knots under an ominous sky when the race committee hoisted the postponement flag and sent the dwindling fleet ashore, then called it a day.
Shogun V bowman Riki McGarvie Photo: Bob Fowler
Rob Hanna’s Shogun V, with New Zealand’s Stu Bannatyne (ETNZ) calling tactics and Oracle Team USA mainsail trimmer Kyle Langford on the runners, duelled with Karl Kwok’s series leader Team Beau Geste (HKG) on the track. The pair traded wins to be level pegged at the end of the day, both on three points with Beau Geste ahead on a countback.
Team Beau Geste Photo: Bob Fowler
“It was great fun. It’s good to sail at the top end, often we go home when it’s too windy but it’s useful to do these kind of races, though a third race may have caused too much damage,” said John Cutler, Team Beau Geste’s tactician.

A couple of minor tears and a broken stanchion plus one round-up were minor hiccups for the Gavin Brady helmed Hong Kong TP52 with its predominantly Kiwi crew. More challenging for them was the constricted course and the Sydney Harbour traffic - very different to the wide open space of the Hauraki Gulf. Tomorrow the harbour will be in full bloom with most clubs sending fleets out.
Shogun V Photo: Bob Fowler
Geelong yachtsman Rob Hanna scored the first bullet of the day and recorded a top boat speed of 25 knots downwind. “We managed to keep the boat upright; there was plenty of water over the deck. It was an exciting day but it was starting to get hairy when the committee called racing off,” he said.
Vamos Photo: Bob Fowler
Connel McLaren’s Vamos (formerly Shogun IV) had a baptism of fire and came through intact. The Kiwi crew, also new to the series, were in Sydney two weeks ago for their very first sail on the boat. McLaren likened that training run to being in a Westfield shopping mall due to the weekend traffic. In contrast their weekday induction to TP52 racing today offered more elbow room, and a ton more breeze. Vamos is currently third on the leaderboard.

“It was a quick introduction,” admitted McLaren at the host RSYS this evening. “We took it pretty cautiously, the boat felt good and crew held it together really well.”

Five TP52s started the regatta and only three finished both races. Bob Steel’s Quest, another series newcomer but a stalwart of the class, suffered rigging and sail damage and sadly their event is over.
Frantic Photo: Bob Fowler
Mick Martin’s Newcastle based Frantic attempted to start both races but boom and vang damage put paid to that plan. The crew has every intention of being on the start line for tomorrow’s 25 nautical mile inshore passage race starting at 1245hrs.

The heavy rain falling in Sydney is expected to ease overnight to isolated showers tomorrow, Saturday 23rd November, and the breeze to moderate to NNE 10-15 knots turning SSW and variable at 10 knots.

For full results see>>>

Lisa Ratcliff

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