SPORT - Hooligan's dream achieved at Hamo

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Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, August 19 to 27

SPORT - Hooligan's dream achieved at Hamo
SPORT — Hooligan's dream achieved at Hamo

A 28-year dream of winning the Grand Prix division at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week has been realised for Sydney yachtsman Marcus Blackmore.

Blackmore’s sleek, gun metal grey-hulled TP52 Hooligan had the series in the bag before Saturday’s scheduled Molle Islands Race, which wasn’t sailed given the wispy puffs of only 3kts from around the compass in the Dent Passage starting area.

The race committee hoisted the AP over A flag and the signal sounded across the marina advising all competitors there would be no further racing with all results at the close of Friday final.

The cornerstone of Hooligan’s unrivalled success at this year’s Audi Hamilton Island Race Week and preceding regattas is, according to the owner/skipper, "a champion team will always beat a team of champions."

Hooligan was originally named Emirates Team New Zealand and when Blackmore purchased her last year she was the yacht to beat on the international TP52 class circuit in the Mediterranean.

Adolfo Carrau, yacht designer at Botin Partners, did the IRC conversion and found the winning formula; new keel and bulb, extended bowsprit and removing 800kg of lead out of the boat.

"Adolfo got it right, you never really know when you start fiddling with original designs," said Blackmore.

Not only did Blackmore adopt Team New Zealand’s hull, he also adopted their disciplined philosophy, having spent a week with them.

"The overriding factor is whether you have a good crew," said Blackmore. "Our coach Victor Kovalenko set the rules early in the week and while there has to be a level of trust between a coach and the team, the crew were told that the second drink is one too many.

"They don’t call Victor ‘the medal maker’ for nothing," he said.

Hooligan’s top notch crew included Tim Wiseman, Ed Smyth, Tom Slingsby, Richie Allanson, Jason Rowed and Stacey Jackson, among others.

"We did a lot of homework on ourselves, and ran the numbers on other boats, particularly Loki and Living Doll. We didn’t leave any stone unturned in our preparation," Blackmore added.

Of their result Kovalenko added, "The winning combination of people and skills brought together lots of experience from different classes. Their performance was outstanding; they were always sailing right to the red line."

Thanks to seven firsts, Hooligan finished the nine-race series on nine points, incontestably outclassing last year’s grand prix winner, Stephen Ainsworth’s RP63 Loki, which was breathing down Hooligan’s neck on handicap until a torn mainsail at the start of last Tuesday’s long race saw their chances slip away.

Loki finished second in Grand Prix Division on 19 points, third was Victorian yachtsman’s Rob Hanna’s TP52 Shogun on 23 points.

Blackmore’s dream of winning at Hamilton Island was ignited at the inaugural Race Week in 1984 when he won the Arbitrary Division with his 43ft sloop The Manly Ferry. Coincidentally, he bought that yacht from Bob Oatley who, with his family, owns Hamilton Island.

Since January this year Hooligan has won every major series including Audi Victoria Week, Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta and the NSW IRC Championship at Port Stephens.

The culmination of the four-part Audi IRC Australian Championship 2011 and official prize giving took place at the award ceremony for Audi Hamilton Island Race Week last Saturday night.

The new Audi designed trophies were awarded along with the grand prize of Audi's dynamic A1 for each of the three IRC championship-winning teams. The awards and prizes were presented by Audi Australia managing director Uwe Hagen along with Yachting Australia board member Matt Allen.

Audi Hamilton Island Race Week results

IRC Class A
1. Holligan


























9pts
2. Loki





























19pts
3. Shogun
























23pts
4. Living Doll





















34pts
5. Georgia
























40pts
6. Calm




























43pts
7. Terra Firma



















50pts
8. Wild Oats XI

















61pts
9. Lahana
























62pts
10. Investec Loyal













76pts
11. Rodd&Gunn Wedget




104pts
11. Q































104pts

IRC Class B (provisional)
1. Victoire



























7pts
2. Balance

























18pts
3. Evolution Racing












21pts
4. Exile





























21.5pts
5. Lunchtime Legend









23.5pts
6. Canute

























38pts
7. Wicked

























41pts

8. Matrix



























48pts
9. H/H Equinox II














52pts
10. Ginger
























57pts
11. Ocean Affinity













59pts
12. Viking
























69pts
13. Espresso Forte












72pts
14. Ultimate Positioning





80pts
15. Iota


























86pts
16. Calibre























94pts
17. Papillon






















95pts
18. Another Challenge






101pts

IRC Class C (provisional)

1. Local Hero






















10pts
2. The Philosophers Club






14pts
3. Onya





























20pts
4. Laltra Donna


















25pts
5. Jessandra























38pts
6. Rapid Transit


















43pts
6. Double O Seven













43pts
8. Neat Eng. Wailea












47pts
9. Southport Mentor










48pts
10. Bacardi























54pts
10. Ketchup






















54pts
12. Koko



























62pts
13. Lee-Way/Ensign Racing


63pts
14. Hamilton Mentor











70pts
15. Grizzly

























79pts

IRC Australian Championships Class A (provisional results)
Top 10

1. Hooligan


























3pts
2. Loki
































6pts
3. Living Doll
























7pts
4. Shogun

























13pts
5. Terra Firma



















19pts
6. Pirelli Celestial

















26pts
7. Georgia























108pts
8. Investec Loyal













116pts
8. Calm


























116pts
10. Wild Oats XI














117pts

IRC Australian Champions Class B (provisional results)
Top 10

1. Victoire



























4pts
2. Exile































9pts
3. Balance

























10pts
4. Wicked

























24pts
5. Rockall III




















108pts
6. Canute























115pts
7. Papillon






















128pts
8. Calibre
























133pts
9. Ikon



























201pts
10. Extasea





















202pts

Audi IRC Australian Championships (provisional results)
Top 10

1. The Philosohpers Club






6pts
2. L’Altra Donna


















9pts
3. Onya




























17pts
4. Local Hero



















104pts
5. Peregrine




















110pts
6. Aroona























201pts
6. Executive Decision







201pts
8. Argus

























202pts
8. Penfold Audi Sport







202pts
10. Wild Rose

















204pts

Photo: Owner of Australia’s IRC 2010-11 champion yacht Hooligan, Marcus Blackmore with Jessica Watson at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week. (Photo by Belinda Rolland).




 


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