Blackmore’s Hooligan clear ahead in Audi IRC Australian title tilt

Hooligan turning the corner - Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2011 Day Two
When Sydney sailor Marcus Blackmore set his sights on winning the 2011 Audi Australian IRC Championship, he commissioned weatherman Roger'Clouds' Badham to determine the wind speed his new TP52 Hooligan should be optimised for, with new bulb.

Built in 2009 by Cooksons New Zealand for Emirates Team New Zealand, the Botin designed boat underwent the IRC modifications in the McConaghy yard in Sydney before winning the Rolex Trophy series and has been on a roll since.

Blackmore explained ‘Clouds’ told us what he thought 15 knots was going to be the average wind speed for the four events which makeup the Australian IRC Championships, and winning this championship is the goal we set ourselves for this year.

'The keel, the weight of it, the type of keel, whether it was a hollow keel; all that was taken into consideration when we ran the numbers.

‘When Hooligan gets into light air we are not as quick. We are back in the fleet and that's what happened in the Audi Sydney Harbour regatta in March. We won the regatta but only just. It’s a different game (in light airs).

Today in 15-20 knots , with wind against tide and some lumpy litte seas, Hooligan cleared out to win the first two races and taking second place in race four, on handicap in the final round of the IRC Championships on Day Two of Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2011.

Those wins followed on from yesterdays win, with his closest rival Michael Hiatt’s Farr 55 Living Doll having recorded 5, 6, 7 and 6 in the same races. Living Doll is considered at its best in the 7-12 knot range.

It’s hard to see a form reversal any time soon, considering the forecast is for stronger winds over the next few days, up to 25-30 knots on Tuesday.