TP52 Gold Cup – Matador snatches Act 1 victory

David Doherty’s Matador, the reigning TP52 Gold Cup champion, has taken victory on countback in Act 1 of the Pallas Capital TP52 Gold Cup, two further windward/leeward races deciding the winner on the Manly Circle today.

The day’s third and second places were enough to give Matador the win – just. Sebastian Bohm’s Smuggler looked the likely candidate to win the opening Act, hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, as he came into the day in the lead and won Race 4 this afternoon to consolidate his lead.

Smuggler finished the event in second place - Bow Caddy Media pic
Smuggler finished the event in second place – Bow Caddy Media pic

However, Smuggler’s fourth place in Race 5 cost Bohm the overall win and second place was the final result. Craig Neil’s Quest was third overall, four points behind the top two, with Chris Townsend/Matt Donald’s Gweilo a further point in arrears.

Doherty said after racing: “We had a good day out. We couldn’t beat Gweilo over the line in either race, they are very competitive, but we got there overall.

“Smuggler had a good weekend too. They were competitive. It was all very close racing at the top end. You couldn’t afford mistakes and luckily, we didn’t make any.”

“It’s nice to put this one away, it gives you a good feeling in a series when you win the first one,” admitted Doherty, who will compete in the full 2023 series.

The TP52s sailed in similar conditions to yesterday, with an east nor’ easterly sea breeze of 8-11 knots, on a sloppy seaway.

Mark Spring's Highly Sprung crew made the most of their first competition in a TP52 class event - Bow Caddy media pic
Mark Spring’s Highly Sprung crew made the most of their first competition in a TP52 class event – Bow Caddy media pic

Of the newcomers to the series, Mark Spring’s Highly Sprung came off best, finishing sixth overall.

It’s the first time we’ve raced in anger,” he said with a smile, referring to competing in the TP52 class fleet. “Racing in this class is a big learning curve for us. It’s a massive step up.”

On his team, Spring said, “We’ve got James Turner, Andrew Parkes, Campbell Geeves, Andy O’Brien, Mark Lovelady and the famous Frenchman Tanguy Fournier Le Ray on the boat. The rest of us are learning from these great guys. Our bowman, Scott Poole, injured his knee yesterday, so Nick Stansell stood in for him and did a good job.”

Spring agreed that sailing against some top notch competition was tough. “They will make us massively better though,” he said.

“We’re competing against some of the best sailors in the class and we’re becoming acutely aware of what we’re doing wrong. We’ll learn lots from them – we’re on a big learning curve. We’re really happy with how we went in our first competition. We’ve had an absolute ball,” he ended.

Matador also came out on top under IRC. She finished two points clear of Smuggler and Gweilo, which placed second and third respectively, finishing on equal points.

Next on the calendar is Act 2, a two day event from 15-16 April, to be hosted by Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club in conjunction with the Club’s SailFest Newcastle.

The the Pallas Capital TP52 Gold Cup series consists of 4 Acts. The final Act will determine the overall winner.

The overall winner and main prize are decided under TPR, a rating system created by Terry Wetton, the event founder and class captain. It ensures a fair playing field as it supports youth sailors (Under 25) and levels the professional field out with clicks added to the handicap.

Also scored under IRC, prizes will be awarded for first to third places in both handicap categories.

Video highlights:

For all information, including results, please visit: or

Di Pearson/TP52 media

NAV at Home
Cyclops Marine
M.O.S.S Australia
Race Yachts
West Systems