Gold Cup results

Matador too good in Act 2 of Pallas Capital TP52 Gold Cup.

Written by Di Pearson/TP52 media
Photography by Salty Dingo

17 April 2023


David Doherty and his reigning TP52 Gold Cup champion, Matador, is proving a hard act to follow. Doherty won Act 1 of the Pallas Capital TP52 Gold Cup in March and romped home to victory in Act 2, being held in conjunction with the SailFest Newcastle Regatta.

Sunday’s three windward/leeward races, hosted by Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club, decided the winner. Gweilo was at the top of the scoresheet after yesterday/s Passage Race, but Matador was just too good, both under TPR (the main game) and IRC on the final day.

Matador won TPR from Gweilo (Chris Townsend/Matt Donald) and Smuggler (Sebastian Bohm) by eight and 11 points respectively, winning the three races. The Sydney boat won IRC by four points from Gweilo, with Secret Mens Business (Geoff Boettcher) third.


“We’re going alright at the moment,” a typically understated Doherty said.

“We’re an inshore boat. We’ve been improving our boat. We never stop working on it, me included. We modify, change things, keep it updated and it’s paying off,” he said, adding “I don’t like losing!

“We have a good crew too. It is a thrill and reward for what we do, to win this weekend. We had great racing with Gweilo – close racing,” he said, inclusive of Gweilo beating Matador by eight seconds under IRC in the final race.

South Australian, Geoff Boettcher, with his mainly home grown crew, trucked his latest Secret Mens Business from Adelaide to contest Act 2. They placed sixth in TPR at their first TP52 regatta for the season and third in IRC. They came so close to a better result.

“Davin Conigrave (crew) fell overboard around the bottom mark. We went to pick him up, but others with spinnakers on were bearing down on us. The start boat saw the incident and picked him up. We withdrew from the race, but the race committee said, no, as they had chosen to pick Davin up for safety reasons.

“It was hard racing. We got 6, 8 and 12 knots and big shifts today. If you were on the wrong side, you were gone.”

Boettcher was also looking good in the Passage Race yesterday: “We had a great lead, but the nor’ westerly pushed the nor’ easter away from where we were on the course. We’re just happy to finish third in IRC.”

The bright orange Secret Men’s Business won the Adelaide to Port Lincoln Race in February and backed up to win division in the Australian Championships, held in conjunction with that race and Port Lincoln Race Week.

“We were chuffed to win both. It was our home waters, so that makes it easier,” said the avid yachtie who also won the 2010 Rolex Sydney Hobart with a former Secret Mens Business.

“We had a great bunch of guys on board in Lincoln who chilled together really well. We discussed whether we’d come up here or not and the guys said yes!

“Timmy Cowan (Boettcher’s long time boat manager) put the boat together and put it on the truck. Another crew member, Nick Bice (America’s Cup and Volvo Ocean Race sailor) looked after the administrative side. So, it was a no brainer – I didn’t have to do a thing.”

On Matador’s win, the Adelaide yachtsman shared, “Matador is my former Secret Mens and it’s hard to beat, especially in today’s conditions. In Geelong we knocked off Ichi Ban and Hooligan with that boat.”

Of his first TP52 Gold Cup event on the newest TP52 in this fleet (launched in 2017), Boettcher said, “Racing one-on-one with 10 of us lined up is fantastic. This is one of the best fleets in Australia and there’s not much in it.

“It’s hard to get even a boat length on any one of them. They’re similar speeds, so you have to sail the boat the best you can – pick up the extra one percent – and crew work is everything on these boats,” ended Boettcher, who will return for Act 3.

Act 3 of the TP52 Gold Cup will be played out on windward/leeward courses at Sail Port Stephens from 5 to 7 May.

The the Pallas Capital TP52 Gold Cup series consists of 4 Acts. The final Act will determine the overall winner, decided under under TPR. Also scored under IRC, prizes will be awarded for first to third places in both handicap categories.

SailFest Newcastle Regatta is sponsored by City of Newcastle and Transport for NSW.

Full results of Act 2 here.

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