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Audi Showdown - Cougar II emerges victorious    
Sun, 4 Nov 2012

At the Audi Showdown, Cougar II, Tony Lyall’s powerful TP52 today not only proved that she is Tasmania’s fastest ocean racing yacht, but also a strong contender for corrected time honours in this season’s major long races.

Cougar II made a powerful comeback from leading most of the fleet around the wrong course in Saturday’s long race to dominate today’s two medium distance races.

Lyall steered the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race entrant to line honours in every official regatta race, and today added a first and a third under both PHS and a first and a second in IRC scoring, which is the official overall handicap system for the Sydney Hobart.

This gave Cougar II the winning PHS trophy for Group 1 from Ian Stewart’s Mumm 36 TasPaints and Wild West (Michael Denney) and the IRC trophy by just one point from Don Calvert’s Castro 40 Intrigue and Colin Denny’s Beneteau First 40 The Protagonist. Cougar II and Intrigue each had a first and a second today on IRC corrected time.

Intrigue, the 28-year-old former Admiral’s Cup team yacht, won the AMS handicap series with three straight wins, with TasPaints second and Michael Denney’s Wild West, third.

Helming Intrigue for part of today’s second race was Gina Gourlay, who sailed aboard the winning yacht, Gold Coast, in several legs of the Clipper Round the World Race earlier this year. Her skipper, Richard Hewson, raced in the Showdown aboard the winning Farr 40, Stephen Boyes’ Wired.

With Saturday’s race two of the regatta for Division 1 abandoned following the protest over course signals, the Division 1 fleet was allocated two short to medium distance races today to complete the planned regatta.

In the first race, down river from Castray Esplanade to Cartright Point, Cougar II spreadeagled the fleet but had to settle for third on PHS corrected time behind TasPaints and Intrigue. In the last race of the regatta, Cougar took out the double under PHS and IRC scoring.

Division 2 and 3 keelboats sailed a single medium distance race today to complete their regatta series as they had sailed their correct courses on Saturday.

In Division 2, the Northshore 33 Rousabout, skippered by David Inglis, notched up another win under PHS scoring giving her a 2-1-1 scorecard and four points for the regatta.

This left her comfortably clear of Ernest Targett’s Birngana on seven points from placings of 1-3-3 and Mistraal (Brett Cooper) on nine points with a score of 3-4-2.

In Division 2, Greg Rowlings’ J24 Another Toy won all three races to take the series in a virtual walkover.

by Peter Campbell

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