The feeling of Zen

The feeling of Zen | We look back on a great week of yachting at Sail Port Stephens 2022.

The regatta organisers laid on a perfect variation of courses to suit the variable conditions for five glorious days of racing. The eight-strong TP52 fleet spent the week racing windward-leeward races, with the third race of the Thursday seeing the sou-easter increase to a hefty 20 knots, and the TPs were reeling off speeds close to that mark on the downhill legs.

As so often in yacht racing, the story is denied a fitting finish due to a lack of wind when needed most. And it was certainly the case at Sail Port Stephens today, with a predicted 10-knot sou’easter failing to materialise. Inshore and offshore, they sat, with no fairy tales coming true for those primed to make a late charge at the various titles. AP flags barely mustered the energy to flutter, and those who led overall after yesterday’s racing began drafting their acceptance speeches.

Zen was the outstanding TP52, scoring three firsts from four races to eclipse the fleet, winning IRC Division 1. Meanwhile, 1st on ORC went to Matador, followed by Zen and Celestial. Doyle powered Smuggler took 2nd with Matador 3rd  in the class-based TP52 Gold Cup handicap system.

Gordon Ketelbey’s TP52 Zen, with their new Doyle Sails Structured Luff #2 headsail, said, “We saw a huge speed improvement on speed….” said Gordon Ketelbey after winning three straight races with their new sail.

Sailing with Ketelbey was Doyle Sails expert Shane Guanaria, “The Zen team have gone from strength to strength this summer, with the new wardrobe of sails the icing on the cake as far as speed and choice throughout the wind range. The Structure Luff headsails have allowed the team to excel in places we haven’t been before.

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