The 52 Super Series plans for 2016 include exciting new venues and new challenges as the world’s leading performance monohull circuit enters a successful fifth year. Read more
The new TP52s have better performance, but it is up to crews to tweak rig and sails. And none do it better than this Botin &n Partners design, says James Boyd
Celebrating its tenth anniversary in Europe this year, racing’s premier keelboat class, the TP52, is in surprisingly good health. Through careful management it has avoided the dramatic cost escalation that typically destroys ‘box rule’ classes and, three years ago, it survived the demise of its circuit, the Audi MedCup.
The TP52 is again on the ascent.
That the 52 circuit exists today is thanks to its salvage by three owners, RÃ¡n‘s Niklas Zennstrom, Quantum Racing‘s Doug de Vos and Matador/Azzurra‘s Alberto Roemmers, the stakeholders in the 52 Super Series. Far from dying, the TP52 is again on the ascent. On the startline this season will be nine brand new boats, all built to the latest ‘turboed’ version of the TP52 rule.
In the past an embarrassment for the 52s was that whenever they were taken out of class to race, for example, under IRC, they ended up faster with deeper bulbs, more sail, composite rigging, etc. This is now no longer the case, thanks to sweeping rule changes.
These include increasing draught 150mm to 3.5m, reducing overall displacement (to 7,025kg), increasing sail area (eg main up to 98m2 from 93.5m2) and using higher modulus carbon fibre in mast, boom and bowsprit.
Nine new boats is great news for the class, but it’s disappointing that they’ve emerged from only two designers. The two TP52 heavyweights, Quantum Racing and Azzurra, plus new 52 teams Alegre and Bronenosec, are all from Botin & Partners, built in Spain, while RÃ¡n, Gladiator, Provezza, Platoon and Sled are Judel-Vrolijk, built as far afield as New Zealand and the UAE.
Photo: Keith Brash
Quantum Racing, Alegre/Azzurra and Bronenosec all have identical hulls. The reason, says Botin & …read more