Eight teams for the Gaastra 52 World Championship
Eight 52s representing five different countries will challenge for the Gaastra 52 World Championship off Miami’s famous South Beach over 4-9 March.
The championship, which returns to the Miami for the first time since 2006, is being supported by headline sponsor Gaastra, who will also enter their own Dutch All-Stars team led by Gaastra CEO Marc Blees.
Entries are confirmed from the USA, Sweden, Great Britain, Holland and Italy and include two teams which have won the World title in the past. As was required at the 52 World Championship until 2007, all boats are for 2013 owner-steered.
Defending World Champion is Doug deVos’ Quantum Racing, which actually won the title in Porto Cervo, Italy in 2011. The American team has prevailed at three of the last four world championship showdowns, winning in 2008, 2010 and 2011.
The only other team to have won the world title in the past and which will line up in Miami is Alberto Roemmers’ Azzurra, which won as Matador in Palma, Mallorca in 2009. Azzurra holds the initiative this season after already after having already won the first 52 Super Series regatta at Quantum Key West 2013.
“We are happy with the entries for the Gaastra 52 World Championship," commented Rob Weiland, the 52 Class Manager. "On the one hand it completely satisfies all the criteria for a World Championship representing two continents and five countries, but also the standard of the teams is very high across the board.”
Having Gaastra join the championship as sponsor is also great news, Weiland says: “Gaastra and Gaastra Pro have been involved with the TP52 Class in one way or the other since 2008. As the Official clothing sponsor of the class and its world championships, as clothing sponsor of individual teams and now as official clothing sponsor of the 52 Super Series, co-sponsor of the 52 Worlds, as well as an actual participant at the Gaastra 52 Worlds. This is based on the owner of Gaastra Pro, Marc Blees, a keen sailor himself and a big fan of the TP52 and the 52 Super Series, being attracted by proper racing combined with good social scene onshore as well as the possible synergies between the high profile status of both brands.”
Typical wind conditions for March on the Miami coast are anywhere between 10 and 20kts, usually with relatively flat water but peppered with some strong localised currents. The plan is to run racing on at least two days in front of South Beach, in front of the cityscape which should allow some exciting images to be captured. Racing runs from Tuesday 5 March through to Saturday 9 March with windward-leeward racing scheduled each day.
“We are very happy to be able to support the Gaastra 2 World Championship as a sponsor but it is an event which we would just not miss as fans and sailors. We love the class, the excitement and the racing and so we have taken the chance to come along and race as well,” explains Gaastra Pro’s Marc Blees.
The Gaastra 52 World Championship will be run alongside the HPR Midwinter Championship for HPR 40 footers.
Quantum Racing (USA) Doug DeVos (USA)
Rán (SWE), Niklas Zennström (SWE)
Azzurra (ITA), Alberto Roemmers Jr (ARG)
Gladiator (GBR), Tony Langley (GBR)
Gaastra Pro (NED), Marc Blees (NED)
Interlodge (USA) Austin and Gwen Fragomen (USA)
Rio (USA) Manouch Moshayedi (USA)
Vesper (USA) Jim Swartz (USA)
Past winners of the 52 World Championship:
2006 Patches, (IRL) Eamon Conneely
2007 Artemis (SWE) Torbjorn Tornqvist
2008 Quantum Racing (USA) Doug DeVos
2009 Matador (ARG) Alberto Roemmers (ARG)
2010 Quantum Racing (USA) Doug deVos
2011 Quantum Racing (USA) Doug deVos