New 52 rule for 2015

More solid future on the cards for the 52 Super Series

Thursday July 25th 2013, Author: James Boyd, Location: Spain

The TP52 Class and the 52 Super Series are charting a course together for a bright and stable future. Already with one new boat due to be built for the 2014 season - Phoenix for Brazilian owner Eduardo de Souza Ramos, at least three leading TP52 owners have signalled that they are going to build new for the 2015 season. And venues for the six event 2014 Super Series season, in both the USA and Europe, have already been inked on to the calendar.

Next year, 2014, is expected to be a season of slight growth in the lead up to an updated version of the TP52 rule which is to be developed with a view to promote the building of a new series of faster, even more exciting 52s for the 2015 season and beyond.

The three shareholding board members of the 52 Super Series have committed to build during the winter of 2014-2015 and others have already indicated they are seriously looking to join the initiative. The trio of owners - Niklas Zennström, Doug DeVos and the Roemmers family - have also guaranteed financial support for 52 Super Series for the next three seasons at least.

A strategic plan for the Series is being finalised under the stewardship of CEO Agustin Zulueta and is scheduled to be published before the end of this summer.

Next season’s 52 Super Series is billed as having a similar look and feel to 2013. It will start with US regattas again in January in Key West, March in Miami. These will be followed by four events in Europe: Capri, Italy in May, Porto Cervo, Sardinia in June, with the Copa del Rey, Palma in August and an end-of-season event in Ibiza in September.

A strategic update of the TP52 rule is being drafted presently, in cooperation with active TP52 designers such as Rolf Vrolijk and Marcelino Botin. The objectives are to promote new boat builds - making the boats faster still, delivering even more fun for owners and crew, while continuing to keep budgets under control.

At the same time the class is proud to remain firm to its roots as a ‘development’ class, tightly bound by a box rule concept which continues to stimulate owners, crews and the marine businesses around the world, from design offices, boat builders and engineers, rig and sail manufacturers, to component manufacturers.

The changes to the 2015 rule include:

- a reduction in displacement by 200kg to 7000kg.
- draft increase by 15cm to 3.5m.
- composite rigging and backstay deflectors will lead to re-engineering and weight reduction aloft by approx 50kgs.
- bowsprits to grow by 70cm.
- sail area upwind and downwind will increase.

TP52 Class Manager Rob Weiland notes: “For 2014 it will be possible to build to the ‘new’ numbers and rules, but the 2014 boat will be reigned in for next season on draft, displacement and righting moment to be at par with the existing boats. Then looking to 2015, existing 52 Super Series boats can quite easily be adapted to be on par with those 2015 new builds. Once brought up to the right numbers existing boats that were built between 2009 and 2012 will still be competitive at reasonable cost. We aim for the upgrade to be no more than EUR 100K excluding new sails.”

Agustin Zulueta, CEO of the 52 Super Series adds: "It is our intention to do as much as possible to facilitate new teams entering the circuit as well as to preserve the value of the existing fleet and to continue developing, from time to time, planned, incremental changes in order to ensure we are sailing competitive, fast and fun boats.”

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