Ten new 52s for 2015

Class Manager Rob Weiland and 52 Super Series Augustin Zulueta bring us up to speed
Generally when numbers start dwindling in a class, particularly when it is a top end international Grand Prix class, you know that the writing is on the wall and within a period of time it will be no more. Typically this should have happened to the TP52 (or as it is now referred, simply the ‘52’, as it attempts to shed its mis-leading ‘Transpac’ origins). Back in pre-global economic meltdown 2006-7, the class enjoyed a bumper fleet, with more than 20 boats regularly racing, new boats being constructed each year, technical innovation carrying on apace and German car manufacturer Audi backing its circuit, the MedCup. Since then numbers have plummeted, with sponsors unable to spend the money, owners put off as the game (and with it the cost) has continually risen, and ultimately Audi pulling the plug on its involvement with the class. However luckily the 52 has been saved by its three present stakeholders - Argentinian owner of the Matador team, Alberto Roemmers, Amway’s Doug DeVos with Quantum Racing and Rán Racing’s Niklas Zennström - who have taken over ownership of the class, something they feel they were lacking under the old MedCup regime. In 2012, they established the 52 Super Series and some rule changes later, including a turboing of the boats, the circuit is now definitely turning the corner. The 52 Super Series now has a title sponsor in Barclays, nine boats regularly competing and most incredible of all, as many as ten new boats – 10! – are expected to be built for the 2015 season. The new builds are coinciding with the latest iteration of the 52 rule coming into effect next year, although one example has already been launched this year for Brazilian former Olympic Star sailor Eduardo de Souza Ramos in the Botin &