The TP52 is generally seen as the ultimate Grand Prix Racer. For sure it is not the first yacht build to a boxrule, but the choices made when forming this particular box have proven to be lucky ones. This is underlined by quite a few classes following in our steps with similar choices. Because of its size, the number of crew and allowing the best of materials and building techniques this was never going to be a class for small budget campaigns.
TP52’s racing in the main events as the MedCup and the TP52 World Championship attract the best sailors of the globe and the teams are well supported on the shore and on the water. Luckily the exposure that these events get makes it possible to attract first class sponsors, money is around to fund these campaigns as soon as you can offer value in return. Around 2009 the balance between sponsored and private teams was about 50-50.
The TP52 is a simple racing machine. No moving parts under water other than a single centreline rudder, no complicated issues on deck or in the rig. Just high quality components allowing proper control of the boat and of a sails wardrobe build for optimum performence at every windangle and windspeed. The interior is the minimum required by the Safety Regulations and TP52 Rule, it is not truly aimed at offshore racing anymore, but is easy to update to the requirements of a TransPac for instance. In 2007 4 TP52’s competed in that event. TP52’s are true Grand Prix Racers, so designed and build to withstand the abuse of yacht racing at the highest level, but not to withstand any abuse. Once you get a chance to sail these magnificient machines and you join the game wherever it is played you will realise why so many before you choose for the TP52. By 2009 58 TP52’s have been constructed and they are all still racing. The main areas are the Med, USA, UK, Australia and Hong Kong.
From 2010 the TP52 will sport a bowsprit, twin backstays and a square head mainsail. The coachroof will be reduced further and the word simple in relation to the TP52 will get a new meaning. Crew will be reduced to 12 or 13, depending on their weight. Sailing displacement comes down several 100's of kilo's and the bulb will grow by over 600 kilo's to keep the show on the road. New structural requirements and control on structural engineering by Germanischer Lloyd shall take care that it all stays together as well.
In 2011 the new TP52 Rule has kicked fully into action. The boats are now racing at reduced displacement (7300kg) and with more righting moment due to a deeper keel with a heavier bulb. Decks are even cleaner due to the latest ideas on equipment and reduced standing headroom requirements.
Rob Weiland, TP52 Class Manager