Welcome to the TP52 website. The TP52 Class History can be found below and shows you where we come from. The key words “fast, fun, simple” indicate the original thoughts behind the TP52 Rule and Class. You have to read these words in contrast with designing and building one-off racing yachts for handicap rules such as IMS and IRC and in contrast with racing on handicap under whatever rule. It was felt at the time, and we firmly believe this is still the case, that especially in the larger sizes quite a few owners like to race one-off yachts but are willing to constrain themselves to fixed limits on the key dimensions and design options for the benefits of boat for boat racing. A boat designed and build to a boxrule as the happy medium between racing different concepts under a handicap rule and racing a one-design boat.
In the introductions to the TP52 Class and the TP52 yacht you will find where we stand today. The TP52 Class has grown from a non registered club of like minded yachtsmen inspired by the salesman- and leadership of Tom Pollack to a fully member controlled, registered and ISAF recognised Class with a proper set of Bylaws, an Annual Meeting, an Executive Committee made up out of the Members and a Class President who also has to be a Member. You can only be a TP52 Class Member if you own a TP52 or have one under construction.
The TP52 Class went rapidly to 20 – 25 members, which is a very good number for racing yachts of this size and competitive level. More than 10 nationalities distributed over 3 continents are represented in our Class. The main focus of TP52 racing has moved from the USA to the Med with the MedCup as the magnet for this move. The MedCup is undoubtedly the hottest ticket in town when considering yacht racing other than Americas Cup or long distance offshore racing. Ideally a similar circuit should exist in other quality sailing areas, like in the USA and possibly in the UK and Australia. In these areas a large number of TP52’s race under IRC, it seems a logic step to combine this with boat for boat racing again. For as we all know spending money on artificial changes for rating reasons and spending time at the bar on discussing handicaps can be replaced by far more interesting expenses on equipment that improve true performence and discussions on how the actual racing went and how to improve on that.
But also the TP52 Class did not escape the economic gloom and saw especially the fully sponsored teams collapsing. In 2009 the number of members was reduced to 12. For 2010 we aimed for a similar number, at the same time we took steps to modernise the boat. The Class Members decided to introduce a fully revamped TP52 Rule and so revamped TP52 for 2011.
That boat is as much as a dual purpose racer for racing on real time as well as be fully competitive in handicap racing. The 2011 TP52 has all the features that you know of the IRC converted TP52's and IRC custom racers. Bowsprit, square head main, all ballast in the keel, even lighter displacement and more sailarea. Faster and so even more fun. At the same time keeping our position as best selling racer on the second hand market by a big margin to any other type of boat.
We hope and foresee this boat will be the vehicle that makes it possible to mix strict class racing with participation in IRC and ORC events to race together with the non class 52s and TP52s being used for international events like a revamped Admirals Cup or Sardinia Cup. With the economy we hope and expect to see the TP52 and 52 racing grow to a level never experienced before in the world of offshore yacht racing.
For 2012 we have the Sardinia Cup included in our schedule, teaming up with the Soto40 Class.
Rob Weiland, TP52 Class Manager