TP52 World Championship starts today!

Puerto Calero, 20 October 2008: Monday to Saturday the TP52 World Championship Islas Canarias will take place on the waters of the Atlantic Spanish island Lanzarote with the participation of 14 of the world’s best TP52’s representing 11 countries. This is the first time the TP52 World Championship is held in Spain, after visiting Miami in 2006 (USA) and Porto Cervo (Italy) in 2007.

Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis from Sweden will be defending the title won on Sardinian waters last year, with three-time America’s Cup winner Russell Coutts calling tactics. Torbjorn helms his own boat and thus is entered for the Owner Driver Trophy as well.

After being crowned the 2008 Audi MedCup champion  Quantum also has world dominance in sight. Terry Hutchinson doesn’t need introduction and the season’s most consistent team has all it takes to threaten Artemis.

Three-time Olympic medallist Jochen Schuemann will again lead Platoon, hoping to capitalize on their second place in the Trofeo César Manrique. The German boat’s shore crew is putting 24-hour shifts in order to repair the damage it suffered after being hit by another yacht inside the marina.

The Spanishs have three boats racing off the Puerto Calero Marina. José Cusí’s Bribón is helmed by New Zealander star sailor Dean Barker. Desafío, fresh from a decisive victory in last week’s Trofeo César Manrique is another powerhouse, helmed by Paul Cayard and entirely crewed by the Spanish America’s Cup challenger. Last but certainly not least TAU Andalucía, jointly owned by Javier Banderas and Rafael Díaz from Malaga, is the third Spanish entry.

Alberto Roemmers’ Matador will be helmed by Roemmers Jr while Guillermo Parada will switch to tactics, in a similar fashion to the 2007 Global Championship, so Alberto has a change to go for the Owner Driver Trophy as well.

Also aiming for the Owner Driver Trophy is the Audi Sailing Team Powered by Q8 of Italian Riccardo Simoneschi.  Riccardo has added the Swedish match-race champion Magnus Holmberg in the role of tactician.

Vasco Vascotto will race in the TP52 World Championship with his Mutua Madrileña from Chile, while John Cook’s Cristabella will rely on Spaniard Roberto Bermúdez de Castro to drive her. Portuguese Bigamist 6 of Pedro Mendoça will also be steered by an Olympic champion, Portugese Alfonso Domingos. Fram XVI of Norway’s King Harald will race for the first time this year.

Last but certainly not least, the two Russian entries, Sergey Pichugin’s Synergy and Kirill Podolsky’s Valars are the emerging powers of the TP52 class. Both have brand new 2008 boats; Valars now competes with the former Mean Machine, while Synergy now owns Oracle and has added kiwi sailor Cameron Dunn to call tactics.

The schedule for Monday and Tuesday calls for the usual leeward/windward races, starting at 12pm local time. On Wednesday, the short coastal race (between 35 and 40 miles) will take place, followed by the long regatta of about 60 miles on Thursday. Both coastal races will start at 11am. The fleet will then resume its leeward-windward races on Friday and Saturday, again starting at 12pm.

All races will be streamed live using the Virtual Eye technology through the event’s official website,