Where limits are few, pockets are deep
Published on March 14th, 2018
As the next America’s Cup gets organized, all energy and attention will get shifted this year to the 52 SUPER SERIES as nine new TP52s will be in a fleet full of all the support and sailing talent typically devoted to winning the Auld Mug.
Sled, owned by Takashi Okura, was the first of the latest generation to touch the water, built by Tim Smyth and Mark Turner and the team at Core Builders Composites in New Zealand.
The Core team, recently more used to building America’s Cup multihull hulls and components, took considerable delight in building their first TP52 grand prix monohull, placing a high emphasis on weight saving, reliability and detailing.
“The boat is super impressive, the best I have seen,” said Don Cowie, who helped oversee the build. “Their attitude is that every gram counts and the level of detailing is incredible.”
The team’s line up in 2018 will comprise a posse from Team New Zealand which includes Ray Davies in the role of tactician. After winning the America’s Cup last year, Davies is pleased thus far with the sea trials and quality of the build.
“The Botín designs all seem very similar this year in the hull shape,” Davies notes. “There are some refinements, but the differences are in the systems on board. They are complicated below. Most teams have made changes to the positions of the appendages, and the masts are changed, the evolution being the stiffness of the mast and the position of the deflectors. Everything is stiffer and more ‘locked in’.”
With several America’s Cup teams represented on the 52 SUPER SERIES, and racing set to be the highest level yet, Davies confirms he sees considerable advantages for him to be involved as he looks to defending the America’s Cup with Team New Zealand.
“It is good for us to be just out there sailing and racing at the highest level,” notes Davies. “Generally, in grand prix sailing, there has been a real move in drone technology and all the information coming off the boats. Having had the coaching-sailing role on Team New Zealand that is good for me here, to be able to keep current with all of the analysis that is going on.
“The grand prix circuit is almost as current as the America’s Cup, and the technology here is moving quite quickly forwards, and so being able to keep in there using all the developments, overlaying the drone footage with the data from the boat and presenting all of the data in a user-friendly manner, we found that really beneficial in the America’s Cup.
“It was easy to analyse where the mistakes were made around the course. I think all of the 52s are heading in that direction. There is a lot of logging of the performance and the strains, data coming off the boats. It is evolving and becoming more user friendly. The 52 SUPER SERIES is good so as to stay racing, to stay competitive.
The 52 SUPER SERIES is established as the world’s leading grand prix monohull yacht racing circuit. The 2018 season will mark the seventh season of the 52 SUPER SERIES which grew from the ashes of the TP52 MedCup which finished in 2011 when the principal sponsor withdrew.
52 Super Series 2018 will be a best of 5 events trophy (preliminary calendar):
Croatia, Sibenik, May 22-27
Croatia, Zadar, June 19-24
Portugal, Cascais, Rolex TP52 World Championship, July 16-21
Spain, Puerto Portals, August 20-25
Spain, Valencia, September 17-22
Source: 52 SUPER SERIES, Scuttlebutt