Super is not as over the top an adjective for the level of the TP52 racing that we are about to witness in 2017 as it perhaps was in 2013. Back then it was more an indication of ambition than a reality. 2017 brings a six-event no-discard series spread over two continents with at each event 12-14 top-notch TP52s fighting it out with a level of evenness that you will struggle to find in a one-design fleet; yet each TP52 is individually designed, built and optimised and is always ‘in development’ to address real or perceived weaknesses.
Rigorous enforcement of rule stability is a key factor in this class’s continuing success; all changes are agreed well in advance so boat owners can accurately predict the competitive life for a new build or for an expensive round of modifications
The status quo is constantly challenged and as a consequence we witness ever-changing relative performances between the boats till the final race of the year. If it was the hardware only it would be complex enough, but of course how the teams work is equally important – and as complex as the science behind the equipment.
Will we see the same teams and boats as we saw in 2016 when we start 2017 with Quantum Key West Race Week? The simple answer is no. Read on.