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big steps

Seven of the nine new TP52s had their first racing at the PalmaVela in a 10-boat fleet in which they were joined by Paprec (Rán 2015), Phoenix 2014 and Tony Langley’s Gladiator (2017).
In Palma Ado Stead replaced Ben Ainslie, probably just for the event, and the Gladiator team clearly needed time to find a new balance and motivation after Sir Ben’s sudden switch to a new Cup sponsor who stipulated that a shared TP52 programme was not part of the plan. Speaking to Tony Langley, he said he could understand, given the bigger picture of the money needed to have a fair stab at winning the old mug, but nevertheless what has taken place clearly did not match how he planned his sailing for the coming year…
With six of the seven new boats racing in Palma designed by Botín Partners, there was no surprise to see these potentially appear very even in performance… but gosh are they different in detailing both on deck as well as down below.
So many ideas how the perfect TP52 shall be equipped and operated – yet almost every one of them functioned in battle from the word go with very few hiccups. Truly remarkable and a feast for the eye. I hope one of these days a photographer gets the chance to show the reader the interior of these boats; systems everywhere, like a Panamarenko artwork but in this case it all has function… and it works. A picture says more than a thousand words but I understand why the teams are not so keen on publicity right now.
Talking to a ClubSwan50 owner about the difference between the two classes and how he chose between them, for him a major factor was that the TP52 costs twice the money – just stand behind both boats for five minutes each and you will know. Imagine then going inside both and the difference is even bigger. Horses for courses, I happily sail on both.
Read on.