23rd of May, 2012

52 SUPER SERIES, ready to start

A new dawn for the TP52 fleet in Europe was signalled in the beautiful sunshine of Barcelona this morning with the official christening of the Audi Azzurra Sailing Team’s new boat which is expected to be one of the key performers on the new 52 Super Series which starts tomorrow (Thursday) at the 39th Trofeo Conde de Godo.

The 52 Super Series is an initiative which has been underwritten by thre of the TP52’s most active and enthusiastic owners, Quantum Racing’s Doug DeVos, RÁN’s Niklas Zennstrom and Audi Azzurra Sailing Team’s Alberto Roemmers.

For the 52 foot grand prix yachts, it will follow the owners and crews’ desire to return to existing regattas at key yacht clubs over the 2012 season. There are four events starting with this regatta in Barcelona, followed by the Audi Sardinia Cup in June at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. Palma, Mallorca hosts the revived Royal Cup in July and in September the 52 Super Series will be finish up in Valencia with the Valencia Cup.

Invited IRC 52’s are expected to join the series at each successive regatta. Five 52’s will compete at this first event which has a total of eight races planned over the four days until Sunday. Over the season all race scores are aggregated with no discards.

As well as the new Audi Azzurra which was christened today, 2011 Audi MedCup Circuit and World Champions Quantum Racing are among the favourites to win the inaugural 52 Super Series. Though, having seen how close practice racing has been, picking a favourite is almost impossible.

Quantum Racing have five changes to their 2011 line-up. America’s Cup and Volvo Ocean Race winning navigator joins mainsail trimmer Warwick Fleury, tactician Andy Horton and Chris Welch in the crew which is skippered by helm Ed Baird.

RÁN have world and Audi MedCup winning tactician Ado Stead join their team which is one of two owner driven boats, Niklas Zennstrom steering.

The second owner steered boat is the British TP52 Gladiator of Tony Langley. Alongside Chris Larson, tactician, is 33rd America’s Cup winning Italian navigator Michele Ivaldi.

And Audi Sailing Team powered by ALL4ONE, the team headed by Jochen Schuemann and Stephane Kandler, sail in Barcelona with Spain’s Gonzalo Aurajo steering and France’s 2004 Olympic medal winner Pascal Rambeau as tactician and young German ocean racer Boris Herrmann making his debut as a grand prix inshore navigator.

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