Phoenix returns. Cayard is back.
Phoenix will compete at the TP52 World Championships in Mahón, Menorca.
Experienced American owner Richard Cohen will compete at the TP52 World Championships in Mahón, Menorca, with Phoenix, which will be skippered by Paul Cayard. The carefully assembled team includes a core group of sailors who have many years of experience in the class, but Cayard cautions that their initial objective is to learn and improve together in line with their long term goal, to be competitive on the 2017 52 SUPER SERIES.
Their plan is to race at the 2016 TP52 World Championships (14th to 18th September), where the fleet is now expected to be 12 boats strong. Phoenix will also compete at the final event of the season, the EGNOS 52 SUPER SERIES Cascais Cup in October, so that they will be on the best possible form for Key West in January 2017, the start of their planned full participation in the 52 SUPER SERIES.
Cohen returned to racing last year with a 75-foot Frers design, but, seeking a more competitive, challenging level of racing earlier this season bought the 2014-launched Botin Partners-designed Phoenix, which is very similar to the current championship-leading Quantum Racing and world championship winning Azzurra. Phoenix finished fourth overall on the 2014 52 SUPER SERIES with recently crowned Olympic gold medallist Santi Lange (ARG) as tactician.
Paul Cayard has been absent from the TP52 class in the Mediterranean since 2012. Previously he shared the leadership of Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis TP52 programme, initially dovetailing with Russell Coutts, winning the MedCup title in 2007. In 2010, Cayard called tactics for Artemis when they won Barcelona’s showcase Conde de Godo Trophy. He also steered the Spanish America’s Cup campaign’s TP52 El Desafio.
The owner-driven Phoenix team for the 2016 TP52 World Championships includes Olympic silver medallist and America’s Cup winner Peter Holmberg as tactician, Kalle Coster as navigator, Volvo Ocean Race winner Marco Constant on mainsheet, and Volvo Ocean Race and America’s Cup winner Curtis Blewett in the pit.
“Our plan was to do some sailing with the Phoenix on the East Coast of the USA, which we have done, and then to join the 52 SUPER SERIES next year. But things changed and we decided to start in Menorca at the World Championships and to race at EGNOS 52 SUPER SERIES Cascais Cup. For us that seems the best way to prepare for 2017.
We are going into this with our eyes open.
We have a group of experienced, talented sailors who are used to winning, but we are respectful of the fact that there are many good sailors on the 52 SUPER SERIES who have been at this full on for a number of years and we cannot expect to walk in and be on the podium. That would be naive. We aim to be competitive, perhaps finishing in the middle of the fleet. We have an older, repaired mast. We have a new one on order for 2017. But we are out to learn. We want to see where the bar is set and how we make sure we are in the best shape for Key West and the 2017 season.”
The TP52 World Championships will take place in Mahón, Menorca from 14th-18th September. Racing starts at 13:00 CEST every day.
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