“Guys. the Cup is here!” Reflections of a traditionalist looking at TP52s.

Our contributor Ghego Saggini writes to us, “Last weekend I happened to reread the interview we did with Paul Cayard, and one sentence of his struck me: “I’m very happy to also challenge myself on the TP52s, the most cutting-edge fleet in the world, which in my opinion has taken a bit of a back seat, in terms of racing per crew, right from the America’s Cup.”. Let’s see if the “mustache” is really right, I said to myself. Already that I had the day off and it was raining, I planted myself in front of the PC and on youtube I enjoyed live streaming the World Championship in Menorca.

Screenshot 2016-09-19 at 5:05:44 p.m.OLD CUP MAKES GOOD … TP52
Whether it is because of the good quality of live English, whether it is because of the strict box rule that governs the TP52 class (what a distance, in terms of time and evolution, from the early Transpac 52s: we don’t even remember anymore that these types of boats, before they associated into a proper ISAF-recognized class, were designed for the Transpacific Yacht Race), whether because of the level of the crews, the fact remains that I was glued like an ebete, or rather, a webete, as Mentana put it, in front of the PC screen. Regattas fought to the last, with millimeter distances, the best sailors in the world all playing it out with a knife between their teeth (Paul Cayard, Vasco Vascotto, Ed Baird just to name a few), at the mercy of wealthy owners. I found myself cheering for Azzurra (second final, good guys, behind Quantum and ahead of Provezza)-whose very name recalls the glorious 1983 America’s Cup-just as, sixteen years ago, I was cheering by staying up at night, not caring about the next day’s Latin question, to follow Luna Rossa’s exploits first at the victorious Louis Vuitton and then at the America’s Cup (negligible the fact that these are fleet races here). So I, a monohull enthusiast, fully agree with Cayard. The TP52 circuit (which has seen growing numbers: there were 12 boats at sea in the Balearic Islands) has taken the place, both for the superprofessionals at sea and the monohull-loving spectators, of the traditional America’s Cup.

Screenshot 2016-09-19 at 17.08.12

Satisfying my fan craving, I got to thinking and made the diagram you see (skewed and hand-lettered) above: What if instead of monohulls I liked catamarans better? I don’t think I would have known which circuit to follow: there is not one America’s Cup, there are four. In fact, next to the “official” one of the AC45 World Series, there are the Extreme 40, the GC32 and, last but not least, the M32 circuits (the fifth one, the MOD70 one, is dead and buried). I would have ended up falling out of love with each of the circuits: think if there were four different Formula One competitions, or Moto GP… But what if the organizers, and, in concert, the sponsors, agreed to create one event, one big America’s Cup of multihulls as it should be (don’t tell me that six teams is a lot…)? Would it suck so much?”

Ghego Saggini



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