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52 SUPER SERIES comes to Cape Town

by Ingrid Hale
It’s official! The 2020 52 SUPER SERIES season will include South Africa as the showcase curtain raiser to a six-regatta year!

The world’s leading grand prix monohull circuit will start with two regattas in South Africa in March and April and return to the Mediterranean for regattas in Scarlino, Tuscany in May, Porto Cervo, Sardinia in June, and Valencia in July before concluding in Mallorca at Puerto Portals in September.

It will be the first time that the circuit will host regattas in the Southern Hemisphere and already there is considerable excitement and anticipation among the fleet.  The regattas will take place one month apart, the first from 29th February to 6th March and the second event from 30th March to 4th April 2020.

The fleet will be based at the historic V&A Waterfront where sailing fans will be able to enjoy their first glimpse of the TP52 fleet including the home-based South-African-flagged Phoenix teams of Hasso and Tina Plattner.

52 SUPER SERIES Zadar Royal Cup 2018

The Local Factor

Kristina Plattner, owner-driver of The Phoenix, is delighted that the circuit will now race on the home waters where she and many of her crew are based. Some of the crew started their careers on top South African racing teams like Orion, Puma Unleashed, Vulcan, Highland Fling, Nitro and some are veterans of the proud and emblematic Shosholoza in the 32nd America’s Cup campaign.

The 2 boat campaign led by Tina and Hasso Plattner include South Africans Tony Norris (Team Manager), Shane Elliot (Navigator), Paul Willcox (Main Trimmer), James Largier (Boat Captain) Shaun Pammenter (Aft Grinder), Simon Botes (Shore crew – winch technician), Marc Largesse (Navigator), Matt Whitehead (Float), Mark Sadler (Runner), Siya Vato (Rib driver and nipper)

The Phoenix Racing Team in the 52 SUPER SERIES 2019

“Local sailors and 52 SUPER SERIES followers will be ecstatic to have the fleet come to Cape Town,” she commented. “Lots of people in South Africa, and Cape Town especially, follow our events on the tracker and the live stream, so to have this on their door step I am sure will be very exciting, especially for young and aspiring sailors who will be looking forward to having this calibre of fleet and all its sailors in town. I am sure it will be a lasting inspiration to them. I hope all the sailors and owners in the 52 SUPER SERIES fleet will feel welcome in Cape Town and enjoy sailing under Table Mountain.”

Speaking of the likely conditions, Plattner, who races and trains with some of her crew on the local Cape 31 one design keelboats to hone their 52 SUPER SERIES skills, says:

“March is the back end of the windy season so hopefully we will see a lot of south westerly, which usually settles somewhere between 10-16 knots. There will probably still be some of the summer south-easterly around, which means windier days followed by relatively light days.”

Heading South

Agustín Zulueta, CEO of the 52 SUPER SERIES says “Cape Town has always been a must-visit destination for sailors and an iconic place for racing. It has been a fixed stopover on some of the most prestigious ocean races over the years, so we will be warmly welcomed by what we know is a passionate community that has a long history in sailing,” explains Agustín Zulueta, CEO of the 52 SUPER SERIES. “As a circuit it is important to travel periodically in order to enhance our identity as a truly international series. We have been to the USA three times and it is now a great time to explore the Southern Hemisphere together and to allow the spotlight to fall on their wonderful city and iconic racing waters with the backdrop of Table Mountain. An important factor is that we are being supported by local TP52 owners as well as well-known local organisers such as Worldsport. ”During our site check visit this month we have also noticed the big enthusiasm of the local authorities and the full support of the V&A Waterfront. The general strategy of the 52 SUPER SERIES and the TP52 class is to open up the calendar, not only spreading the span of the dates but also geographically and to try to deliver new challenges to the owners and crews. Overall 2020 looks very exciting – a great mix of established favourites and the chance for us all to enjoy the new experiences that Cape Town will offer,” Zulueta concludes.

2020 52 SUPER SERIES CALENDAR

Please note: some European venues and dates are provisional.

Photographs: Studio Martinez

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