A fleet of eight 52’s representing five different countries will challenge for the Gaastra 52 World Championships off Miami’s famous South Beach from March 4th-9th. The championships, which return to the Miami for the first time since 2006, are being supported by headline sponsors Gaastra who also enter their own Dutch All-Stars team lead by Gaastra’s Marc Blees.
Quantum Racing in action
Entries are confirmed from the USA, Sweden, Great Britain, Holland and Italy and include two teams which have won the world title in the past. As was required at the 52 World Championships till 2007 all boats are for 2013 owner steered.
Defending world champions are Doug deVos’ Quantum Racing, who actually won the title in Porto Cervo, Italy in 2011. The American team have prevailed at three of the last four world championship showdowns, winning in 2008, 2010 and 2011.
The only other team which has won the world title in the past which will line up in Miami is Alberto Roemmers’ Azzurra, which won as Matador in Palma, Mallorca in 2009. Azzurra hold the initiative this season already after having already won the first 52 Super Series regatta, Quantum Key West 2013.
'We are happy with the entries for the Gaastra 52 World Championships. On the one hand it completely satisfies all the criteria for a world championships including representing two continents and five countries, but also the standard of the teams is very high across the board,' says Rob Weiland, the 52 Class Manager.
Having Gaastra join the championships as sponsor is great news, according to Weiland: 'Gaastra and Gaastra Pro have been involved with the TP52 Class in one way or the other since 2008. As the Official clothing sponsor of the class and its world championships, as clothing sponsor of individual teams and now as official clothing sponsor of the 52 Super Series, co-sponsor of the 52 Worlds, as well as an actual participant at the Gaastra 52 Worlds.'
Continues Weiland, 'This is based on the owner of Gaastra Pro, Marc Blees, a keen sailor himself and a big fan of the TP52 and the 52 Super Series, being attracted by proper racing combined with good social scene onshore as well as the possible synergies between the high profile status of both brands.'
Typical wind conditions for March on the Miami coast are anywhere between 10 and 20kts, usually with relatively flat water but peppered with some strong localised currents. The plan is to run racing on at least two days in front of South Beach, in front of the cityscape which should allow some exciting images to be captured. Racing runs from Tuesday 5th March through to Saturday 9th March with windward-leeward racing scheduled each day.
'We are very happy to be able to support the Gaastra World Championship as a sponsor but it is an event which we would just not miss as fans and sailors. We love the class, the excitement and the racing and so we have taken the chance to come along and race as well,' explains Gaastra Pro’s Marc Blees.
The Gaastra 52 World Championships will be run alongside the HPR Midwinter Championship for HPR 40 footers.
Quantum Racing (USA) Doug DeVos (USA)
Rán (SWE), Niklas Zennström (SWE)
Azzurra (ITA), Alberto Roemmers Jr (ARG)
Gladiator (GBR), Tony Langley (GBR)
Gaastra Pro (NED), March Blees (NED)?Interlodge (USA) Austin and Gwen Fragomen (USA)
Rio (USA) Manouch Moshayedi (USA)
Vesper (USA) Jim Swartz (USA)
Past winners of the 52 World Championships:
2006 Patches, (IRL) Eamon Conneely
2007 Artemis (SWE) Torbjorn Tornqvist
2008 Quantum Racing (USA) Doug DeVos
2009 Matador (ARG) Alberto Roemmers (ARG)
2010 Quantum Racing (USA) Doug deVos
2011 Quantum Racing (USA) Doug deVos
52 Super Series website