North Sails NEWS

May 22, 2018


North Sails And Southern Spars Cement Their Position At The Pinnacle Of Grand Prix Monohull Racing

© Martinez Studio

2018 marks the seventh season of the hugely successful 52 SUPER SERIES which is shaping up to be the biggest and best yet. As the world leader in grand prix racing technology for the ‘engine above deck’, North Technology Group has today partnered with the exciting multi-regatta tournament. As Official Partners, the 2018 series will be supported by the world leaders in sailmaking technology (North Sails), bespoke carbon masts and booms (Southern Spars), and composite rigging (Future Fibres).

With the TP52 Class attracting the attention of teams with aspirations to win the America’s Cup in 2021, the 52 SUPER SERIES will see 12 boats from nine countries line up to compete across five week-long regattas this summer. With the entire fleet using Southern Spars and Future Fibres, and ten boats selecting North Sails 3Di, it was a natural progression for North Technology Group to offer its world class technologies, knowledge and services across the events as the only company in the world capable of designing and delivering all elements of the engine above deck.

Commenting on the partnership, Paul Westlake, Executive Vice President and Grand Prix Expert at North Sails concluded,

“North Sails has built its reputation amongst the TP52 Class over a number of years now to the point where we are recognized not only for designing and producing the best sails for their high performance needs, but for also offering our wider expertise and services through our global network of lofts and in-house Grand Prix sail designers. As the America’s Cup returns to monohull racing, the 52 SUPER SERIES continues to attract some of the best sailors in the world, and we are proud to be part of such a prestigious international circuit that will continue to grow the sport and deliver exciting racing on the water.”

Commenting on the partnership, Mark Hauser, founder and Sales Director of Southern Spars said,

“As a long time supplier to the 52 SUPER SERIES fleet, Southern Spars is proud to once again work with not only such a respected and innovative class but also one of the most challenging. We have a long and positive relationship with the series, delivering the finest and most innovative rigs to suit these exciting high speed grand prix monohulls. With all of the fleet sporting Southern Spars rigs, and nine with the latest generation of mast, it made perfect sense for us to become a Technical Partner. We are excited to be able to offer our world-class technology, expertise and service beyond our rigs across all of the events.”

The races in the 52 SUPER SERIES are scored simply on the order of finishing the real time racing with no post-race time compensation. Each of the five regattas consists of a schedule of ten races, with a mixture of windward-leeward and coastal courses depending on the venue. Over the course of the season all results stand – there are no discards – and typically that means around 45 to 50 races in the season before the overall Champion is crowned at the end of the year. The current Champions Azzurra, racing with a North Sails 3Di inventory, have won the Championship three times (2012, 2015 and 2017), and are the only team alongside Quantum Racing to have taken the top spot.

The TP52 has become the de-facto top monohull inshore race class in the world, appealing to the very top level professional sailors, discerning owners and teams. The all carbon fibre boats with powerful sail areas and deep slender keels remain very close in performance. 2018 has seen the launch of eight new TP52 hulls, many developed in partnership with North Sails Design Services and all using Southern Spars and Future Fibres for their rigging above deck.

The 52 SUPER SERIES covers five trophies in Europe from May to September:

  1. 52 SUPER SERIES Sibenik Sailing Week: May 23rd – 27th, Sibenik, Croatia
  2. 52 SUPER SERIES Zadar Royal Cup: June 20th – 24th, Zadar, Croatia
  3. ROLEX TP52 World Championship 2018, July 17th – 21st, Cascais, Portugal
  4. 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week Puerto Portals, August 21st – 25th, Mallorca, Spain
  5. 52 SUPER SERIES Valencia Sailing Week: September 18th – 22nd, Valencia, Spain