Well a nice start to 2017, so feeling like this might be a great year for me. Not sure I can say that about the rest of this crazy world of late! First up for me was my new project with the Turkish PROVEZZA team on the 52 Super Series. We scheduled a few days of sail testing in Florida, which was also a good opportunity for me to meet the other team members and get familiar with driving this JV designed TP52. These are the Formula 1’s of monohull racing and the boats are a true joy to sail. The level of development on all aspects of the project are almost as high as the America’s Cup (but without the extra three zero’s), so the design, sails, coaching, and talent onboard is fantastic. Driving a 52 with a tiller gives great precision and feedback, and brings the natural sailing style and skill to a big boat. Really nice.
Three of us then did an Etchells regatta as an added training session to get us better in race sync prior to our first 52SS event. We chartered an Etchells and launched it the morning of the regatta, one of the Miami Winter Series events being held nearby in Biscayne Bay. This 30 foot keel boat, with three crew, and some very good fleets of talent to race against, was an easy way to get real race time together. We had about 50 boats, ended up fourth, and had some valuable race practice with our driver, tactician, and trimmer from the big 52 all learning language and style under race pressure. Good stuff.
Next up was our first event of the 52 Super Series, Quantum Key West Race Week. This will be followed by an event in Miami, and then 4 more events in Europe through 2017. Our week started a little rough, but as we settled down and started to work better as a team, we slowly moved up in the standings. Going into the final race we were leading a tight pack, but a bad start by me cost us and we finished tied for second in the event, but fourth after tiebreak rules. Not too bad for our first event, still in the hunt for the overall series, and lots of room for improvement, so very excited about the year ahead. Add in a great owner and some great guys on the team, and I am very much looking forward to the year ahead.
Next up for me is a trip to France to start working with the Outremer Catamaran team on my new 45. Following this will be the Miami 52 Super Series event, and then my first event with my other big project, the 140 foot J boat TOPAZ, at the St. Barths Bucket. I know. Hard work, but someone has to do it! 🙂 All the best, peter