WHAT DO HIP HOP AND TP52s HAVE IN COMMON? All the freshest [stuff] is coming from the West Coast. Two years ago a merry band of innovative millionaires, mobilized by Victor Wild and Manouch Moshayedi, started on a quest to revive and revamp the TP52 class in SoCal. Why did the prior class fail? Basically when you're throwing $500K-$1M per year at running a program, you don't want a next generation boat showing up and ruining your party. This is why the new "Pac 52" class is taking a new angle – much closer to one-design rather than a TP52-style "box rule."
They used the Botin-designed, Cookson-built, and Gavin Brady-managed BEAU GESTE (owner Karl Kwok, HKG) as their template. The net result – a TP52 with a deeper keel and taller-mast – still has all the go-fast gadgets and challenging boat handling and racing that money can buy. Proof positive that the Pac 52s are enhanced versions of the TP52s was when the Super Series wouldn't allow Victor Wild's FOX from entering Key West Race Week and race alongside the TP52s in their inaugural regatta in North America in January.
Gavin Brady (NZL) and David and Julie Servais (San Diego) have been instrumental in organizing this fledgling class. Five 2017 regattas are scheduled on the USA's West Coast. The first is SDYC's Yachting Cup this coming weekend in San Diego. Four yachts are entered: FOX, BAD PAK (owner Tom Holtus, San Diego), RIO (owner Manouch Moshayedi, Newport Beach) and INVISIBLE HAND (owner Frank Slootman, San Francisco). FOX is now a year old, having been built in New Zealand in late 2015; the other three have recently been splashed with BAD PAK and INVISIBLE HAND also built in NZL, and RIO built in Dubai. Coming together this weekend in San Diego for the first time, the three new boats have been commissioned and measured alongside FOX. Despite different builders, two different moulds, and slightly different designs, all four yachts weighed in within 120kg. That's the difference of only one big person. For a 52 footer, that's insane.
Based on initial videos and observations, in two-boat testing the fleets appears to be incredibly even. One several-minute video from last weekend of FOX vs. RIO show almost identical boat speed. What does make a difference is great boat handling – puff on, a little bow down, runner up – and there's a slight gain over the yacht that just keeps trucking. We're all really excited to see what will come from the Class's first regatta this weekend.
Moose out. A town down.
[Full discourse: 6'10" Max Moosmann, aka Moose Maxmann, is from Newport Beach and has been racing with Team FOX for most of the last year.]
Follow the action on the Pac 52 Facebook page.