Emirates Team New Zealand announce their involvement in the TP52 circuit next year

For the last two weeks, Cookson Boats in Auckland have been constructing a new boat for Emirates Team New Zealand to take park in the TP52 regatta circuit in 2009. Project manager for the new boat – to be called Emirates Team New Zealand – will be bowman Richard Meacham.

TP52s are pure racing platforms, high performance monohulls capable of racing in both buoy regattas and offshore races. They are 52ft long and race with a crew of 15.

They do not have water ballast, canting keels or running back stays – owners preferring to keep it simple, safe and reliable. They can easily exceed 25 knots off the wind and can break 30 knots, and have won the majority of bluewater regattas they’ve entered.

The NZ team has started building a TP52 yacht in Auckland. It will be launched on 17 February next year and shipped to Europe in mid-March.

Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker said the Grand Prix TP52 circuit is one of the most competitive in the world: “A team entry on the circuit is the next logical step in our preparation for a next multi-challenge America’s Cup.”

“The Med Cup circuit got going three years ago and each year has got better and better to the point where it is now the absolute top-end of keel boat racing outside the America’s Cup. The TP52 will give us the opportunity to continue to develop and test the sailing team in preparation for the next multi-challenge America’s Cup.”