The TP52 class is at the forefront of modern day grand prix yacht racing and the Rolex TP52 World Championship is the highlight of the class’ season. Scheduled for Cascais, Portugal from 17 - 21 July, the 2018 edition will bring together ten or so elite crews for five days of dramatic and captivating competition. With a closely matched fleet where the emphasis is firmly upon crew work, timing is a fundamental component. Every second will count, likewise every race. Without question, the victor will be the best prepared, most skilful team.

Over its sixty years of involvement in yachting, Rolex has always sought to associate with regattas and races that are motivated by passion, excellence, precision and team spirit. The Rolex TP52 World Championship fits this profile perfectly. The event is part of the 52 SUPER SERIES, a demanding, annual circuit, which this year comprises five competitions taking place in European waters. 2018 marks the second year of a partnership which positions Rolex as Official Timepiece of the 52 SUPER SERIES and title sponsor of the Worlds. 

Competing teams at the Rolex TP52 World Championship bear comparison with the highest levels of other professional sports, which marry human and technical performance. The crews are of the highest quality and to perform consistently well at this pinnacle event requires leadership, preparation and support that is just as committed, just as professional. 

The racing stands out because the TP52 is arguably the de-facto top monohull inshore race class in the world. It appeals to the very best professional sailors, discerning owners and teams. The all carbon-fibre boats, with their powerful sail area and deep slender keel, are incredibly close in performance.

Racing at the Rolex TP52 World Championship comprises five days of inshore races. These inshore courses will be windward/leeward in configuration and range in length from 4 to 10 nautical miles. Up to ten races will be completed depending on the weather. Every race counts and the first to finish wins the race.

As well as being crowned World Champion the winner of the championship will receive a Rolex timepiece, the recognized symbol of success and achievement in yachting awarded to the winners of many the sailing world’s most prestigious events.

The TP52 Class is based upon a relatively simple box rule governing certain design and equipment parameters. Within those parameters is room for optimization and there is a constant process of refinement which in turn has led to a serious acceleration in both human and technical performance in recent years.

Crew members are hand-picked for their skills and compatibility. The Rolex TP52 World Championship sailors are the very tip of the yacht-racing iceberg and have to be highly skilled in more than one area. It is not enough to be simply a grinder or a trimmer. Individuals need to bring additional technical knowledge, such as rigging, sail-making, winch technology. In the intense regatta environment, they require exemplary man-management to allow them to concentrate on their primary roles. As with all professional-sporting teams, they will train every day, running, cycling, working out, even when at regattas. They also spend long sessions analysing races and performance.

This high-pressure environment requires a particular type of yacht owner. One who exhibits more than just leadership. The owners like to race with familiar crew, with whom they can build a relationship. But, to be successful in this rarefied world, they must be able to lead, encourage and drive in equal measure. Their crew must be just as passionate and committed. They must be prepared to constantly test personal skills and those of their teammates against the very best. A satisfying experience when it all goes well; a bruising one when things goes wrong. Hard work and humility are pre-requisites at the Rolex TP52 World Championship, where to win is a huge achievement and to lose is simply part of competing against one’s peers.