Puerto Portals, 29 August 2019 - The 52 SUPER SERIES is at the forefront of monohull yacht racing, uniting powerful carbon-fibre boats, professional organisation and the world’s finest sailing talent. The pinnacle event of this season-long competition is the Rolex TP52 World Championship. Held this year in the Bay of Palma off Puerto Portals, Mallorca, it was contested in typically pulsating and combative style by 11 yachts from eight countries. After nine races, Harm Müller-Spreer’s Platoon emerged victorious.
In securing the world title, the German crew showcased the qualities required to succeed at the highest level – outstanding teamwork, precision and determination. Official Timepiece of the 52 SUPER SERIES and Title Sponsor of the World Championship since 2017, Rolex’s association with grand prix yachting dates back to the late 1950s.
Such is the quality of the crews at the Rolex TP52 World Championship, one team rarely dominates from the outset. The 2019 edition was true to form: frenetic starts, tense finishes and six different race winners; the virtuoso performance followed by the compromised. The tiniest error punished ruthlessly by world-class rivals.
Quantum Racing from the United States arrived as the defending champion. Following last year’s victory in Cascais, the make-up of Doug DeVos’s crew had altered significantly. Unchanged was the thirst for victory. “Winning in any sport is hard. You have to keep learning and improving,” explained DeVos. “The world championship is important. Put that title on something and everyone is especially focused. The competitive level is going to be the highest.” Quantum had her moments early on, but ultimately fell short of last year’s standards.
Going into the final day, Platoon was the only yacht to have finished no lower than fifth. World champion in 2017, Müller-Spreer’s crew are no strangers to success at this level. Their performance on the penultimate day, two commanding victories from three races, proved decisive in securing not just the overall lead but, significantly, some breathing space at the top of the leaderboard. That space was needed on the final day when, with pressure mounting and the stakes at their highest, Platoon struggled to impose herself. With a lead under serious threat, the mark of a champion is to remain clear-headed and to persevere. Despite setbacks at the start of the last two races, Platoon worked hard to minimize the losses to nearest rivals Azzurra. The effort proved enough to win by a single point.
“We had to keep our heads up. It’s never over until it’s over. To be world champion for a second time is a great achievement,” remarked Müller-Spreer at the finish, while paying tribute to the quality of the opposition. “Anyone can win a race in this competition. There is no slow boat in the fleet. It is all about crew management, sailing the boat fast, working together.”
SUPPORTING THE BEST
Rolex’s longstanding involvement in yachting encompasses many aspects of the sport, from gruelling 600-nautical mile offshore races to some of the world’s most revered inshore series. The Swiss watchmaker’s most recent partnership is with SailGP, the global competition featuring cutting-edge foiling multihulls and, which shares a great deal in common with the 52 SUPER SERIES, particularly in demanding excellence both on and off the water.
Australian Kyle Langford is one of few sailors to have experienced both circuits, as wing trimmer for Team Australia in SailGP and as strategist on Gladiator in the 52 SUPER SERIES. “The two events represent the pinnacle of monohull racing and the pinnacle of foiling,” explains Langford. “I am very fortunate to be able to sail at the top level in two very different competitions.”
Langford identifies what unites the two formats is the gruelling competition and need to deliver flawless performances on the racecourse. “The margins on the water are tiny,” he explains. “You can make one mistake and come last; you do things perfectly and you might just win.”
At the 2019 Rolex TP52 World Championship, Platoon came closest to delivering perfection, earning the plaudits of their peers and lifting the coveted World Championship trophy. While winning is a tremendous accomplishment, Müller-Spreer will be acutely aware that defending his crown will be even harder. His rivals will redouble their efforts in their perpetual quest for excellence.
A NATURAL AND SUPPORTIVE PARTNER
Rolex has always associated with activities driven by passion, excellence, precision and team spirit. It naturally gravitated towards the elite world of yachting six decades ago and today supports the most prestigious clubs, races and regattas. The brand is Title Sponsor of 15 major international events – from leading offshore races, such as the annual Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and the biennial Rolex Fastnet Race, to grand prix competition at the Rolex TP52 World Championship and spectacular gatherings at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and the Rolex Swan Cup. It also supports the exciting new SailGP series, where national teams race in supercharged F50 catamarans on some of the world’s most famous harbours. Rolex’s partnerships with the likes of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, New York Yacht Club and Royal Yacht Squadron are the foundation of its enduring relationship with this dynamic sport.
AN UNRIVALLED REPUTATION FOR QUALITY AND EXPERTISE
Rolex, a Swiss watch manufacture headquartered in Geneva, is recognized the world over for its expertise and the quality of its products. Its Oyster Perpetual and Cellini watches, all certified as Superlative Chronometers for their precision, performance and reliability, are symbols of excellence, elegance and prestige. The word “Perpetual” is inscribed on every Rolex Oyster. But more than just a word on a dial, it is a philosophy that embodies the company’s vision and values. Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of the company, instilled a notion of perpetual excellence that would drive the company forward. This led Rolex to pioneer the development of the wristwatch and numerous major watchmaking innovations, such as the Oyster, the first waterproof wristwatch, launched in 1926, and the Perpetual rotor self-winding mechanism, invented in 1931. Rolex has registered over 500 patents in the course of its history. A truly integrated and independent manufacturing company, Rolex designs, develops and produces in-house the essential components of its watches, from the casting of the gold alloys to the machining, crafting, assembly and finishing of the movement, case, dial and bracelet. Furthermore, Rolex is actively involved in supporting the arts and culture, sport and exploration, as well as those who are devising solutions to preserve the planet.
For further information on Rolex and Yachting please contact:
Ms Virginie Chevailler
+41 22 302 26 19
Mr Giles Pearman
+41 79 763 37 34