Published: Tuesday, 10 July 2018

The Rolex TP52 World Championship, taking place from July 17-21 in Cascais, Portugal, will feature nine racing teams from around the world.

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(Photo: Rolex)

The competing teams will represent Brazil, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Turkey, UK and the US. The defending champion, Harm Müller Spreer’s Platoon from Germany, will have its work cut out to retain the title won last year, given that the teams have launched new boats this season in an effort to ensure their racing platform is at its competitive best.

The Rolex TP52 World Championship forms part of the 52 SUPER SERIES, which across the first two events of the season in Croatia, only one boat failed to post a top-three finish over the 16 races sailed.

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The winners of the first event of the year were five-time world champions Quantum Racing. The American team has been boosted by the addition of the America’s Cup star Dean Barker.

Another team to boast talent in its ranks is Onda from Brazil. The team owner, Eduardo de Souza Ramos, is a double Olympian in his own right and his all-Brazilian crew features five-time Olympic medallist, twice Rolex World Sailor of the Year and Rolex Testimonee, Robert Scheidt as tactician.

Hasso and Tina Plattner, co-owners of the South African entry Phoenix, are relative newcomers to the TP52 circuit and, on the surface, exhibit more experience in a different racing arena: the maxi yacht world.

The Plattners have accumulated overall wins at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup in 1997 and 2007, and, Rolex Middle Sea Race in 2006, together with line honours at the Rolex Sydney Hobart in 1996. However, the Phoenix crew includes three-time 52 SUPER SERIES winning skipper Ed Baird, another former Rolex World Sailor of the Year, and, second place overall at the second regatta this season.

The Rolex TP52 World Championship will begin on July 17 (Tuesday). The new world champion will be declared at the prize-giving on July 21.