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TP52 | THE ELUSIVE SECRET INGREDIENT

SailGP Technologies has an x-factor that is second to none in the world, says world-renowned sailor and TP52 team manager Don Cowie, and the Transpac 52 yacht Sled, launched in February 2018, is a shining example.

In fact, there are two aspects of SailGP Technologies that Olympic Silver Medallist and former America’s Cup crew member Don Cowie, credits with the extreme success of Sled on the international grand-prix race circuit.

The first is a suite of manufacturing technology that only exists in its facility in Warkworth, north of Auckland in New Zealand.

This includes an 18m long CMS Poseidon five-axis CNC machine that can achieve the finest precision detail, and the most accurate measurements of any machine of its type in the world.

The second ingredient, says Don, is the people: a core team who have worked together in the business for a very long time. Like a good sailing team, the manufacturing team at Core Composites has depth, he says, and that means excellent outcomes in finished products.

Eight Transpac 52 (TP52) yachts were built in 2017 for the 2018 European season. Sled stood out for being both light and fair. Fairness (a nautical term for smoothness) in a yacht equates to pure speed in the water.

“That comes from the technology and the ability to build the tools very accurately,” Don says of the CNC machine that creates the tools - also known as moulds - from which the hull of Sled was constructed.

“You can have all the right equipment, but without the right people you can’t create boats like this,” says Done Cowie.

Sled is owned by Takashi Okura and sails under an US Flag. In November 2021 the team were crowned 2021's 52 SUPER SERIES champions and Rolex TP52 World Champions in Palma, Mallorca.

The TP52 is an ISAF-registered class of yacht that is built and sailed to a box of rule. There are TP52s around the world, and the class races together on a professional circuit called the 52 Super Series. TP52s are a single masted, fixed keel mono-hull with a single rudder and maximum hull length of 15.85 metres (52 ft), beam width of 4.43 metres (14.5 ft), keel draft of 3.5 metres (11 ft), along with a minimum total weight of 6,975 kilograms (15,377 lb) and maximum keel bulb weight of 3,800 kilograms (8,400 lb).

Core Composites became SailGP Technologies in 2022.