New Fleet of 52s on the West Coast

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Victor Wild’s Fox emerges from the factory in Auckland.

If the name Manouch Moshayedi sounds familiar to our readers, it should. The Newport Beach-based sailor owns and skippers the Bakewell-White 100 Rio100. But he’s also keen on a design that’s half the size of Rio. “Last year my friend Victor Wild, the owner of the 2006 TP52 Bud, decided to upgrade to a newer version and searched around for a 2011 boat, but after meeting with Gavin Brady, he decided to build a new boat instead,” writes Moshayedi.

“Cookson’s in New Zealand had already built a 2015 boat that was designed by Botin Partners and one that was designed by Judel/Vrolijk, so they had the molds available. Gavin had built a second boat at Cookson’s out of the Botin mold for another owner, so building a third boat was quite easy, and they proceeded to build a new boat for Victor called Fox.” The new boat arrived in San Diego at the end of March.

A TP52 start at the 2015 Worlds in Puerto Portals, Mallorca. Imagine a sight like this on the West Coast!
A TP52 start at the 2015 Worlds in Puerto Portals, Mallorca. Imagine a sight like this on the West Coast!

Moshayedi discussed the boats with a few other owners. “By talking to Gavin, the builders and suppliers, we discovered that if we buy all the materials in bulk we could save almost 30% off the cost of a new boat, and therefore we went forward with getting the specs and pricing together.”

The boats will be based on the latest design by Judel/Vrolijk. “There are some improvements over the boats in the SuperSeries in the Med that we have made specifically for California sailing, including taller masts, larger mains, larger jibs, larger spinnakers and lighter displacement,” explains Manouch. “These boats were designed with offshore racing in mind to make them more waterproof. All the sheets and lines are placed on deck and, to prevent leaking, don’t penetrate the deck; the hull will have foamcore which is more suitable than Nomex for offshore and deliveries.”

A view of Fox's big open cockpit.
A view of Fox’s big open cockpit.

Moshayedi believes that the new boats will be faster upwind, faster reaching and faster downwind than the TP52s that race in the Med. “There is absolutely no better racing than on a TP52,” he says. “Racing these boats on a boat-for-boat basis is extremely exciting. This is the best way to race — just bring your boat and whoever gets to the finish line first is also first in class.

The SoCal owners are planning for six inshore regattas per year plus two offshore races as a class. Rolex Big Boat Series will be on the regular yearly agenda of the fleet, and they might also race their boats as a class in Key West Race Week.

“We have set up the rules so we could race these boats more cost-effectively than in the SuperSeries by limiting the number of paid crew on board and the number of sails that could be purchased every year. Our class will also be strictly for owner-drivers,” says Moshayedi.

A view of Fox's big open cockpit.
A view of Fox’s big open cockpit.

Cookson’s is building two boats, and Premier Composite Technologies in Dubai is building one. They should all arrive in California during March 2017. Among the new owners are Frank Slootman of Invisible Hand fame and Moshayedi himself, who added, “We are actively looking for any other owners who would also order boats. Our goal is to build a fleet of at least 10 boats on the West Coast, and I think once people find out that there are already four here doing boat-for-boat racing, there’ll be interest from others.”

Even though they come from TP52 molds, the new boats can’t be called that. “We don’t have a license to use that name, as it belongs to the guys in the Mediterranean. Go figure — Transpac boats in the Med but not in California. We’ve chosen ‘Pacific 52’ as the name of our boats and fleet.” Or, ‘Pac52’ for short.