Valencia – After a year away from the world’s leading grand prix monohull class, Russian owner-driver Vladimir Liubomirov will return to the 52 Super Series in 2019 armed with a brand new boat, Bronenosec, which will be a Botín Partners development of 2018 champion Quantum Racing.
The decision to build a new boat for 2019 reflects the experienced team’s desire to find an edge in the highly competitive 52 Super Series fleet. Although it will be built from the Quantum Racing/Alegre mould at Longitud Cero near Valencia in Spain, a new appendage package has been created for Bronenosec, which should represent an improvement over the 2018 boats.
After a one year hiatus, Liubomirov is coming back to the circuit with a will to win. Many of the core TP52 crew have been retained from 2017 and from other Bronenosec campaigns. Tactician will be American Morgan Larson who returns to be complemented by strategist Sime Fantela, Croatia’s 470 Olympic gold medallist and 2018 49er world champion helm.
Expectations among the team are already high as project manager Alberto Barovier says:
“The build at Longitud Cero is already well under way and we plan to launch in April. We are pushing hard on all fronts with this project so that everything is ready on time and we are in the best possible shape to succeed.”
Initially the new Bronenosec was set to be the Luna Rossa that won two of this season’s five regattas, but the decision was taken to build new, Barovier explains:
“We received a series of new appendage design ideas from the Botín design team that confirmed the smartest option is to build a new boat. This means we should get some advantages over the rest of the fleet. And here we are trying to build a good, fast boat that can be fully ready for Mahón in May at least with the same speed as the rest of the fleet.”
Canadian Volvo and America’s Cup winner Curtis Blewitt joins as bowman. Barovier will move off the bow and in to the cockpit where his long experience can be more influential.
“Working from the Quantum Racing and Alegre mould, our starting point is working from the championship winning benchmark boat, Quantum Racing, which won three of the five events last season. A new boat is always an advantage and then it is down to the small details and how you refine and optimise. We will have the new keel, bulb and rudder – as others may, too – but a new boat is always a new boat and it should come with the potential to be the fastest in the fleet. But even if we start in Mahón on equal terms to the other top boats that is a great starting point.”
Barovier adds: “The team is very strong and we are looking forward to being able to sail with these guys because it will be a competitive, but fun boat. I think the fact of having a crew that mixes experience and young blood will give us an advantage. We are aiming to be competitive from the first races and to be at the same level as the rest. Our owner-driver Vladimir Liubomirov is very focused on a successful programme.”
The plans are for Bronenosec to be launched at the end of April in Valencia where they will sail for a week of training. Then they will join other TP52s at PalmaVela in early May before going directly to Mahón, Menorca where the 2019 52 SUPER SERIES starts on May 21.