Audi AG signs for MedCup Circuit TP52 Class racin

TP52 fleet setting out on the coastal race in Puerto Portals - Spain, 21 July 2007 .
Audi AG has signed a three-year contract to become the title sponsor of the MedCup Circuit which will feature the TP52 Class racing in six regattas over five months in four countries.

Now in its fourth year the circuit, to be called the Audi MedCup Circuit, features the TP52 Class. It is the world’s leading regatta circuit, the keelboat racing class of choice for America’s Cup teams, professional sailors, owner-drivers, Olympic Champions and Royalty.

Last year the circuit featured five events with a total of 24 teams from 12 countries competing in a mixture of inshore windward-leeward courses and short, day-long coastal races.

For 2008 the Audi MedCup Circuit will run between early May and mid-September. This year the circuit will also feature a sixth event and with just two months to run to the entry deadline already the fleet looks to be every bit as impressive as last year’s. Currently no fewer than eight new TP52 yachts are in the final stages of construction around the world, all to be launched and made race ready before the first regatta in May where they will join the already impressive fleet. To add to that a seriously impressive line-up of top international sailing stars are already committed to competing for the title of Audi MedCup Circuit Champion.

The first event, as last year, will be hosted by the City of Alicante in Spain and will run between the 12th and 17th May. The second will be hosted in the Vieux Port of Marseille, France between the 2nd and 7th June. The third will be run from the capital of Sardinia, Italy, the city of Cagliari, between 30th June and 5th July. The fourth regatta will see the fleet make a return to the eternally popular Puerto Portals Marina in Majorca, Spain between 21st and 26th July. The fifth regatta will be held in the region of Murcia, Spain between 25th and 30th August, and the season closer will see the fleet racing in Portimao, Portugal between 15th and 20th September.

Winning the Audi MedCup Circuit is really difficult as it requires the best score from all races run across the six events that make up the season. Unlike past seasons this year there will be no discard races allowed at all. Mistakes or breakages will prove extremely costly to a team’s overall score and title chances, increasing the importance of consistent and reliable performance by the teams across the whole year.

The winners of the last three seasons – 2007 Artemis (SWE), 2006 – Mutua Madrileña-Mean Machine (MON) and 2005 - Mutua Madrileña (CHI) - are all back to compete in the 2008 Audi MedCup Circuit, all three with brand new boats. The American, German and Spanish America’s Cup teams are also dedicating themselves to the circuit this year, each also with a brand new boat and each with its star-studded crew.

“Four years ago we set up the MedCup Circuit to provide racing for the TP52 Class which was in its infancy at the time. Since then the Circuit has grown not only in numbers but in stature too. It now represents the pinnacle of keelboat racing in Europe and probably the world. To have the circuit recognised by a company like Audi AG is a really good step for us in keeping the MedCup Circuit advancing and setting the standard at the forefront of international yacht racing,” commented Nacho Postigo, Regatta Director.