Audi MedCup Circuit: Commitment for a bright future
Driving down costs whilst raising performance and participation. These are the fundamental principles which the Audi MedCup Circuit are firmly committed to for the 2010 season.
In the wake of a very successful 2009 Audi MedCup Circuit, the organisers, stakeholders and boat owners involved in the world’s leading regatta circuit are committed to making further savings to reduce participation costs for teams, to step up the performance and competitiveness of the TP52’s, to further highlight the success of the GP42 Series, as well as continually improving the return for team sponsors in both Series.
The savings which apply to the TP52 Series are principally the reduction of crew numbers and costs, limiting the number of pre-regatta training days allowed, and a further cut in the TP52 sail allowance for the season. According to Audi MedCup Technical Director Nacho Postigo the net savings over the season for a typical top team would add up to around Euros 200,000.
At the same time, in order to enhance the commercial return to sponsors or to offer owners and crews the chance to take their private guests out racing, there will now be one guest spot on board the TP52 Series and the GP42 Series boats in each race of each regatta.
The guests will effectively be right in the middle of the action, each and every race. Crews may choose to change guests each race if they wish, but the clear requirement is that they can have no influence on the performance of the boats, keeping their legs and torso inside, sailing towards the back of the boat.
Crew Weight: DOWN, Costs: DOWN, Performance: UP
The weight limit for ‘active’ TP52 crew has been reduced to 1050kgs for 2010 Audi MedCup Circuit, down from 1273kgs this season. Not only will this reduce costs – saving an estimated at €30-50,000 per season – but it will make the boats more challenging to handle with fewer crew.
But the performance of the TP52’s will be given a significant boost with bigger spinnakers set on a bowsprit, square top mainsails and added weight in the keel bulb.
Sail Allowance: DOWN, costs: DOWN
The number and type of sails has been reduced again for the 2010 season. No longer are expensive masthead Code Zero type headsails allowed (together with their furlers, stays and hydraulic rams). Only 15 sails can be measured in for the season (against the 19 + 3 allowed in 2009), and only four jibs and four spinnakers can be carried on board. Exotic, costly materials have been outlawed for spinnakers which can now only be manufactured in woven polyester or nylon.
Practice Days: DOWN, costs DOWN, public visibility: UP
The 2010 Audi MedCup Circuit will now limit the number of ‘in-venue’ practice days for all teams. For example all of the TP52 Series fleet must now be at the dock by the Friday evening, and moored in the Audi MedCup Village through the first Saturday to allow for public visiting the boats. Sunday and Monday will then be registration and unofficial practice days whilst the Official Practice Day for the TP52’s will be the Tuesday; the GP42 class will follow a similar schedule with the boats available for public visit on Saturday and racing their practice race on Thursday. Both classes racing will end up on Sunday (except for the last event of the circuit), allowing this way for more public to be present both on the water and at the village on the last two days of racing.
For potential participants, the Audi MedCup Circuit has also drawn up a comparative set of guideline budgets, which represent, typically, both ends of the spectrum, to campaign a GP42 or a TP52.
The budget range for a GP42 is between €467,000 for a charter program covering all five regattas to about €992,000 for a full new build winning boat program, based on selling the boat at season’s end.
For the TP52 the entry level program is reckoned on being around €800,300 for the season to €1.78m to achieve a potentially winning program based on a new build boat which is sold at season’s end.
Against these budgets it is also worth noting that in 2008 a Top 5 TP52 Programme generated an estimated €2.3m of media impact on TV and in the written press across the six European countries monitored, Spain, France, UK, Germany, Portugal and Italy (*source Sport&Markt).
Torbjorn Tornqvist (SWE), owner of three new Artemis (SWE) in successive years:
“I see a responsibility as an owner. If we look after owners then we have a class. IRC and handicap racing is not the answer. Under IRC racing with boats in very light winds come first and in strong winds come last. So what is that? It is never going to be fair. MedCup is real time sailing and that is what is it all about. You can understand that we start at the same time and first over the line wins. Handicap will always be a compromise. They are exciting boats. Sailing always has to adapt and update. We have a new mainsail on, bowsprit and so the boats will look a bit more modern. For the spectator they want to see situations around the top mark…as a photographer and media. Sailing, I think the great thing is the tight situations, and for spectators it is great.”
Afonso Domingos (POR) skipper of Bigamist 7 (POR):â€¨
" There has been no comparison between our budget and that of other teams. But we have proved certainly this season that even with a small investment it is possible to win races and to be challenging regularly for first place. This was the season where we did spend a little more, with a new boat (to us, the former Platoon), some new sails and some more professional sailors, but that has led to fifth overall and eight race wins over the season (second to Emirates Team New Zealand in victories in the TP52 fleet)."