Saturday, 5 March 2011
With just under 12 weeks until the first Trophy regatta of the season the 2011 Audi MedCup Circuit is taking final shape and is set to feature no fewer than 11 brand new build boats across the well established TP52 Series Class and the new Soto 40 class
Circuito Atlantico Sur Rolex Cup 2011 © Rolex.
by Sabina Mollart-Rogerson
“We are just delighted with the response that we have had from owners and potential owners for this coming season. When we set up the Circuit originally we were aiming to build and keep developing a racing platform which has longevity, offering exciting close races each year to high level competitive owners and top crews and this is still being delivered.” Comments Nacho Postigo, Technical Director of the Audi MedCup Circuit, the competition which is bringing in much new blood for this season. The also co-founder of the Circuit believes that the level will not drop one single milimetre on the previous season, “indeed I think it might be higher”, says Postigo.
Six new build TP52’s are expected. Previously announced are Synergy (RUS), Quantum Racing (USA), Rán (SWE), Container (GER), Audi Sailing Team powered by ALL4ONE (GER) and a sixth boat which will be sailed by the very successful Matador (ARG) team, the details of which have not been made public yet. “We have a group of owners with new units who are investing in the best boats they can have, and will similarly be ensuring they have the top talent available on their programmes. All will be trying to be the best of the best, and will want the best of the best,” says Postigo.
Also the Soto 40 Class is flourishing with more than 20 boats built and launched now. Judging by feedback since the decision was announced in Cagliari, Sardinia last September, this European debut season for the 40 Series on the Audi MedCup Circuit will be closely watched by a wide audience, but especially by potential owners, many of whom have already indicated they are interested in building boats for 2012 and beyond.
“The 40 Series is going to be very interesting as a one-design class where there is no design evolution allowed, and so we will see the South American teams who have experience of the class up against some of the best sailors in Europe and the way they set up and campaign their boats. I think that the standard and the action will be at a higher level than we saw with the smaller boat class last season,” says Postigo. The fleet is becoming increasingly well established as the reference new 40 foot One Design globally.
Of the five 2011 Audi MedCup Circuit venues, four are already set for return visits to cities which featured in the 2010 itinerary in Portugal, Spain and Italy, while final negotiations in France are being progressed. The final 2011 schedule is expected to be published in around 15 days time.
There will be Owner-Driver trophies in both the 52 Series fleet and in the 40 Series fleet, with at least almost half of the Soto 40’s expected to be owner driven and a growing number of owner-drivers in the 52 Series. These trophies will be awarded across the season long championship.