Pierre Orphanidis at Vsail.info is the man on the spot on Valencia, and today he posted some insight into what really chased Audi away from the Medcup. Here’s a short excerpt of his longer report, which includes some early details on 2012’s TP52 and Soto 40 action.
The TP52 owners had two meetings on Wednesday. The first one took place in the morning and [Medcup co-founder] Postigo and Triay gave their version of why the 4-year commercial relationship with AUDI came to an abrupt end a couple of weeks ago and presented their plans for a new Medcup circuit in 2013. It seems that neither AUDI nor the TP52 owners are happy with the way Santa Monica Sports, the company that bought the Medcup rights from Postigo and Triay, managed the circuit and destroyed a great relation and a rich funding with one of the world’s best brands. In these times of worldwide crisis you don’t find a deal every day, even less in sailing, that pumps 4-5 million euros a year in your circuit.
Santa Monica Sports has a very profitable business in Spain, being the holders of the commercial and merchandising rights of the national football (soccer) team. Nevertheless, it’s one thing holding the rights of the world’s best team in the world’s most popular sport and a completely different thing setting up a circuit in a, definitely, niche sport. After four years of management there was a sense of alienation and distrust between Santa Monica Sports, AUDI and the yacht owners. I don’t know what Postigo and Triay told the TP52 owners but I would be surprised they convinced them.
Following that meeting, the TP52 owners headed to Jacaranda Marketing’s offices where they discussed with AUDI representatives the potential racing formats for next year. There appears to be a keen interest from the German car manufacturer to keep supporting the class, although I don’t know right now what form this support will have. Again, the proposed calendar calls for 5 or 6 events, always within top international regattas. There seems to be an interest in three Spanish events (Valencia, Palma and Barcelona), the Kieler Woche and one or two in Italy, possibly at Rolex regattas. One of our sources mentioned that the new circuit could be called “AUDI Sailing Cup” and that the winner of each event will win, in addition to a beautiful trophy, a very cool AUDI Q7 car… Read on.