It has emerged that AUDI will cease support for America’s Cup Team Germany and its TP52 “Platoon. Harm Müller Spreer, the only German owner in the Audi Med Cup, is not willing to pay for a 2009 campaign on his own. Planned construction of a new TP52 yacht has also stopped.
Skipper, Jochen Schuemann, said he is disappointed with AUDI’s decision. Even thought the new contracts were about to be signed, and all parties had good intentions, the financial crisis was blamed for the deal not being concluded.
“We were just a small part,” says Schuemann, but that didn’t change the outcome. “We only had a one-year contract, which had to be renegotiated”. The title sponsorship of the AUDI Medcup series remain intact as the contract runs for three years.
The German America’s Cup ambitions have also come to a screeching halt. Alinghi and the rest of challengers have so far held three meetings in Geneva, discussing the rules and regulations of the 33rd America’s Cup. Schuemann was only present in the first one and didn’t attend the other two. A week ago, the team also withdrew from the Louis Vuitton Paciffic Series after 400,000 euros was taken off the table by potential sponsors.