Audi Med Cup for TP52 and GP42 – Forward Thinking.

It’s amazing how many competing series there are. With a limited number of sailing fans, with limited amount of travel budget, doesn’t it make sense to pool resources and combine several classes of boat into one travelling show? The organisers of the Audi Med Cup seem to think so. In 2009, the TP52 Class will be joined by the exciting GP42 class.

The MedCup is in its fifth year and is widely regarded as the most competitive yacht racing circuit of its kind, attracting the top owners, skippers, sailors and boat designers alike.

Five cities in four different countries will host the series of regattas for both the 52’s and 42’s over five months from May through to September this year. Racing for the TP52’s will consist of the traditional five days of racing with four of these on windward-leeward courses and one coastal race whilst the new division of GP42s will have four days of inshore racing.

Although each of the events can be considered individually from a sporting point of view, it is winning the overall circuit that is seen as the top achievement.

Audi MedCup Circuit Director, Ignacio Triay:

“We are very pleased to introduce a second racing division to the Medcup Circuit. The MedCup Circuit is the ideal platform for box rule classes and we expect both to benefit from this decision. We are looking forward to accommodate the teams at all five venues and are confident we will again supply them with the highest level of competition and facilities. We expect to see a combined fleet of eighteen yachts competing this year on the Circuit.”

We hope that the initiative is successful. Here are some of the reasons why combining series together makes sense:

  • More efficient use of resources including broadcasting capabilities and media = better sponsor ROI
  • More leverage with host cities – through more competitors and more specators = better sponsor ROI
  • Less complicated calendar of events. Spectators more likely to travel = better sponsor ROI
  • Increased hospitality and networking opportunities = better sponsor ROI

So why isn’t this kind of thing happening more? Could it be that rights holders are a little bit greedy? That they don’t want to share sponsorship deals, television rights money, host city concessions? Could it be that they would rather have sailors sailing their class, giving them more opportunity to sell their boats and charge management fees?

We aren’t even advocating consolidation of classes,  just that the calendar be simpler for competitors and fans alike.