Audi MedCup in 2010

We look at the new campaigns and boats modifications we will see on this year's TP52 circuit
In 2010 the TP52s will have a very different look as they contest the Audi MedCup. As a first stage before they change to a wholly new rule in 2011, the boats for this season will be faster, losing their spinnaker poles in favour of a bowsprit and A-sails, changing to a flat top main with twin backstays rather than the IMS-style single backstays, plus there will be more lead on the bulb, less crew and less sails, plus several other cost-saving measures. Several Audi MedCup competitors have been sailing recently on Matador owner Alberto Roemmers’ new Argentinian-based King Marine-built IRC 52 Lola, which in terms of its vital statistics is very similar to how the TP52s will be this year. "Upwind it was great. As a showcase of how the new boats will be - the manoeuvres are so easy, so simple - it is a fantastic boat," says Audi MedCup organiser and navigator, Nacho Postigo. While there is the potential for up to 15 teams to be competing on the Audi MedCup this year, the organisers are expecting there to be around 12 TP52s regularly sailing in 2010, up from the ten that took part in all the regattas in 2009. Among the hot contestants for 2010 will of course be the 2009 Audi MedCup winners, Emirates Team New Zealand, but they will face stiff competition from the new TeamOrigin entry led by Mike Sanderson. Sir Keith Mills’ America’s Cup team is using the MedCup as an opportunity to put their design, engineering and build teams through their paces prior to the 34th America’s Cup, with Juan Kouyoudmjian and his Valencia-based team having penning a new boat - this time presumably without the solid backstay that featured on his TP52 for Frank Pong, that failed to measure back in