Two new cities
After several years as potential candidate venues for the Audi MedCup, Barcelona and Cascais/Lisbon, are now confirmed on the circuit's schedule for 2010.
World Sailing Management and city representatives of Barcelona and Cascais have now reached agreements to ensure that these venues will be two of the five, constituting the 2010 Audi MedCup Circuit.
"It’s realising a dream for us in many ways," said Nacho Postigo, Technical Manager. "We have been wanting to go to Barcelona for a long time. In sailing it is one of the most renowned Spanish venues for every sailor, and also to Cascais, where strong wind should be assured."
Cascais, in May
The Audi MedCup Circuit 2010 schedule opens with an entirely new venue. The year's first event will take place over 11-16 May in Cascais. Few cities in Europe can offer the weather conditions which the Portuguese city enjoys in spring and summer. The reputation for strong, consistent winds was apparent when the city hosted the 2007 ISAF World Sailing Championships, and the venue is open to the Atlantic which should ensure big swells.
"The usual race courses for the regattas held in Cascais start within the bay, where the prevailing wind is typically 10 knots, and from there, the boats sail to windward towards a mark set in front of the cape. There you can find 25 knots wind,” states Postigo.
The regatta is set to be the 'Estoril Circuit' of sailing, potentially one of the most exciting regattas of the season, a great curtain raiser, which may result in images similar to those from the big days off Cartagena, where the boats surfed spectacularly over, and occasionally through, lumpy swells several metres high.
After the Cascais Premiere, the Audi MedCup Circuit moves to Marseille, where the second event of the season will take place over 15-20 June.
Barcelona, in July
Barcelona will host the third event of the 2010 Audi MedCup Circuit over 20-25 July. At this time of year the Catalan capital city enjoys great thermal winds of the southwest, known as Garbí.
As well as the pleasant summer weather conditions, Barcelona is the perfect showcase for the circuit, richly endowed with the experience and infrastructure of a city which holds many sailing competitions in Spain from the 1992 Olympic Sailing Regatta to the Race in 2001 and the Barcelona World Race in 2008. The 2010 Audi MedCup Circuit event benefits from the full participation of the city hall in the organisation of the events which will ensure a lively race village ashore in addition to the competition itself out on the water. And of course as a backdrop, the major European city needs no introduction as a cultural, architectural, culinary and nightlife capital that few can rival.
With these new two additions, Nacho Postigo stresses the importance of bringing the Audi MedCup to three of Europe's big cities: "Cascais is very much a satellite suburb of Lisbon, and we can highlight then that this year that the Audi MedCup Circuit will be held in three big European citites: Lisbon, Barcelona and Marseille."
After Cascais, Marseille and Barcelona, for the third time the Circuit expects to receive an enhusiastic welcome in Cartagena in Murcia, Spain (over 24-29 August) and for the final event of the season in Cagliari, Sardinia over 20-25 September).
New rules mean a better show.
The 2010 season will not only have new venues, but also new rules, which will make the boats faster and more spectacular. The TP52s new configuration includes a square topped mainsail, as well as bigger assymetric spinnakers on bowsprits instead of a spinnaker pole. Crew numbers are cut by two, which makes sailing more testing and more exciting. Also new is the new guest spot onboard every boat for each race.