TP52 Audi MedCup season wrap

Ian Roman Photography / Audi MedCup
The Cup teams deciding to stay; Ray Davies on Emirates Team New Zealand's performance
This autumn, perhaps more than any other, a lot of maths is going on in different classes at the top end of inshore sailing. How many boats/teams will be competing next year in the Audi MedCup? In the 34th America’s Cup? In the Extreme Sailing Series? How many new boats will there be? Earlier this year more gloomy predictations were anticipating the death of the TP52 class and the Audi MedCup. Ten TP52 teams competed regularly this season, plus the Portugese boat Bigamist 7, which sailed three of the five regattas. Of these six – Emirates Team New Zealand, TeamOrigin, Luna Rossa, Synergy, All4One and Artemis – were considered potential America’s Cup challengers and at one point all looked set to depart the MedCup once the details and schedule for the 34th America’s Cup were known, leaving the TP52 fleet terminally depleted. In fact at present the outcome is looking not nearly so bad. Audi has signed up to back the circuit for another three years and there are only three teams are departing for sure. Emirates Team New Zealand sold their boat at the beginning of the season to Australian Marcus Blackmore, best known for campaigning the Farr 40 Emotional Hooligan. Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis team, led by Paul Cayard, is also heading for the Cup and won’t be continuing with their TP52 campaign, in 2011 at least - Tornqvist is a keen owner-driver having won the Audi MedCup in 2007, but there probably won’t be much opportunity for him to steer on a solid wingsail catamaran. TeamOrigin had the only new TP52 built for 2010 with the Juan Kouyoumdjian design Ben Ainslie and his crew have spent this year working up. Early reports indicated that the boat was going to be IRCed and then head for the UK where it would be campaigned