Where next for the TP52s and Soto 40s?

Ian Roman Photography / Audi MedCup
Lower key circuit looks likely to go ahead in 2012
Audi pulling out of the MedCup, after contact renegotations failed to be resolved, is one of the most significant blows the sport of grand prix yacht racing has suffered in this recession. It comes at a time when budgets are being tightened across the board and less funding is becoming available from venues, this latter income representing a significant part of the MedCup’s annual war chest. So with World Sailing Management announcing yesterday that the MedCup will not be going ahead in 2012 – what will fill the void? Yesterday’s news didn’t come as a complete shock to those involved in the circuit who were aware of the breakdown in negotiations between WSM and Audi. It seems that initial discussions have been taking place for the last couple of weeks on a Plan B, or what might happen in 2012 if the MedCup was to disappear. Next week in Valencia meetings are due to take place between the TP52 and Soto 40 teams, their owners and their respective class associations to plan a path forwards. While it is early days obviously, Rob Weiland, the TP52 Class Manager, expects racing in the Mediterranean next year will continue with a similar format to previous years with roughly one race per month over the summer. However this circuit is likely be set up by the TP52 class in a considerably lower key way ie without the same level of media and corporate hospitality jamboree featured at Audi MedCup events. Weiland believes that the outcome for the MedCup may have been different had the owners and teams and the class association had more involvement in the circuit’s running. So, if all comes to pass, it looks like racing in the Med for the TP52s and Soto 40s will return to its roots in 2012, joining in at big