The 2012 Audi Medcup season for TP52s and Soto 40s is suspended as its key sponsor pulls out

In a media statement issued today Tuesday 6 December, Audi states that it will be withdrawing its sponsorship of the popular Medcup series for 2012.

In addition, World Sailing Management (WSM), organizers of the MedCup sailing circuit also issued a statement confirming that the 2012 series for both the TP52 and Soto 40 classes would be suspended.

WSM cited ‘uncertainty regarding the number of boats, mainly in the 52 Series’, a ‘lack of financial resources available to local authorities in their bid to become potential venues for the events of the circuit’ and ‘a decrease in the support needed from AUDI AG’, as the three main reasons for the suspension of the event.

The organsiers also stated that, ‘WSM will continue to work during 2012 in order to overcome these difficulties, confident that it will be able once again to provide the sailing world with the spectacle that the MedCup Circuit has always been.’

The Audi release read as follows:

Audi restructures sailing commitment

   * Concentration on events in individual countries
   * MedCup: Audi gives up role of name-giver and sponsor
   * Kieler Woche continues to bear the symbol of the Four Rings

AUDI AG is restructuring its commitment in international sailing. Effective immediately, Audi is placing the main focus on supporting national activities and large-scale sailing events, while giving up the role of name-giver and sponsor of the MedCup regatta series.

Audi had been the title sponsor of the MedCup since the beginning of the 2008 season. Most recently, two boats sporting the colors of the carmaker based in Ingolstadt – Audi Sailing Team powered by ALL4ONE and Audi Azzurra Sailing Team – competed in the event as well.

“Wherever Audi is engaged in international sailing our brand stands for sporting competitions at the highest level,” stresses Lothar Korn, Head of Marketing Communications of AUDI AG. Sailing, he says, is one of the core sports of Audi’s sponsoring commitments. “However, in the future we want to put a stronger focus on sailing events in individual countries – be it through the continuation of boat partnerships, commitments at tradition-steeped regatta weeks or at national regatta series,” Korn adds as he explains the decision.

The regattas supported by Audi include the “Copa del Rey” off the coast of Majorca, for instance, the national Audi Sailing Series in Italy or the Kieler Woche, which is the world’s biggest sailing festival, attracting three million visitors every year.

Audi is paying special attention to the future of German competition sailing. Since 2010 the company has been supporting Sailing Team Germany, the German national sailing team, providing cars to the top sailors and pool vehicles for travelling to and from the regattas and practice sessions. The commitment is aimed at accompanying the talents on their way toward the 2012 Olympic Games in London in the best possible manner.