Emirates Team NZ, Artemis and Matador to race in 2009 Audi MedCup Circuit

Three new, recently launched TP52s are on schedule to compete in the first regatta of the 2009 Audi MedCup Circuit. Emirates Team New Zealand, Artemis (pictured) and Matador will race for the first time in Alicante between the 12 and 17 May. The new Matador will also race at the Palma Vela, which takes place over this Easter weekend off Palma.

The start of the season has always proven tough for crews getting to grips with new, relatively un-tried and tested boats. Often the advantage has lain with teams with proven TP52s that they know from the previous season. But all three new boats have launched early and seem to be well up to speed with their build-up to this year’s season.

In New Zealand, the Cookson Boats built duo Artemis (SWE), the Judel-Vrolijk design for 2007 MedCup Champion owner Torbjorn Tornqvist and Emirates Team New Zealand’s Botin Carkeek design have been tuning and testing together on Waitemata Harbour last month before they go on a ship for Europe.

The third new boat is that of well-known Argentine owner Alberto Roemmers. The new Matador was built by Argentine company King Marine, and was launched in mid March. Roemmers’ previous Matador, also a Judel Vrolijk design, finished in third place on the 2008 Audi MedCup Circuit.

Audi MedCup Circuit Director, Ignacio Triay, explained: “There is a lot of expectation on those three new boats, especially the one from Emirates Team New Zealand, a team joining the Circuit for the first time with a very revolutionary design. In theory, we are talking about the three favourite teams this year, but I’m pretty sure those racing with 2007 and 2008 designs won’t make their life easy.”

Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) sailors have played leading roles on the MedCup Circuit since the first season. In 2006, Peter de Ridder’s winning Mean Machine core team was from ETNZ. The second placed Warpath was steered by ETNZ’s Louis Vuitton Cup winning skipper Dean Barker.

This is the first season that ETNZ will race a TP52 in its own colours. “It is always exciting to launch a new boat. A huge amount of man-hours are required to tick all the boxes,” explained the Team’s Ray Davies. “I feel Marcelino desiged a great boat in Quantum last year and this boat is a clear evolution of that family. We have had a lot of input from ETNZ sailors and designers and now we look forward to seeing how she performs.”