New boats prepare for start of Audi MedCup
Monday 16 May 2011
A baptism of bubbly, with glitches, for two of the new boats in the new Audi MedCup turns into a baptism of fire when the start gun for the first race sounds off Cascais, Lisbon on Wednesday.
French film star Jean Reno, actually he’s Morrocan with the Spanish-sounding name of Juan Moreno y Herrera-Jimenéz whose parents came from Andalusia, and German model Eva Padberg, were on hand to christen the Franco-German 52-foot Audi. Padberg, who, according to Wikipedia was also an ambassador in 2005 for Kia and, in 2007, Mercedes-Benz, took six attempts to make the bottle break.
Princess Zahra Aga Khan, who father is head of a Shi’a religious group, also founded the Costa Smeralda resort of Porto Cervo and the yacht club based there, took on the same role for Azzurra. Of the 12 crew, seven are Argentinian, with one British and one Australian. Not surprising, as the entry has been put together by the Argentinian Alberto Roemmers out of his Matador team
Her first attempt saw the bottle bounce into the water and slide beneath the waves. It took three more hefty swipes with the second bottle to complete the ceremony.
Six of the eight boats in the TP52 fleet are new, not least the British-built and run Rán. No fuss and bother from its quiet owner, Niklas Zennström, one of the founders of the internet comms company Skype, recently sold to Microsoft for just over £5bn.
He has recruited Gavin Brady as helmsman with Tim Powell in day-to-day management control to campaign a boat designed by Rolf Vrolijk and built by Bill Green in Lymington.
Back with a new boat is the American Quantum team, with a new skipper in Ed Baird but continuity with British tactician Adrian Stead. The Russian Synergy team is also has a new boat built out of the same mould as Quantum, designed by Marcelino Botin.
Joining the TP52 fray is Tony Langley, who out a toes in the water last year and has bought the former Artemis, and a name known for the years on the international circuit, Udo Schutz, again flying the Container flag.
Also in typically low-key style is the return to the international yacht racing circuit of Britain’s Tony Buckingham, who has bought one of the new Soto 40s which have replaced the GP42 yachts which used to take part in the Audi MedCup circuit.
It costs about the same for a Soto 40 hull as it does for a TP52 rig and, at €400,000 fully equipped, is less than half the cost of a GP42. In its debut year in the MedCup series there are five, but predictions are that that could easily double in 12 months’ time.
There are five regattas in the calendar, the next four being in Marseille, Cagliari, Sardinia, Catagena, Spain, and Barcelona.
Class also runs a world championship finale in October, which this year goes to the home of its new contenders, Azzurra, in Porto Cervo.
New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain
By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen
New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning
Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy
Latest in Sport
Manchester City vs Manchester United combined XI: No place for Yaya Toure... or any United defenders
Sami Khedira transfer news: Arsenal can win the Premier League if they sign Khedira in January, says Perry Groves
Manchester City vs Manchester United analysis: Manuel Pellegrini has no excuse for City's lack of a Plan B, writes Danny Higginbotham
Chelsea injury list: Loic Remy lead the Blues' absent players while Diego Costa is set to return
Radamel Falcao: Manchester United ready to seal permanent transfer of striker as 'everything is complete' to extend his Old Trafford stay
- 1 Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
- 2 Topshop at centre of row over body image as 'shocking' skinny mannequin photo goes viral
- 3 Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson criticised for beer tweet
- 4 The bubble bursts for Sodastream
- 5 If you think Russell Brand’s new book is confused, you should read what his critics have to say about it
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Maureen Lipman says 'she can't vote Labour while Ed Miliband is leader'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything