The Audi MedCup Circuit fleet is gathering for the second regatta of the season, the Marseille Trophy.

After a windy opening to the season of five regattas in Portugal, France, Spain and Italy, Marseille’s famous Rade Sud and Nord race courses in June are widely expected to offer a greater range of wind conditions than the blustery Portuguese season opener.

While the Marseille Trophy was officially launched today in France’s second city, on the water next week hopes will be shared between the TP52 Series where the Franco-German Audi Sailing Team powered by ALL4ONE will be looking to get on to the podium with their new Vrolijk design, skippered by Jochen Schuemann and Sebastien Col.

But in the five strong Soto 40 class there is a strong Marseille flavour aboard XXII which will be in the hands of renowned local skipper Alain Fedensieu, past Admiral’s Cup winner, Tour de France á Voile victory and three times French offshore champion. As in Portugal, the Audi MedCup Circuit organisers have made the XXII Soto 40 available to a local crew and Fedensieu has a team including Figariste Nicolas Berenger on the helm, match racer Nicolas Deberque trimming the headsails, 49er campaigner Nicolas d’Ortoli also

“We are really looking forward to having our first sail together Monday on the Soto 40.” Remarks Fedensieu. “Clearly hearing feedback from the first regatta the class is a success and the boat we have can be in the match as it was second in Cascais. And so that is a great challenge for us here. We can hopefully rely on our technique, our enthusiasm and our knowledge of our local, home water to be able to do well.”

“This is the fourth time the Audi MedCup Circuit visits Marseille and it has become the reference city in France for us. When we evaluate the venues we take into account the enthusiasm of the public, the city’s infrastructure and the racing conditions, and over all of these aspects Marseille is 10 out of 10.” Fernando Inigo, Director of the Audi MedCup Circuit said at the launch today. “In 2010 the audited impact of the Marseille Trophy amounted to almost 10 million Euros. And in Marseille this time we are anticipating seeing between eight and ten different owners who are interested in the circuit for the future.”

Among the invited guests who will sail on board the eight TP52’s and five Soto 40’s over the course of the regatta will be Arnaud Boissières, skipper of the IMOCA Open 60 Akena Vérandas, who finished seventh in the 2008-9 Vendée Globe, who will sail with the Cascais Trophy and current Audi MedCup Circuit leaders Quantum Racing (USA) on Wednesday.

Didier Réault (FRA), Conseiller Municipal de Marseille à la Mer, au Nautisme, et au Parc National des Calanques Conseiller Général des Boûches du Rhônes:

“Marseille is accomplished when it comes to hosting events as prestigious as the Audi MedCup Circuit and I am delighted that this Circuit will be staged from the Vieux Port again. It is an event which evolves all the time and which combines a very high level of competition and a great public access and interest with a strong shore-side entertainment and animation. Economically it is very important, deriving 3.5 million Euros of direct return for the city.”