Jose Cusi, Pedro Mendonca, Alberto Roemmers

They are a remarkable group of committed owners, their passion for competitive sailing undimmed over the years. Their crews are like family to them and their long lineage of successful boats carrying the same name have made them known all through the sailing world, and beyond.

They are ambassadors, innovators and sportsmen with a desire for success.

The MedCup Circuit was started by a group of such individuals and it has continued to attract discerning, experienced owners who thrive on the close competition which the class provides with the crucial mix of real time racing – first past the line wins – but also the scope of Box Rule designs which allow them to explore different design ideas.

We salute three of the Audi MedCup Circuit’s best known and most supportive owners, Jose Cusi (ESP), Alberto Roemmers(ARG) and Pedro Mendonca (POR).

A presentation to this esteemed trio was made in Cartagena by Jaime Yllera, President of the TP52 Medfleet, Nacho Postigoand Ignaci Triay, from Audi MedCup. In the absence of Alberto Roemmers, the half model was accepted by Matador’s skipper Guillermo Parada.

José Cusí and Bribón

For many sailors around the world the name Bribón is entirely synonymous with big boat racing in Spain. 

José Cusí’s interest in different sports led him in to sailing and to become one of the most renowned owners in the sport. There have been so many Bribóns over the years that he chose not to number them.

Since the first Bribón, an Elvström 30’ half tonner launched in 1972, the long history of José Cusí boats has always enjoyed the participation of HM King Juan Carlos, with whom he has shared many race campaigns, including some of the world’s most prestigious regatta series such as the Admiral’s Cup, the Sardinia Cup and other world championships.

But, as with other Mediterannean owners, a growing dissatisfaction with time allowance, handicap racing, and his innovative spirit lead him to choose to build a Transpac 52, Bribón. With its own regatta circuit and asam bassador of the Owners Association, Cusi’s three TP52’s Bribons  have competed in each and every regatta on the MedCup Circuit since the start in Punta Ala (Italy) in May 2005.

After the IOR and IMS boats, Josep Cusí has built two TP52s for the five seasons he has been competing.  The first year was a Bruce Farr design new for 2005 whilst the current boat is a Judel/Vrolijk design launched in 2007. The current Bribón won her first regatta ever, the City of Alicante Trophy of 2007, then the Region of Murcia Trophy in 2008, finishing that season in second position of the Audi MedCup Circuit 2008.

Alberto Roemmers and Matador-Alexia

There are few owners with such a passion and fascination for sailing and racing like Argentinian Alberto Roemmers, a sailor since he was kid in Mar de Plata at the Yacht Club Argentino.

Roemmers has owned many yachts, but maybe the best known and the one that he owned for longest was Valentina, keeping her for many years and sailing in different local regattas. But it was not until 1995 that Roemmers started his international career as owner of racing yachts. With the 74 foot Farr maxi Maximizer he stepped up to the international circuit, changing a year later to Windquest, which after being painted became Alexia.

It was not until 2003 that Roemmers started building his first thoroughbred, the Maxi Wally 100 designed by Javier Soto, launched in 2004 and still sailing.

The Matador lineage went parallel to the Maxis, and the first Matador was launched in 1998, a 40 foot designed also by Javier Soto to race in IMS, followed by a 46 foot designed by Marcelino Botín in 2005.

The first TP52 Matador was launched in 2007, and in 2009 Roemmers launched the new boat, racing in the Audi MedCup Circuit 2009.

Alberto Roemmers raced with all his boats in the most prestigious regattas along the American East coast and Europe. The list of victories includes the Newport-Bermuda, the Fastnet Race and the Copa del Rey, which he has won twice, in 2007 and 2009. But maybe his biggest success was winning the Maxi Worlds in 2002 and 2004, both in Porto Cervo, Sardinia.

On the MedCup Circuit, Matador was 3rd overall in 2008, won the City of Alicante Trophy in the first event of this season, and lies second after four events in 2009.

Respected and admired by the world’s sailing community, Don Alberto is known as a kind and gentle person, but very demanding while racing with his crew. He loves racing, and therefore, he is always aiming the victory. His guys say that he is got a very good mood, and therefore is the one motivating the team in the tough moments.

The Matador-Alexia history has a strong future thanks to the passion of Alberto Roemmers’ sons, Alberto Jr. and Pablo Roemmers, who are part of the team for many years.

Pedro Mendonça and Bigamist

Pedro Mendonça, the owner of Bigamist 7 has a long and distinguished sailing career following in the footsteps of his father who was a Portuguese Olympic sailor Ernesto Mendonça. Pedro got into sailing in Porto, in the Lusito division of the well known Mocidade Portuguesa. At the age of 18 he stepped into in dinghy classes, starting to sail on Snipes and Sharpie 12 and then into the 470 and Laser after he had moved to Lisbon.  

Pedro would also sail on board his father’s “Foxhound”, where he started to pick up the elements of what makes a good crew, learb learn about organisation and discipline. At the age of 35, he became owner of his first yacht, a 33 ft whith which he would participate in many races in the Algarve. The “Bigamist I” was a boat which won the Admiral’s Cup in 1989 with her previous owner, Tony Castro.

The term “Bigamist” comes from the idea of creating a word including the word “Big”. The Bigamist lineage has included a Farr 41 and a BH41, apart from other designs. Pedro Mendonça has won several titles in the course of his long sailing career, but he recalls specially when he won the Catavino de Oro in the Osborne regatta of 1999.

Pedro Mendonça’s debut in the MedCup Circuit was in 2006 with his regular crew, including great sailors and long time friends, a core of non professional sailors who still race with him on Bigamist. This year, without doubt, they have been one of the revelations on the Circuit, tipped as the most improved crew by their friends and rivals.  After buying the 2008 built Judel Vrolijk designed Platoon, the Portuguese owner fulfilled a dream, adding at least one race win in each regatta of this season to retain a placing in the top five of this 2009 Circuit.

In 2009, the number of professional sailors onboard Bigamist 7 has slightly increased, but in words of Mendonça “we are still a crew made up of friends. The professionals and owners here share the same responsibility and values.”

The Bigamist crew are strong contenders on the shore too. The not very high quality photo on the right was taken at the Veni Vidi Vici Party where some roman helmets temporarily changed ownership. Pedro wearing one with great dignity and style.