The first three Acts in the four-year story of the 32nd America's Cup will take place this year

The first three Acts in the four-year story of the 32nd America’s Cup will take place during September and October, 2004, with three regattas to be sailed at two different venues.

Michel Bonnefous, the CEO of AC Management, organiser for the America’s Cup, made the announcement on the occasion of a gala dinner hosted in Paris by Louis Vuitton.

Bonnefous said: “We are delighted to be able to divulge the 2004 competition programme for the 32nd America’s Cup here, at the home of our friends at Louis Vuitton.

“When we unveiled the plans for the 32nd America’s Cup last November we spoke of an exciting new format for the competition, the dawn of new era for this already epic saga.

“We see the America’s Cup as a play, whose theatre is Europe, whose main venue is Valencia, and whose story will unfold, as in a play, across a number of acts. The first three Acts of the 32nd America’s Cup will take place in 2004, several more in 2005 and 2006. The climax of any play comes with the final Act, and in 2007, we will bring you the Louis Vuitton Cup and the America’s Cup Match, the denouement of our story.

“But back to 2004, with Act 1 in Marseille, and Acts 2 and 3 in Valencia – we are sure the first scenes in this play will be full of characters and emotion, action, drama, and intrigue, setting the scene for what is to come later on.”

The location for the disclosure of the sports programme for 2004 was the family house of Louis Vuitton in Asnières, Paris. Hosting the evening was Yves Carcelle, President of Louis Vuitton, and present among his guests were, Francisco Camps Ortiz, Presidente de la Generalitat Valenciana, Rita Barbera, Mayoress of Valencia, and France Gamerre, Adjoint Mayor of Marseille.

Yves Carcelle commented: “I am delighted that these first Acts, which bear the name Louis Vuitton, will be in Marseille and Valencia – two cities which share a long passion for the America’s Cup. I am also happy to see the programme coming together so quickly, and that the hard work of AC Management is already bearing fruit.”

Representatives of the Defender Alinghi, along with the three French Challenger projects, Le Défi, K-Challenge and Team France were also amongst the guests, all of whom declared their intentions to compete this year. Several other projects are expected to join them in the races in Marseille and Valencia. The Defender, Alinghi, and the Challenger of Record, Oracle BMW Racing, will attend all three Acts.

The Marseille Louis Vuitton Act will feature an exciting format of both fleet and match racing, over a week-long programme.

One month later the America’s Cup teams will get their first taste of racing in Valencia during Act 2 of the 32nd America’s Cup. Spanish fans of the America’s Cup are to be treated to a spectacular double billing of action as the latest ACC boats battle just metres from the shore.

Racing for Act 2 begins on 5 October with a dramatic match race event based in the host city of the 32nd America’s Cup and will conclude with a spectacular celebration on Spain’s National Day, on 12 October. Act 3 concludes the season with four days of fleet racing beginning on the 14 October.

The 2004 Sports Programme for the 32nd America’s Cup

Marseille Louis Vuitton 5-11 September

Act 1 of the 32nd America’s Cup Fleet and Match Racing

Valencia Louis Vuitton 5-12 October

Act 2 of the 32nd America’s Cup Match Racing

Valencia Louis Vuitton 14-17 October

Act 3 of the 32nd America’s Cup Fleet Racing