Emirates Team New Zealand moves to get Alinghi to Auckland for Louis Vuitton Pacific Series

Emirates Team New Zealand has announced that it will withdraw its legal action against Alinghi to ensure the success of the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series. ETNZ managing director Grant Dalton said yesterday (27 October) that Alinghi has committed to sending a competitive team to Auckland if the legal proceedings were withdrawn.

“I have talked to Brad Butterworth and have confirmed our position in writing. It is our view that this regatta – and Alinghi’s participation in it – is an important initiative towards repairing the harm that recent events have done to yacht racing at this level.”

“For that reason we are prepared to respond positively to Alinghi’s commitment to the regatta by meeting its condition of discontinuing our proceedings.”

Dalton said the regatta promised to be a big event for New Zealand, with Louis Vuitton apparently well on their way in organising it.

“For obvious reasons the regatta would not be the same without Alinghi’s participation,” Grant Dalton added. “For a start our sailing team would like nothing more than meeting Butterworth and his team on Auckland Harbour in January-February.”

The Louis Vuitton Pacific Series will be sailed from January 30 to February 14 2009. 23 sailing teams have expressed an interest in competing and up to 12 teams can be accommodated.

Alinghi has yet to comment, however the announcement last week that they were seeking to have an America’s Cup regatta organised for 2010, would seem to go a long way towards satisfying Team New Zealand’s requirements for certainty as to the dates of the next America’s Cup.

If Alinghi does compete in the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series, it will mean that the 12th position in the series is taken. It will also provide the opportunity for Alinghi to race against BMW Oracle Racing, who are also entered in the Louis Vuitton organised event.