British America's Cup sailing team have confirmed its entry in the new Louis Vuitton Trophy regatta

British America’s Cup sailing team – Team Origin – have confirmed its entry in the new Louis Vuitton Trophy regatta.

This event, the first of a set of match race regattas, to be sailed in America’s Cup Class yachts, begins in Nice in five weeks time (7-22 November) where eight teams from seven nations have so far entered and are expected to compete. The Louis Vuitton Trophy regattas then plan to move on to events in four other venues around the world in 2010.

Team Origin’s entry in the Louis Vuitton Trophy regattas rounds out the team’s sailing programme for 2010, which includes competing in the Audi MedCup series (in TP52s) and the World Match Race Tour. The ‘Race for Change’ programme announced by the team two weeks ago in London presented the team’s strategic partnership with their Environmental Partner, the Carbon Trust, along with a compelling Partnership proposition to attract commercial partners.

“When looking at the sailing programme for the end of 2009 and 2010 we wanted to compete in the events that would give all parts of our team and not just the sailing team, further hands on operational experience,” said Sir Keith Mills, Team Principal.

“From the point of view of the Louis Vuitton Trophy regattas, we decided to become a preferential shareholder in the parent company, as well as to allow our America’s Cup training yacht, GBR-75, to be used as one of the race boats for the forthcoming Nice event. The Louis Vuitton Trophy regattas are owned by the teams themselves through the parent company, the World Sailing Team Association (WSTA), and are promoted and organised in association with Louis Vuitton and a local yacht club in a democratic and transparent manner. This is something we feel strongly about and we intend to play an active role in the management of the series,” concluded Sir Keith.

“With this arrangement our shore crew are actively involved in preparing and maintaining the boats and keeping the teams racing during the event and our management team are involved in the commercial and event management side of the project. This enhances Team Origin’s preparations for the America’s Cup”, added Mike Sanderson, Team Director.

Each of the five Louis Vuitton Trophy regattas take the form of a match race event consisting of round robins, semi-finals and finals, similar to the format used at the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger races for the America’s Cup from 1983 to 2007. The races are sailed in America’s Cup Class boats provided by the organisation so that competing teams rotate through the pairs of boats as the event progresses.

“From a sailing point of view we have put together about as an ambitious a sailing programme as we could possibly want for an America’s Cup challenger in waiting. A combination of match racing in big boats at the Louis Vuitton Trophy regattas against some of the best teams in the world, plus a match race programme in smaller boats on the World Match Race Tour, along with competing in the fleet race keelboat series racing TP52s in the Audi MedCup. I cannot think of a better way to push the sailing and overall team to develop in areas that will benefit us for the long term,” commented Ben Ainslie, Skipper and Helmsman.

Team Origin is back on the water this week at the World Match Race Tour event in Hamilton, Bermuda (Argo Group Gold Cup) where the team of Ben Ainslie, Iain Percy, Christian Kamp and Matt Cornwell will race against 23 other teams in what promises to be a hotly contested event. Racing starts tomorrow (Tuesday 6 October) and goes on until Sunday 11 October.