The America's Cup has announced the appointment of several race officials for the first event of the 2005 racing season

The America’s Cup has announced the appointment of several race officials for the first event of the 2005 racing season, the Valencia Louis Vuitton Acts 4 and 5 beginning on the 16 June.

Peter ‘Luigi’ Reggio will return as Principal Race Officer, the same role he had for the 2004 Louis Vuitton Acts. He will be joined by New Zealander Harold Bennett, the Principal Race Officer for the last two America’s Cup Matches in New Zealand, Rafael ‘Rafa’ González, from Madrid, and Javier Escolano Hernández from Cádiz.

With additional Competitors for the 2005 season, the Louis Vuitton Acts in Valencia, Malmö-Skåne, and Trapani will require two racecourses operating simultaneously during the match racing portion of the events. In Valencia, Peter Reggio and Rafa González will be on one racecourse, with Harold Bennett and Javi Escolano in command of the second race area.

“This is a very strong team of Race Officials,” said Dyer Jones, the Regatta Director for the 32nd America’s Cup. “All four officials bring a wide range of international experience and ability, and have earned the respect of the sailors through consistently good Race Committee work over the years.”

Peter Reggio has been involved in race management for nearly 30 years, and has been a full-time Race Official since 1996, working on a wide range of events internationally including World Championships for everything from Finn class dinghies to Maxi yachts. ‘Luigi’ was Deputy Race Officer for the 1999/2000 Louis Vuitton Cup, and Principal Race Officer for the 2002/2003 Louis Vuitton Cup.

Similarly, Harold Bennett has been involved in yachting administration, coaching and race management for 35 years. He’s been the National Youth Coach in New Zealand, and coached sailors at six Olympic Games, from Los Angeles in 1984 to Athens in 2004. Bennett was Princi pal Race Officer for the ‘Road to America’s Cup’ regattas, as well as the 30th and 31st Matches for the America’s Cup.

Javier Escolano Hernández served as Reggio’s Deputy Race Officer for the 2004 Valencia Louis Vuitton Acts. He has previously held a variety of race management roles for World Championships and European Championships, as well as international Spanish events such as the Princess Sofía Trophy, Barcelona Olympic Week, Carnival Race, and the Hispanidad Trophy.

The fourth member of the race management team, Rafael ‘Rafa’ González has served as Regatta Director or Principal Race Officer for 21 World Championships over the past 15 years. He held both posts for the 2003 ISAF World Sailing Championship, and is among the most senior and experienced race officials in Spain.

“I’m really looking forward to working with Javier and ‘Rafa’ again,” said Peter Reggio. “Both of them are excellent, experienced, Race Officers. Harold Bennett will be responsible as Principal Race Officer for the second race area, and his experience from the past two America’s Cup Matches will be invaluable to all of us in ensuring that Acts 4 and 5 run as smoothly as possible.”