Following the announcement of the LV Pacific Cup, BMW Oracle provide two more boats. Matthew Sheahan reports
Amid the chaos and confusion that reigns in the America’s Cup, Louis Vuitton appears to have struck a chord among both teams that are waiting on the sidelines and the two teams that have been locked in legal disputes.
Having announced its plans to hold a match racing series in Auckland in January/February next year, the organisers of the Louis Vuitton Pacific Cup were expecting 6-8 teams to take part in the event which was to use a pair of Team New Zealand’s version five Cup boats.
“We’ve had very strong interest for this friendly event,” said Yves Carcelle, president of Louis Vuitton. Within a week of it’s announcement, 23 teams expressed interest – and eight teams registered and paid their fees while three more completed their entry form.”
“It will be exciting to see Russell Coutts back at the helm at this level of competition against Emirates Team NZ ‘s Dean Barker,” added Carcelle.
Yet perhaps the most surprising news is that of the two big guns that have been locked in dispute since shortly after the end of the America’s Cup.
“Thanks to the kind offer of BMW Oracle to loan two fully-equipped race boats, we are able to expand the entry list to 12 boats,” said Louis Vuitton spokesman Bruno Troublé.
Stranger still is that Alinghi is said to be on the brink of taking part in the event, subject to some final details being agreed.
The following teams have officially entered:
Host : Emirates Team New Zealand
K Challenge (France)
Mascalzone Latino (Italy)
BMW Oracle Racing (USA)
China Team (China)
Team French Spirit (France)
Australia First (Australia)
Team Shosholoza (Republic of South Africa)
Three more teams have entered, but will announce their participation at a later date.
The Louis Vuitton Pacific Series is being held in association with the New Zealand Government, Emirates Team New Zealand, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS), Auckland City and Sky City Entertainment Group.
Three daily match races are planned on a two-mile windward-leeward course laid at the entrance to Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour, between Rangitoto Island and the city foreshore. There will be a daily draw to decide which yacht competing teams will sail that day.