Eight teams to compete at Louis Vuitton Trophy Auckland in March

February 2010

Eight teams to compete at Louis Vuitton Trophy Auckland in March In just six weeks time, during the Southern hemisphere Summer, eight of the best sailing teams inthe world will race a Louis Vuitton Trophy match race regatta in Auckland New Zealand.

Just over a year ago the inaugural regatta was sailed in Auckland, the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series. Ten of the best sailing teams in the world, including the current Challenger and Defender of the America’s Cup, competed over two weeks in a match race regatta in two pairs of supplied boats. The boats used were ACC yachts from the 2007 America’s Cup and all teams rotated through the four boats.

The formula was renewed at the Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice regatta in November last year, a regatta whose provisional media return resulted in a value of over nine million Euros gathered from over 1200 articles, 354 hours of TV on 400 channels in 163 countries. The next regatta will be the Louis Vuitton Trophy Auckland from 9 – 21 March 2010.

Following the success of last year’s antipodean regatta the event organisers, the World Sailing Teams Association (WSTA), along with the city of Auckland decided to adjust the dates to enhance the public spectacle. The regatta, which runs from 9-21 March, will be staged from the same venue and at the same time as the Auckland International Boatshow (10-14 March) in Auckland’s Downtown Viaduct Basin, the venue for the America’s Cup in 2000 and 2003.

The WSTA member teams entered for the Louis Vuitton Trophy Auckland regatta are from seven countries. Unlike last year, the host Emirates Team New Zealand, skippered by Dean Barker, will not get an automatic pass to the regatta finals, but will have to earn the right to be there by passing through the round robin and semi final stages with a winning record.

The seven other teams hoping to also make it to the finals and ultimately prevail are:

Aleph (France, skipper Bertrand Pacé)

All4One (France/Germany, skipper Jochen Schumann)

Artemis (Sweden, skipper Paul Cayard)

Azzurra (Italy, skipper Francesco Bruni)

Mascalzone Latino Audi (Italy)

Synergy (Russia, skipper Karol Jablonski)

TEAMORIGIN (Great Britain, skipper Ben Ainslie)

Following the Louis Vuitton Trophy Auckland regatta the WSTA’s member teams will race in La Maddalena, Sardinia (22 May – 6 June), then in Dubai, UAE (13 – 27 November) before Hong Kong in early 2011 (9 – 23 January).

At a press conference last week in Dubai, HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of the Emirates Airline Group, explained that the Louis Vuitton Trophy Dubai would be held at Mina Seyahi, the home of the Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC), located next to the world famous Palm Jumeirah.

„This is a real coup for Dubai. We are honoured to be part of this fantastic event which has rapidly emerged as a renowned spectacle of sport followed by millions around the world.“

Yves Carcelle, Chairman and CEO of Louis Vuitton replied by saying: „Louis Vuitton has been present in Dubai for more than 10 years. We are thrilled that in 2010 we can further build on this relationship through a great sailing event, while reinforcing the age-old Dubai tradition for sailing regattas.“

About World Sailing Teams Association (WSTA)

World Sailing Teams Association (WSTA) was founded in 2009 by a group of professional yacht racing teams to develop high-level competitive racing events. The WSTA is jointly owned by its preferred shareholders and represents the interests of the teams for fair and highlycompetitive racing. The WSTA, in conjunction with title partner Louis Vuitton, co-organizes the Louis Vuitton Trophy.

About Louis Vuitton

The world leader in luxury, Louis Vuitton has been synonymous with the art of stylish travel since 1854. Since 1987, it has been part of LVMH/Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton, the world’s most prestigious luxury goods group headed by Bernard Arnault. Since 1997, with the arrival of the designer Marc Jacobs, it has extended its expertise to women’s and men’s ready-to-wear, shoes,

watches and jewellery, glasses, combining traditional craftsmanship with flair and innovation to create a complete lifestyle experience. Today, Louis Vuitton has an exclusive network of stores all across the world.