After wishing for more boatspeed following the match racing portion of the RC 44 Valencia Cup, Anders Myralf of Denmark guided James Spithill and the 17 crew to three first place finishes today to wrest control of the fleet racing portion of the regatta.
The 17 crew won the first, third and fourth races, and placed fourth in Race 2. Their low score, however, is 8 points due to a 1 point penalty imposed by the International Jury.
Second place is held by Chris Bake and Team Aqua, winners of the match racing portion of the week-long event, with 14 points on finishes of 2-3-5-4.
Third place is held by Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis at 20 points (5-7-2-6).
“It’s incredible to come down here from Copenhagen and jump into a boat that is so organized and well sailed,? said Myralf, an amateur sailor who races aboard the Farr 40 Nanooq with the Prince of Denmark. “I’ve never seen such a good crew. I’ve got the easiest job on the boat.?
The southeasterly sea breeze that marked the match racing didn’t materialize today until the fourth race, but it lacked its typical punch. Instead, the fleet sailed in mostly an easterly wind between 8 and 10 knots. Only in Race 4 did it shift to the southeast and increase to 12 knots.
The new conditions made consistency hard to achieve. Instead of trusting the right side of the racecourse, some found the left side of the course favorable. Aside from the top two, the rest of the fleet had at least one, if not two finishes out of the top five.
“We were able to stay in the top five, and in this fleet that’s saying something,? said Bake of Team Aqua. “The field was fairly mixed up.?
Another marked difference from the match racing portion are the amateur helmsmen, as required by class rules. In most cases that is the owner driving the light-displacement yacht.
Completing the top five are a pair of Russians: Guennadi Timtchenko and Katusha, placed fourth with 20 points on finishes of 9-1-8-3, followed by Maxim Logutenko aboard BMW ORACLE Racing with Russell Coutts at 22 points (finishes of 10-6-4-2).
For Timtchenko, this is just his third regatta. Ever. He’d never raced before joining the RC 44 Class, but got into it due to Tornqvist, a friend and business associate.
“I raced with Torbjorn aboard one of his boats,? said the 57-year-old Timtchenko. “The RC 44 is the right class for me. It’s an interesting boat, fast and maneuverable. I make a lot of mistakes, but my crew gets me out of trouble.?
Marring an otherwise great day, 17 was penalized 1 point by the jury after a protest from Islas Canarias Puerto Calero and owner Daniel Calero.
At the start of Race 4, Puerto Calero was the windward yacht with 17 overlapped to leeward. Puerto Calero alleged that Spithill, the professional helmsman, took the helm. Class rules state that the professional may take the helm only on safety grounds.
Puerto Calero maintains that Spithill took the helm to help push them over the line early. Puerto Calero was on the course side at the start.
According to International Jury chairman Bill Edgerton, Spithill said in the protest hearing that he had a hand on the wheel, but only to help turn the yacht down to avoid potentially hitting Puerto Calero.
“We didn’t want to have them disqualified, but we wanted to raise the issue that it is against the rules,? said Daniel Calero.
RC 44 VALENCIA CUP
(Fleet racing provisional results)
1. 17 / Anders Myralf (USA) 1-4-1-1, 8 points*
2. Team Aqua / Chris Bake (UAE) 2-3-5-4, 14 points
3. Artemis / Torbjorn Tornqvist (SWE) 5-7-2-6, 20 points
4. Katusha / Guennadi Timtchenko (RUS) 9-1-8-3, 21 points
5. BMW ORACLE Racing / Maxim Logutenko (USA) 10-6-4-2, 22 points
6. No Way Back / Pieter Heerema (NED) 8-2-7-5, 22 points
7. Ceeref / Igor Lah (SLO) 6-11-3-7, 27 points
8. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero / Daniel Calero (ESP) 3-9-9-10, 31 points
9. AEZ RC44 Sailing Team / Rene Mangold (AUT) 4-10-10-8, 32 points
10. Mascalzone Latino Audi Team / Vincenzo Onorato (ITA) 11-5-6-11, 33 points
11. Team Sea Dubai / Harm Mueller-Speer (UAE) 7-8-11-9, 35 points
(* includes 1 point penalty by International Jury)
Small jibs and loose boom vangs were the order of the day as the RC 44 Valencia Cup got underway here in a pumping sea breeze that topped out at 20 knots.
Despite the strong wind off Malvarrosa Beach, the professional crews threw the light-displacement boats around with seeming ease.
In a day that saw seven flights and 28 match races completed, three crews made it through the first five flights undefeated. But only Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis escaped unscathed.
“We started well enough today and the boat was going well through the water,? said Artemis skipper Terry Hutchinson, who finished the day at 6-0. “We had our best day boathandling, and we needed it today.?
Three other teams finished the day with 4-1 records including Russell Coutts and the BMW ORACLE Racing team, Cameron Appleton’s Team Aqua and James Spithill’s 17. Rounding out the top five is Igor Lah’s Ceeref at 3-1 with Rod Davis as skipper.
“We had a good day considering we weren’t able to practice yesterday,? said Davis, who suffered a slight injury when the mainsheet grazed his head. “We went in loose and are quite happy. The boys have been on the boat a long time and that was helpful today.?
The day started mild with an east/southeasterly wind around 12 knots. But with the temperature inland topping out at 90 degrees, it quickly turned wild when the wind shifted to the southeast and built to 16 to 18 knots, with gusts up to 20 knots.
The race committee ordered the small jibs for the fourth flight of races, and VIP spectators were no longer allowed aboard to avoid the risk of injury during transfer from chase boat to race boat.
Corresponding with the increase in wind strength was an increase of incidents. Upwards of eight penalties were issued, three spinnakers ripped, one jib battered and one steering system damaged.
A couple of crews were forced to retire from races due to the damage, but for those who finished you would think the day was a walk in the park.
“This was one of the windiest days we’ve had match racing, but they’re spectacular boats. They come alive downwind,? Hutchinson said.
“My guys did a great job getting me out of trouble today,? said Appleton. “I was the one causing the trouble.?
The match racing portion of the RC 44 Valencia Cup continues tomorrow with another seven flights planned. Thursday is a scheduled practice day for the fleet racing portion of the regatta, which runs Friday through Sunday.
RC 44 VALENCIA CUP
(Match racing, after seven of 14 flights)
1. Artemis / Terry Hutchinson (SWE) 6-0
2. BMW ORACLE Racing / Russell Coutts (USA) 4-1
2. Team Aqua / Cameron Appleton (UAE) 4-1
2. 17 / James Spithill (USA) 4-1
5. Ceeref / Rod Davis (SLO) 3-1
6. No Way Back / Pieter Heerema and Ray Davies (NED) 3-3
7. Team Sea Dubai / Markus Weiser (UAE) 2-4
8. Katusha / Paul Cayard (RUS) 1-3
9. Mascalzone Latino Audi Team / Tommaso Chieffi (ITA) 1-4
10. AEZ RC44 Sailing Team / Christian Binder (AUT) 0-5
10. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero / José Maria Ponce (ESP) 0-5
Two races down and on match point, Emirates Team New Zealand won the Louis Vuitton Trophy La Maddalena today in an action-packed afternoon of match race sailing.
The New Zealand boat that won the Louis Vuitton Trophy Auckland in February prevailed 3-2 against the SYNERGY Russian Sailing Team that had put the Kiwis on the ropes 2-0 after the first race today.
“In the end it comes down to confidence in our team,” said Dean Barker, skipper and helmsman of ETNZ. “It’s hard to believe. It was a long way back from 2-0 down. But the guys stuck with it and they gave us an opportunity that we jumped on. After that we sailed more like we expect to and it feels fantastic to win another event.”
It was the first time in America’s Cup history that a Russian-flagged boat has reached the final of a Louis Vuitton-sponsored event and her mixed Russian and international crew led by Polish skipper Karol Jablonski came very close to clinching the series.
After the finish, boats crowded around the Kiwi winners and a fireboat sprayed water high in the air as Barker and his crew hosed each other down with champagne from two jeroboams and a methuselah of Moët & Chandon presented on board by Louis Vuitton chairman and CEO Yves Carcelle.
The start for the last race of the day set a new record for race turnarounds. The cutoff for competition was 4:00 pm and Principal Race Officer Peter Reggio and his team hustled to setup and signal the start of the last race, less than five minutes after the finish of race three.
A shifty easterly breeze that built slowly in speed provided excellent conditions on a warm, sunny final day of racing. Because there was no wind early, the petit final for third and fourth places was abandoned and the French/German team All4One was confirmed in third place, with Sweden’s Artemis fourth.
Final, Race Two: SYNERGY Russian Sailing Team def. Emirates Team New Zealand, 01:22 – ETNZ had the starboard entry advantage but after a long dialup Jablonski claimed the committee end with the Kiwis to leeward in the middle of the line. ETNZ and Barker were bow out as Jablonski carried them all the way out to the port layline. A right-hand shift carried both boats below the mark and an unsuccessful last-minute effort by Barker to punch through to leeward in a flurry of tacks saw the Kiwi boat make a down-speed rounding 20 seconds astern. Synergy sailed away. Rod Dawson, tactician, Synergy: “It was really satisfying. We wanted the right and Karol did a fantastic job. We felt it was going to shift that way and we controlled the race from that side. The shifts were up to 20 degrees, very tricky conditions…”
Final, Race Three: Emirates Team New Zealand def. SYNERGY Russian Sailing Team , 01:05 – ETNZ trailed by 26 seconds at the first mark but crisper, faster gennaker sets and gybes, and a tactical call half way down the first run, pulled the Kiwis within six seconds at the gate. Under pressure, SYNERGY’s crew fumbled the gennaker takedown bringing the boat almost to a standstill. Minutes later ETNZ led by 156 metres. At the start, Jablonski had conducted a master class in starting tactics, leveraging a starboard entry and controlling a long dialup that led above the line before taking off at the pin on port, with the Kiwis tucked away 22 metres to leeward. Davies said: “It was won down the first run for us. The right side was very, very strong. We managed to pull back close and the pass was down the run. He had a bad rounding but I think we were going to be ahead and on the favored side of the course.” Jablonski said: “That’s the game of mistakes. We gybed on the first run a little bit too early and TNZ had an edge, that’s why we decided to go to the other mark.”
Final, Race Four: Emirates Team New Zealand def. SYNERGY Russian Sailing Team, 00:04 – The Kiwi boat prevailed in a muscular tactical battle punctuated by a flurry of protest flags in 14 knots of breeze. After a spirited pre-start the boats split with the Kiwis on starboard before quickly tacking onto port to control. Barker led by seven seconds at the top mark but the Russians overtook on the run, only to be penalized after contact when ETNZ closed up again. The action was furious and the flags frequent on the last run as Synergy fought to land a penalty on their opponent but Barker kept clear and broke through to win by four seconds with the Synergy penalty still outstanding.
Final, Race Five: Emirates Team New Zealand def. SYNERGY Russian Sailing Team, 01:23 – Synergy claimed the committee end on starboard with ETNZ to leeward and immediately tacked away. The Kiwi boat tacked to cover and it was a replay as they went out to the starboard layline with the Russian boat forced to follow. Barker led by 12 seconds after the run and held off Jablonski in a spirited tacking duel up the second weather leg. Synergy’s hopes were shattered on the run when their gennaker shredded as they trailed by three boat lengths. Davies said: “It was a tough one. But we got there in the end. It was a tricky venue and tough competitors. It was tough to win and we’re pretty darn proud of it. The turning point was on that final run when their spinnaker blew out! In the end, the team keeps backing itself. It was stressful, but like all of these regattas, you just have to win the last race, and we peaked at the right time. Synergy sailed really well as did all of the top boats. It’s been a really close regatta, the closest of these we’ve had…It’s hard to keep people behind us, that’s for sure.”
1. Emirates Team New Zealand
2. SYNERGY Russian Sailing Team
5. Mascalzone Latino Audi Team
8. Luna Rossa
9. BMW Oracle Racing Team
10. ALEPH Sailing Team
A hard-fought battle between Emirates Team New Zealand’s Dean Barker and BMW Oracle Racing’s James Spithill at the Louis Vuitton Trophy La Maddalena today went the Kiwis’ way when the American team lost a penalty call in an aggressive luffing match approaching the second weather mark.
“It was close, just half a metre between the boats, as close as you’d ever want to be,” said Barker, describing the incident . “You could lean across and shake hands if you wanted to.”
Sailed in the blustery 18 to 20 knot winds of a building mistral, the match was the only one sailed today as the wind continued to increase in intensity. Racing was canceled for the day as crews prepared for a second race between the Kiwi boat and Sweden’s Artemis.
Race officials later cancelled all racing on Monday when the heavy winds of the mistral are forecast to make conditions impossible for competition. They plan to resume on Tuesday and complete the remaining races of the round robin on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Today, the umpires penalized Oracle when Team New Zealand luffed their opponent, forcing them up head-to-wind, as the boats raced side-by-side towards the weather mark on port tack.
“They made a gain to the left approaching the top mark,” Barker said. “They were in a position where they probably would have led us around if we didn’t make something happen, so we did a couple of luffs. The first one, we were required to give them room to get clear but they didn’t take the room straight away and make an attempt to keep clear so we luffed a second time and could easily have made contact with them if we hadn’t avoided. The umpires saw it the same way and penalized them.”
The confrontation momentarily cost the New Zealanders the lead and gave the advantage to Oracle, so the umpires added a red flag calling for an immediate penalty turn. The American boat circled before rounding the mark but was judged not to have completed a full turn. The umpires called for a second circle before clearing Oracle.
“It was a good hard race for us. We back our crew work against any team and we came out on the right side of that one,” Barker said. “It’s hard because the emphasis has got to be on keeping the boats apart. We can’t afford any more damage here with one pair of boats already out of action.”
Provisional win-loss leaderboard after Sunday racing
=1. Synergy Russian Sailing Team, 5-4, 5 points
=1. Artemis, 5-2, 5 points
=1. Emirates Team New Zealand, 5-2, 5 points?
=4. TEAMORIGIN, 4-3, 4 points
=4. All4One, 4-3, 4 points?
=6. Azzurra, 3-4, 3 points?
=6. Mascalzone Latino Audi Team, 4-1, 3 points *?
=8. Luna Rossa, 2-6, 2 points
=9. BMW Oracle Racing Team, 1-6, 1 point
=10. ALEPH Sailing Team, 2-4, -2 points *
Just one point separates the top five boats at the Louis Vuitton Trophy La Maddalena after an eventful program of five races sailed today in fresh breezes.
Russia’s SYNERGY Racing Team and the Swedish team Artemis share the top of the point’s table, each with five points. Emirates Team New Zealand, Britain’s TEAMORIGIN and the French/German team All4One are all equal third on four points.
With two days’ competition remaining in the round robin, the pressure began to tell in strong winds this afternoon as Sweden’s Artemis broke a gennaker pole and shredded a gennaker, and a jib began to self-destruct on Emirates Team New Zealand. Both top teams lost their respective races.
The Artemis breakdown was self-inflicted. The Swedish boat skippered by Paul Cayard was pushing to overtake the Russian boat when the pole went overboard, triggering a sequence that saw it trip and explode into pieces before dragging the sail under the boat. Artemis retired. On the Team New Zealand boat, racing All4One, the hapless Kiwis could only watch as the head of their jib began to split in 20 knot winds.
The Kiwis had more success off the water, at least temporarily when the Race Committee gave them a reprieve by ordering a resail of their race yesterday against BMW Oracle Racing. In another twist, the Jury tonight will hear an appeal by Oracle against the resail decision.
The dispute hinges on a safety order issued yesterday telling teams to maintain tension on forestays during spinnaker runs. After an umpires’ protest and a jury decision denied Team New Zealand any chance of a win in their match against Oracle, the organizers relented today, withdrew the safety order and ordered the resail.
Flight Seventeen, Race Two: TEAMORIGIN def. Luna Rossa, 00:37 – They started at speed on starboard with Britain’s TEAMORIGIN bow-out in the leeward berth. Ed Baird steering Luna Rossa was forced away early on port as Ben Ainslie on ORIGIN sailed into more pressure and continued to pull ahead.
Flight Six, Race Two: Azzurra def. SYNERGY Russian Sailing Team, 00:15 – Italy’s Francesco Bruni pulled off a breathtakingly close port cross on the first leg to defeat SYNERGY Russian Sailing Team. On the second beat there were 17 punishing tacks up the 1.2-mile leg but Synergy skipper Karol Jablonski, on the right, could never gain enough ground to get past Bruni.
Flight Twentythree, Race One: Artemis def. Azzurra, 00:15 – Saddled with a penalty in the pre-start Francesco Bruni and his Italian Azzurra team stayed on the attack and took the fight to the Swedish team Artemis around all four legs as the lead changed multiple times. However the Italians were trailing Terry Hutchinson and Artemis by 100 metres at the finish and they were still carrying the penalty.
Flight Eighteen, Race One: SYNERGY Russian Sailing Team def. Artemis, retired – A spinnaker pole overboard at the end of the second run dragged Artemis to oblivion, breaking the pole and shredding the Swedish boat’s spinnaker.
Flight Twenty, Race Two: All4One def. Emirates Team New Zealand, 00:21 – The French/German boat started ahead in the middle of the line on starboard, just ahead of the Kiwis on their weather hip. All4One helmsman Sébastien Col gradually inched ahead and his lead increased as the jib on ETNZ began to self-destruct.
Provisional win-loss leaderboard after Saturday racing:
=1. Synergy Russian Sailing Team, 5-4, 5 points
=1. Artemis, 5-2, 5 points
=3. Emirates Team New Zealand, 4-2, 4 points
=3. TEAMORIGIN, 4-3, 4 points
=3. All4One, 4-3, 4 points
=6. Azzurra, 3-4, 3 points
=6. Mascalzone Latino Audi Team, 4-1, 3 points *
=8. Luna Rossa, 2-6, 2 points
=9. BMW Oracle Racing Team, 1-5, 1 point
=10. ALEPH Sailing Team, 2-4, -2 points *
Mascalzone Latino Audi Team beat Luna Rossa today by just five seconds in a heart-stopping charge for the finish line and chalked up a piece of Italian sailing history. For the first time in seven years of racing in America’s Cup boats, the Latin Rascals defeated their rival Luna Rossa.
The race in light north-easterly winds on the Golfo di Arzachena off La Maddalena was the closest of the four sailed today. Light and fluky winds forced a three-hour delay to the start of competition and curtailed it at day’s end despite an attempt to start further racing.
Luna Rossa was making their debut in Louis Vuitton Trophy racing with 2007 America’s Cup winner Ed Baird as their new helmsman. Baird won the start against Gavin Brady steering Mascalzone Latino and controlled the first three legs.
Closing the weather mark for the second time Brady got out of phase in a series of short tacks and pulled up right astern of Luna Rossa to round just seven seconds behind. The leaders made a conventional bear-away gennaker set while Mascalzone went for a delayed gybe set that led to over 500 metres of separation and an opportunity to grab the lead.
When Baird eventually gybed to cover, Brady was sailing slightly deeper in better pressure. The tables turned and Brady worked out to a 70-metre lead only to see most of it evaporate when he gybed for the finish and the spinnaker sheet came unclipped.
“The end of the spinnaker was flying out loose and Alan Smith, our bowman, clipped onto a spare halyard and swung out over the water to capture it and clip it on again,” Brady said. “We knew it was going to be close but by then we had overstood and came flying into the mark with plenty of speed.”
In other races:
Flight Four, Race One: All4One def Azzurra, 00:20 – At the first cross it was All4One on starboard with a healthy two-boat lead. Sebastien Col steered the French/German alliance to a 28-second delta at the top mark and controlled the rest of the way.
Flight Four, Race Two: ALEPH Sailing Team def BMW Oracle Racing 00:28 – Bertrand Pacé steering ALEPH sailed a cool-headed tactical race to counter an aggressive attack by America’s Cup winner James Spithill. The French led by seven seconds at the top mark only to have Spithill execute a breathtakingly close inside overtaking move around the bottom mark. Pacé’s protest was green-flagged but Spithill had to tack away to clear his air. The windward mark delta was just six seconds before the French extended to win by six boat lengths.
Flight Five, Race Two: Artemis def TEAMORIGIN, 00:46 – All the drama in this race occurred 1:40 before the gun when the British boat hooked a crab pot or fish trap as they manoeuvered close to spectator boats. “It had two lines on it, one a pretty heavy anchorline,” said Peter Isler, navigator on TEAMORIGIN. “We went head to wind and Craig Satterthwaite jumped in and slashed both ropes with his knife and we were off again. We were early for the line but not that early!”
Inside the basin of the Porto Arsenale, 14-year-old Silvia Acheri won the first of three days raced in O’Pen Bic singlehanded dinghies to qualify finalists for the Louis Vuitton Junior Trophy. Silvia races for the Lega Navale Italiana in Cagliari, Southern Sardina. She won every one of her races.
Provisional win-loss leaderboard after Flight Five:
1. ALEPH Sailing Team, 2-0, 2 pts
=1. Mascalzone Latino Audi Team, 2-0, 2 pts
=3. All4One, 1-0, 1 pt
=3. Artemis, 1-0, 1 pt
=5. Emirates Team New Zealand, 0-0, 0 pts
=5. Synergy Russian Sailing Team, 0-0, 0 pts
=7. BMW Oracle Racing Team, 0-1, 0 pts
=7. Luna Rossa, 0-1, 0 pts
=9. Azzurra, 0-2, 0 pts
=9. TEAMORIGIN, 0-2, 0 pts
The second regatta of the RC 44 Championship Tour 2010 will begin on Thursday, April 29, on Lake Traunsee, in Austria. James Spithill, Russell Coutts and Larry Ellison make their come back on the circuit; they will sail against Ray Davies, Paul Cayard, Rod Davis, Markus Wieser, Terry Hutchinson, Cameron Appleton, Christian Binder and many more of the world’s best sailors… Tough job for the bookmakers!
Recent winner of the America’s Cup at the helm of BMW ORACLE Racing, James « Jimmy » Spithill is the skipper of a new team called RC 44 Challenge. His crew is made up of a combination of America’s Cup sailors – such as John Kostecki – and genuine amateurs, as required by the Class rules. RC 44 Challenge will with no doubt immediately become one of the favourites of the event. “I am really looking forward to returning to the RC 44 Class”, says Spithill. “It attracts the world’s best sailors from both match racing and fleet racing, plus the boats are incredibly rewarding to sail and certainly one of the reasons I’m back. We have a fantastic team. John Kostecki will be tactician and Joey Newton trimming, both who raced on the BOR 90 trimaran.”
Other new faces involved in the RC 44 Austria Cup include Harm Müller Spreer, who will be Team Sea Dubai’s fleet race helmsman. Owner of the well known TP 52 Platoon, Harm Müller Spreer is a successful Dragon sailor; he became European champion in 2004, finished second at the 2005 worlds and is a triple Gold Cup winner.
Russell Coutts is also back on the circuit for the first time since last year’s Portoroz Cup. Larry Ellison will steer BMW ORACLE Racing during the fleet races whilst Coutts will be at the helm on Thursday and Friday for the match race.
Finally, Team Austria, the local team headed by René Mangold, will be keen to perform in front of its public. The Austrians managed to win two fleet races in Dubai earlier in the season. “We have improved a lot but we need more continuity”, comments Christian Binder, the team’s match race helmsman and tactician.
The teams involved in the RC 44 Austria Cup (fleet race / match race helmsman):
Team No Way Back (Pieter Heerema / Ray Davies)
Artemis (Torbjorn Tornqvist / Terry Hutchinson)
CEEREF (Igor Lah / Rod Davis)
BMW ORACLE Racing (Larry Ellison / Russell Coutts)
Team Aqua (Chris Bake / Cameron Appleton)
Team Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (Daniel Calero / José Maria Ponce)
Katusha (Paul Cayard)
Team Sea Dubai (Harm Muller Spreer / Markus Wieser)
Team Austria (René Mangold / Christian Binder)
RC 44 Challenge (Ian Vickers / James Spithill)
The Louis Vuitton Trophy is coming to Sardinia in May, with 10 elite sailing teams set to race for two weeks on the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean Sea off La Maddalena.
© Paul Todd/outsideimages.co.nz | Louis Vuitton Trophy
With just one month to go before racing begins on May 22nd, the host team, Mascalzone Latino Audi Team, is eager to extend a warm welcome to teams, sponsors and guests alike.
“La Maddalena is among the best places in the world to sail,” said Vincenzo Onorato, the team principal of Mascalzone Latino Audi Team. “The waters are warm, the wind conditions are very good and the people of La Maddalena will be gracious hosts. I want to welcome all of my sailing friends and fans of the sport to join us here in May.”
The Louis Vuitton Trophy – La Maddalena follows two successful regattas in Auckland (February 2010) and Nice (November 2009) over the past six months. Further events are planned in Dubai in November and Hong Kong in January of 2011.
For La Maddalena, two additional teams will join the eight who competed in Auckland, and both are world-class sailing squads. BMW ORACLE Racing, who won the America’s Cup Match in February, rejoins the Louis Vuitton Trophy after it missed the Auckland regatta due to its Cup commitments.
Luna Rossa, which has competed for the America’s Cup three times, winning the Louis Vuitton Cup in 2000, will race for the Louis Vuitton Trophy for the very first time, after sailing in a precursor event, the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series in 2009. Luna Rossa has assembled an impressive crew, including skipper Ed Baird, winner of the 32nd America’s Cup with Alinghi and tactician Torben Grael, who skippered Ericsson to a win in the last Volvo Ocean Race.
The addition of Luna Rossa will make for three Italian teams in La Maddalena, including Azzurra, the winning team in the Nice event. Also on the start list is the champion from Auckland, Emirates Team New Zealand. The full line-up for La Maddalena is 10 teams, representing eight countries:
Aleph, FRA, skipper Bertrand Pacé
All4One, FRA/GER, skipper Jochen Schümann
Artemis, SWE, skipper Paul Cayard
Azzurra, ITA, skipper Francesco Bruni
BMW ORACLE Racing, USA, skipper James Spithill
Emirates Team New Zealand, NZL, skipper Dean Barker
Luna Rossa, ITA, skipper Ed Baird
Mascalzone Latino Audi Team, ITA, skipper Gavin Brady
Synergy, RUS, skipper Karol Jablonski
TEAMORIGIN, GBR, skipper Ben Ainslie
In the Louis Vuitton Trophy regattas, the teams match-race equalised America’s Cup Class boats. For La Maddalena, the boats will be supplied by BMW ORACLE Racing (USA 87 and USA 98) and Mascalzone Latino Audi Team (ITA 90 and ITA 99).
La Maddalena is small town (population near 12 000) on an island with the same name that sits just one nautical mile off the Northeast coast of Sardinia. It is renowned for its beaches and its pink, rocky terrain and like Sardinia itself, offers up some of the most stunning backdrops for sailing in the Mediterranean.
The race village itself is set up about one kilometre to the east of the centre of town, near the southeast corner of the island. The heart of the race village will feature a big screen broadcasting all of the action from the race course. Crews will be in the race village interacting with the crowds during photo sessions, autograph signings and public press conferences. Food and beverage as well as team merchandise is also available, and the Louis Vuitton Junior Trophy will be contested by local junior sailors.
The easiest way to get to La Maddalena is to fly into Olbia’s Costa Smeralda airport (many flights transfer through Rome) and then transfer by road to Palau, approximately 40 kilometres to the north of Olbia. From Palau, there is a short ferry to La Maddalena. Alternatively, there are ferries into Palau from Corsica as well as Genoa and Napoli.
Racing is scheduled from the 22nd May through the 6th June. But teams will start official training sessions on the 18th May.