Auckland Buzzing with Louis Vuitton Pacific Series Days Away

Just two days out from the Pacific Series the village is almost ready. The pools have been announced with BMW ORACLE and Emirates Team New Zealand being pitted against each other in the heats.

Pool A

  • Team New Zealand 
  • BMW Oracle Racing 
  • K-Challenge 
  • Damiani Italia 
  • China Team


Pool B

  • Alinghi 
  • Greek Challenge 
  • Team Origin 
  • Team Shosholoza 
  • Luna Rossa 

While some teams have had a lot of experience in these boats, others have had only a few days.


Gavin Brady, once helmsman of BMW ORACLE now helmsmen of Greek Challenge, pointed out that they had 5 years at the American team in order to get ready for the America’s Cup while the Greek team has only 5 days. Despite the fact there are more medalists on the Greek team than BMW Oracle, the learning curve is extremely steep.

Even Ben Ainslie, helmsman for Team Origin, has to take things slowly. The former second helmsman of Emirates Team NZ might know the boats and his kiwi opponents inside out, he will have to tame his aggressive sailing in order not to ruin the event by crashing the yachts on the first day

The battle of the world’s three sailing heavyweights – Barker, Coutts and Alinghi’s Brad Butterworth – is being dubbed the friendly game by Team New Zealand in an attempt to move on from the off water feuds over the next America’s Cup.

“There was a moment on the first day of sailing,” says Team New Zealand’s Managing Director Grant Dalton. “We were sailing against Russell and it was just cool to be out on the water again with these boats and things and thinking why, why did it need to get to this.”

But Grant Dalton knows that is not the only relationship that has suffered.

“It re-engages the public with this team and the sport because there is absolutely no doubt that it’s damaged,”

explains Dalton.