The Louis Vuitton World Series (LVWS) and the World Sailing Team Association (WSTA) held a press conference in Paris yesterday to outline more details about their plans. The first event will be sooner than some might have thought, November this year in fact in the French city of Nice. There’s quite a lot of detail in this story and we will be digging a little more over the coming days, but in the meantime, here are the highlights from the official announcement.
As reported last week, the new event will be based on the successful Louis Vuitton Pacific Series held in Auckland in February 2009, using version 5 America’s Cup monohulls. There will be 10 places for teams, with eight slots already filled.
The second Louis Vuitton World Series event is scheduled for March 2010 in Auckland, New Zealand, followed by a Series in La Maddalena (Italy) in May 2010.
Organizers are also evaluating interest from other international cities to complete the racing calendar for 2010 and 2011. Bruno Troublé, creator of the Louis Vuitton Cup and LVWS spokesperson comments:
“We have received serious interest from cities like Athens, Greece; Valencia, Spain; Newport, RI, USA; Cape Town, South Africa; Hong Kong, and Abu Dhabi to host future events. ” The WSTA and Louis Vuitton will announce more events (2010/2011) during the Nice regatta this year.”
Teams confirmed for the first event in Nice include: BMW ORACLE Racing (USA), Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Italia by Joe Fly (ITA), K-Challenge (FRA), Mascalzone Latino (ITA), Swedish Challenge Artemis (SWE), Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS) and Team French Spirit (FRA) .
Pietro Beccari, Executive Vice President of Louis Vuitton, in charge of Marketing and Communication, notes:
“We only announced the Series last week and already another four teams have expressed interest for the remaining two berths for Nice. We will soon confirm the remaining teams for the LVWS – Nice.”
Yves Carcelle, Louis Vuitton’s Chairman and CEO, is delighted with this new chapter, which complements but is separate from their 25 year association with the Cup:
“In the wake of the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series, which brought a breath of fresh air to the sailing world, this Series will allow, once again, the teams to come together in a competitive but friendly atmosphere.”
Grant Dalton, CEO of ETNZ and a WSTA founding team explains:
“The Louis Vuitton Pacific Series was a great success. It seemed logical to try and build on this and that is what we have done. It is a win-win situation for Louis Vuitton, the teams and the host cities.”
Russell Coutts, CEO of BMW ORACLE Racing, a WSTA founding team, explains:
“Sailing teams at the top of the sport require sponsorship. Sponsors require an annual global calendar of compelling events. And the sailors seek a highly-competitive series where they can face their toughest opponents on a fair playing field. We see this Series as addressing all of those elements and are excited by the potential.”