BMW ORACLE’S ANZAC Team Take on the Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice.

The hastily arranged Louis Vuitton Trophy, Nice gets going in France in the next couple of days and the American team, flying the flag of the Golden Gate Yacht Club have announced the sailors competing for the stars and stripes.

Of the 21 team members listed, only Larry Ellison, the owner of the team has the letters USA after his name. Of the others, 13 are from New Zealand including Skipper Russell Coutts, 2 Australians, 2 Italians, 1 Japanese and 1 Canadian. Shannon Falcone is listed with country abbreviation ANT.

Nevertheless – the statement issued by BMW ORACLE is adament that this is an American team.

While the American challenger for the 33rd America’s Cup is in San Diego, preparing for the Match in February, in Europe, the team is getting ready to take on the Louis Vuitton Trophy – Nice, the first in a number of regattas organised by Louis Vuitton and the new World Sailing Teams Association. The eight competing teams will match-race equalised ACC boats in the regatta…

The American squad is scheduled to face the winner of the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series, Emirates Team New Zealand in Flight 12, in what should be a highlight match.

BMW ORACLE Racing will have a deep pool of talent from which to select its afterguard, including team owner Larry Ellison (USA), Gavin Brady (NZL), Hamish Pepper (NZL), and Michele Ivaldi (ITA).

No wonder that fans have a hard time identifying with a team or working out who to support.The full team list is:

  • Alberto ‘Albi’ Barovier (ITA) – Mid Bow
  • Gavin Brady (NZL) – Afterguard
  • Russell Coutts (NZL) – BMW ORACLE Racing skipper and CEO
  • Cameron Dunn (NZL) – Traveller
  • Larry Ellison (USA) – Afterguard
  • Shannon Falcone (ANT) – Mast
  • Daniel Fong (NZL) – Trimmer
  • Jamie Gale (NZL) – Pit
  • Michele Ivaldi (ITA) – Afterguard
  • Jono MacBeth (NZL) – Runner
  • Brian MacInnes (CAN) – Grinder
  • Hamish Pepper (NZL) – Tactician
  • Rob Salthouse (NZL) – Trimmer
  • Alan Smith (NZL) – Bow
  • Joe Spooner (NZL) – Grinder
  • Andrew Taylor (NZL) – Grinder
  • Paul Westlake (AUS) – Trimmer
  • Hamish Willcox (NZL) – Strategist / Meteo
  • Kazuhiko ‘Fuku’ Sofuku (JPN) – Spare
  • Andrew Palfrey (AUS) – Coach / Chase boat
  • Joel Rewa-Morgan (NZL) – Physio