Thursday, October 28, 2010


During the legal impasse following the 2007 America’s Cup, The Louis Vuitton Trophy series began in 2009 to help sustain those teams seeking a stage for their sponsors, and to provide them a platform to maintain their skills. It also offered Louis Vuitton the means to connect again with the America’s Cup brand, a relationship they began in 1983 by awarding the Louis Vuitton Cup to the top challenging syndicate, but had ended after the 2007 Match amid concerns over the increased event commercialization.

The LVT thrived through four events in New Zealand, France, and Italy, but by this summer it became clear the event had entered ‘lame duck’ status. With the February 2010 Deed of Gift match win by the Russell Coutts led BMW Oracle Racing team over defender Alinghi in the 33rd America’s Cup, promises of a new and improved Cup plan flowed. Teams that had looked to the LVT for shelter and salvation could, they were told, soon come home again to the America’s Cup.

With the pendulum ball now swinging, the LVT cancelled their January 2011 event in Hong Kong, but likely received sufficient team guarantees to hold onto what likely is a very well funded final event in Dubai beginning November 14. And the locals are excited. “There is a huge amount of activity surrounding the Louis Vuitton Trophy at DIMC and the arrival of the four America’s Cup Class boats certainly increased the enthusiasm of everyone involved,” said Saeed Hareb, CEO of Dubai International Marine Club.

“We have installed a very large, two-storey chalet between the clubhouse and the race department, which will house the event media, TV, VIP lounge, offices, shops and reception and forms a focal point of the village,” notes Hareb. “Watching it all take shape has been fascinating, especially as every day someone new is arriving on site from either the teams, the organisation or press and the scene is being set for a really exceptional event.”

And the locals should be excited. “We’re really looking forward to bringing top level sailing to Dubai and enjoying the great racing conditions on offer there at this time of year,” said Paul Cayard, the Chairman of the World Sailing Team Association, co-organiser of the event, as well as the skipper of the Swedish Artemis team. Joining the Artemis team is America’s Cup defender BMW Oracle Racing as well as Mascalzone Latino, the current challenger of record. Rounding out the field is the Russian Synergy team, the French-German team All4One, and of course, Emirates Team New Zealand.

So while the locals will enjoy this two week party, will the global audience be sufficiently interested? Now that the organizers of the next Match have decidedly moved away from a monohull format they deemed unmarketable, going instead to wing propelled multihulls,  the relevancy of this event is clearly on display. Or is it? Guess it depends if you are a Flintstoner or a Facebooker.

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At 2:56 AM, Blogger Fred said...

I am again expecting great Match Racing.
Subtle moves with leadmines.

I will be glued to the screen.
A pity that I cannot make it...

No problem for me to be a Flintstoner
Smooth sailing!

At 8:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will the LVT be televised? I'd love to watch it. I guess that makes me a Flintstoner.

Jim Fulton


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