Saturday, 17 January 2009

TEAMORIGIN to Compete in Louis Vuitton Pacific Series

Triple Olympic Gold Medallist Ben Ainslie to lead the British charge

by Leslie Ryan

TEAMORIGIN, the British Challenger for the 33rd America’s Cup, is one of 10 teams preparing to compete in the new ‘Louis Vuitton Pacific Series’ event taking place in Auckland, New Zealand, between 30th January and 14th February 2009. This will be the team’s second regatta in version 5 America’s Cup racing boats, having already competed in the CNEV regatta in Valencia, Spain in November 2008.

This new event has been introduced by Louis Vuitton in partnership with Emirates Team New Zealand. Louis Vuitton is a long time sponsor and supporter of the Louis Vuitton Cup and America’s Cup event. The initial aim was to gather six teams for the inaugural event, but the organizers have had interest from an impressive 24 teams. The final entry list for the regatta comprises 10 teams representing nine countries.

Crews will take turns match racing one-on-one in four boats – two from Emirates Team New Zealand (current holders of the Louis Vuitton Cup) and two borrowed from BMW Oracle racing. The racing will be held close to shore and event organizers aim to provide competitive, action packed racing with plenty for spectators to see, as well as an event village open to the general public.

TEAMORIGIN Skipper and Helm, Ben Ainslie, currently racing Etchells in Adelaide, Australia, commented: “Given the delays we have experienced in America’s Cup matters during 2007 and 2008, it will be very refreshing to get out on the water and race again! It’s good to see so many teams active and ready to compete, and such a great mix of existing and new teams together, which bodes well for the future of America’s Cup racing. For TEAMORIGIN, it will be a chance to get our sailors together and race against some top teams which I am very much looking forward to.”

TEAMORIGIN announced their sailing and support team for the event as follows:

Matt Cornwell (GBR) - Bowman
Julian Cressant (FRA) - Mid Bow
George Skuodas (GBR) - Mast
Barry McKay (NZL) - Pit
Craig Monk (NZL) - Grind 1
Pawel Bielecki (POL) - Grind 2
Chris Brittle (GBR) - Mid Grind
Robbie Naismith (NZL) - Trim up
Christian Kamp (AUT) - Trim down
Chris Salthouse (NZL) - Main
Chris Draper (GBR) - Traveller
Ben Ainslie (GBR) - Helm & Skipper
Iain Percy (GBR) - Tactician
Peter Isler (USA) - Navigator
Andrew Simpson (GBR) - Strategist
Mike Sanderson (NZL) - Runner & Team Director
Anthony Nossiter (AUS) - Runner/pit assist
Mike Mottl (AUS) - Back-up trimmer
David Carr (GBR) - Back-up grinder
Stevie Erickson (USA) - Sailing Team Manager
Kelvin Harrap (NZL) - Afterguard Coach

David Duff - Shore Operations Director
Alistair McRae - Tender driver

Shore support
Charlotte Kootstra - PA to Team Director / Shore support
Leslie Ryan - Marketing & Events Director
Sir Keith Mills - Team Principal

Teams entered for the event
Alinghi, Switzerland
BMW Oracle Racing, USA
China Team, China
Damiana Team, Italy
Emirates Team New Zealand, New Zealand
Greek Challenge, Greece
K Challenge, France
Luna Rossa, Italy
TEAMORIGIN, Great Britain
Team Shosholoza, South Africa


Louis Vuitton Pacific Series

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