Thursday, 8 October 2009
by Keith Taylor
The World Sailing Teams Association (WSTA) and Louis Vuitton are delighted to announce the addition of two world-class sailing teams for the Louis Vuitton Trophy regatta to be held in Nice next month (7th to 22d November). This brings the regatta total to eight confirmed teams, which is the ideal number for end-of-summer expected weather conditions.
“We are extremely pleased to welcome TeamOrigin, the British team led by Sir Keith Mills, which becomes a preferential shareholder in WSTA and intends to compete at all of the Louis Vuitton regattas over the next 12 months,” says Laurent Esquier, CEO WSTA.
TeamOrigin, skippered by three-times Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie with two-times Olympic gold medallist Iain Percy as tactician and managed by round the world winning yachtsman Mike Sanderson, will also provide their training boat GBR-75 for the Nice event.
“When looking at our team’s future sailing programme we knew we wanted to compete in events that would give all parts of our team and not just the sailing team, further hands-on operational experience,” said Sir Keith Mills, Team Principal.
“Having sailed in the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series earlier this year we quickly realised the concept of the WSTA’s Louis Vuitton regatta projects completely fit the bill for our team and so we knew we had to be there."
The second new entry sees the return of an iconic Italian sailing brand, the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda’s (YCCS) Azzurra. In 1983, Azzurra was Italy’s first-ever America’s Cup challenger. The new Azzurra team will be led by YCCS member Giovanni Maspero of Joe Fly, and on the water skippered by Francesco Bruni with Tommaso Chieffi as tactician, whilst managed by multiple Olympic medallist Alessandra Sensini and others.
“Our common objectives and the faith placed in our team by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and Commodore Bonadeo is extremely rewarding for our entire sporting group. We feel an enormous responsibility but I am firmly convinced that our sailing team’s merit will provide excellent conditions to compete at the highest level,” says Giovanni Maspero.
The event in Nice, to be sailed over the dates 7th to 22d of November, is to be called the "Louis Vuitton Trophy - WSTA – Nice". The event is sanctioned by the world authority of sailing based in England, the International Sailing Federation (ISAF).
Following the merger of Joe Fly with Azzurra, eight teams will compete for the Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice: Azzurra (ITA), BMW ORACLE Racing (USA), Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), K-Challenge (FRA), Swedish Challenge Artemis (SWE), Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS), TeamOrigin (GBR) and Team French Spirit (FRA).
The Louis Vuitton Trophy in Nice is jointly promoted and organised by the teams, through the World Sailing Teams Association (WSTA), Louis Vuitton and the Club Nautique de Nice (CNN) with the FFV support .
The organizing team is already in Nice, working closely with the city officials to make the event a great success in the wake of the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series.