Tuesday, 16 March 2010

LVT: The America's Cup is coming to New Zealand

by Keith Taylor

The America's Cup trophy is returning to New Zealand, where it will be on display for public viewing during the Louis Vuitton Trophy regatta in Auckland.

The Cup, which was won one month ago by the American team BMW ORACLE Racing, has been residing in its new home at the Golden Gate Yacht Club in San Francisco. It is scheduled to arrive in Auckland on Tuesday, March 16th.

This will be a homecoming of sorts for the America’s Cup, which spent nearly eight years in the trophy room at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron following Team New Zealand’s victory in 1995.

The skipper of that team, Russell Coutts, is the CEO of BMW ORACLE Racing.

“It’s appropriate that we bring the trophy to Auckland this week,” Coutts said. “Most of the America’s Cup community is in town, including Mascalzone Latino, the team for our Challenger of Record, racing in the Louis Vuitton Trophy. So although we weren’t able to compete in this regatta, we wanted to support the event.

“We’ve been here for a few days already, consulting with the teams about the next edition of the America’s Cup. Bringing the Cup back to New Zealand now, during this regatta, will help to get everyone excited and focussed on what happens next.”

The Louis Vuitton Trophy events are the result of a partnership between Louis Vuitton and the World Sailing Teams Association, designed to provide regular, high-level match race regattas in large and complex racing yachts.

“It’s great to have BMW ORACLE Racing, one of the founding members of the WSTA, showing their support for the other teams by bringing the ‘Auld Mug’ back to New Zealand,” said Bruno Troublé, spokesperson for the WSTA.

“By supporting this event, BMW ORACLE Racing is also paying tribute to Louis Vuitton, which has contributed to growing the America’s Cup so much over the last 27 years, all the while respecting its values, tradition and history.

“While the details of the next edition of the Cup are being worked out, the Louis Vuitton Trophy regattas are a great proving ground for the teams.”

Eight teams are currently racing in Auckland for the Louis Vuitton Trophy. Further events on the calendar include regattas in La Maddalena, Italy, Dubai and Hong Kong.

The America’s Cup will be available for public viewing at Voyager, the New Zealand Maritime Museum, at the Viaduct Harbour, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week from 1100 until 1600 (1530 on Thursday). The Museum is putting on special rates of just $5 per adult, with free admission for children 14 and under.

Louis Vuitton Trophy

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