Thursday, 20 May 2010

LVT: Team Azzurra Begins Official Training

Azzurra racing against TEAMORIGIN at the Louis Vuitton Trophy Auckland. Image copyright Stefano Gattini/Azzurra.

by Jill Campbell

Official training sessions began in La Maddalena, Sardinia today for the ten teams participating in the Louis Vuitton Trophy from 22nd May to 6th June. The crew of Azzurra, flying the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda’s burgee, completed two training sessions: first with America’s Cup Defender BMW Oracle Racing and successively with French team Aleph.

Most of the teams arrived yesterday from the Audi MedCup leg in Portugal aboard a specially chartered flight and were greeted by strong Mistral winds. Fortunately the winds became lighter during the evening and allowed the organizers to commence training sessions today. Tomorrow Azzurra will train with the French-German coalition All4One and the Russians of Synergy while on Thursday the team will be paired once again with BMW Oracle Racing. Friday will be a “maintenance day”, dedicated to the final preparations for racing proper which will begin on Saturday 22nd May. The official opening press conference is scheduled for Friday 21st May at 7 p.m.

Francesco Bruni, skipper and helmsman of Azzurra, commented: “ We are delighted to see such an important event held in Azzurra’s home waters. The regattas in Nice and Auckland were great but we know that this event in Sardinia will really confirm the success of the Louis Vuitton Trophy. The regatta course is envied the world over and the race village is extraordinary. The formula for the event is sure to be very popular with ten teams competing, including BMW Oracle and Luna Rossa, and four America’s Cup boats. Now it is up to us to concentrate, find the right rhythm and face our adversaries with determination.”

Azzurra in the Louis Vuitton Trophy Auckland. Image copyright Stefano Gattini/Azzurra.

The Louis Vuitton Trophy will be based in the Porto Arsenale on the island of La Maddalena which was realized for the G8 summit of 2009. The structure which comprises futuristic architecture, will be home to the ten teams, journalists from across the globe (more than 200 members of the media are expected), sponsors and all of the fans looking to follow racing over the next three weeks.

The ten teams participating in the Louis Vuitton Trophy in La Maddalena are:
Aleph, FRA, skipper Bertrand Pacé
All4One, FRA/GER, skipper Jochen Schumann
Artemis, SWE, skipper Paul Cayard
Azzurra, ITA, skipper Francesco Bruni
BMW ORACLE Racing, USA, skipper James Spithill
Emirates Team New Zealand, NZL, skipper Dean Barker
Luna Rossa, ITA, skipper Ed Baird
Mascalzone Latino Audi Team, ITA, skipper Gavin Brady
Synergy, RUS, skipper Karol Jablonski
TEAMORIGIN, GBR, skipper Ben Ainslie

Louis Vuitton Trophy