Monday, 4 July 2011

America's Cup : Louis Vuitton Cup Format Announced

by America's Cup media

The Regatta Director has issued the dates and format for the Louis Vuitton Cup, the America's Cup Challenger Series. To take place in 2013, the objective of the challenger series is to both build and identify the strongest possible challenger to meet the defender in the America's Cup Finals.

The next Louis Vuitton Cup will consist of five stages, all of the challengers will participate in at least the first three, before eliminations begin. The first day of racing for the Louis Vuitton Cup will be July 4th, 2013 (changed from July 13th). The last possible day of racing will be September 1.

"There are nearly two full months of competition, and all of the challengers will be racing for at least the first five weeks," said Iain Murray, the Regatta Director. "As a group, the challengers wanted to introduce a format that would strike a good balance between allowing the potential of some of the new teams to develop over time, while still ensuring the top teams were constantly improving, so that the eventual winner will be prepared to take on the defender."

The first three stages of the competition will be used to select four semi finalists:

* Series 1: A series of 4 fleet races. Each race will score 10 points for the winner, 6 points for second place, 2 points for third place. No points are awarded for subsequent places.
* Series 2: A Round Robin Match Race Series. The winner of each race will score 10 points, the loser no points.
* Series 3: A Round Robin Match Race Series. The winner of each race will score 12 points, the loser no points.

The top four teams at the conclusion of these first three series will proceed to the semi finals, with the top ranked challenger racing the fourth place team and the second ranked team racing the third placed.

In the semi finals, each match win is worth one point and the winner of each pairing will be the first team to win four points.

These two winners will then face each other in the Louis Vuitton Cup Final, where the first team to win five points (one point per win) will become the challenger and proceed to the America's Cup Finals to meet the defender.

Over time, the Louis Vuitton Cup has proved to be a remarkable training ground for the challengers. Since its inception in 1983, the winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup has gone on to win the America's Cup four out of seven times. Previous to 1983, no challenger had won the America's Cup. The 2013 event will mark the 30 year anniversary of the first Louis Vuitton Cup.

America's Cup