LOUIS VUITTON AND WSTA ANNOUNCE REGATTAS FOR 2010

The World Sailing Teams Association (WSTA) and Louis Vuitton today announced more Louis Vuitton Trophy regattas for 2010 and early 2011. Each Louis Vuitton Trophy regatta is a stand-alone regatta sailed in event-supplied 85- foot long AC Class yachts that require a crew of 17 top sailors to sail. The regatta concept is designed to transform a port venue, regardless of its previous sailing culture, into the capital of professional yacht racing for two weeks, along with all the associated activities and excitement, on and off the water. The schedule for the next events covers four distinctly different parts of the world:

Louis Vuitton Trophy Auckland: March 9-21, 2010
Louis Vuitton Trophy La Maddalena, Sardinia: May 22 – June 6, 2010
Louis Vuitton Trophy Middle East: November 13-28, 2010
Louis Vuitton Trophy Hong Kong: January 9-24, 2011

The venue in The Middle East is embargoed until January 15, 2010. Newly-elected WSTA board Chairman Paul Cayard commented: “The Louis Vuitton Trophy is gaining momentum following the great regattas held in Auckland and Nice in 2009 and I really believe 2010 is going to be an even better year for our teams, their crews and supporters.”

World Yacht Racing Forum press release and exclusive video

World Yacht Racing Forum brings light on future of the America’s Cup

Last week’s World Yacht Racing Forum America’s Cup session brought clear answers from both Alinghi and BMW ORACLE Racing. Publically united for the first time since two years, Russell Coutts and Brad Butterworth agreed on several key elements.

World Yacht Racing Forum exclusive videos: click on the links below to download and watch:

Clip 1: Brad Butterworth and Russell Coutts explain where and when – according to them – the next Cup will take place. They also discuss their views about the possibility of getting back to Court after the regatta.

World Yacht Racing Forum

Monte Carlo – Just leaving Monaco this morning following two days here for the World Yacht Racing Forum.

Now in its second year, the Forum is really growing into quite an event. There were two parts this year: a commercial, sports side and in another hall, running contemporaneously, a technical forum with subects ranging from composite rigging to standards for construction of racing yachts.

It is kind of a collection of who’s who in yacht racing from the designers like Juan K and Vincent Prevost to the sailors like Brad Butterworth, Russell Coutts and Michele Desjoyeaux. I participated with Russell and Brad in the forum on the America’s Cup. The tone was very friendly and there was a demontrative expression from both of the teams to get out on the water and have their race ASAP. Each team showed a very high energy video/slideshow of their extremely impressive sailing machines. The fact is that after all the frustration and ugliness of the past two years, the race between the two giant multihulls will be a special moment in our sports history and something to see.

In the midst of the Forum, a light bulb went off in my head; we may have missed a great opportunity in the past two years. Rather than just sitting around and waiting in frustration, we, the Challengers, should have taken the initiative to put forward a Protocol to resolve a lot of the problems plaguing the current match. We have a unique opportunity right now; neither Alinghi and BMW Oracle knows who will be holding the cards for the 34th America’s Cup. So this is a time where each may be more willing to agree to a “fair and independant” event managment structure. Either could find themselves on the Challenger side for 34th America’s Cup and that party would certainly want a modern and objective event organization.

So after I mentioned this idea, many people came to me and said, “Hey, that’s a great idea. Its not too late. Get to work!”

I am in Geneva today visiting Torbjorn Tornqvist, the Artemis chief, and then my friends at Rolex this afternoon. San Fran tomorrow. Anyone need some frequent flyer miles?

Nestle Brasil Match Cup

Well we wound up 1 spot off the top but still pretty good result.

We won the round robin and then had a one race final against the second place team. In the one final race, things were tight and close the whole way but we could not get past Daniel Glomb and his team. The field was pretty talented with Robert Scheidt, Torben Grael, and Xavier Rohart all competing.

I had a great 4 days down here. The people are very friendly and there is a special spirit around competitions in Brasil. They are obviously winners, Torben Grael and Robert Scheidt have a few Gold medals to prove that. But there is a relaxed happy spirit here that overlays everything. The other thing is that you are almost never late here. It is just a matter of figuring out how late is going to be on time.

I am staying here most of the day tomorrow before my flight to Monaco tomorrow night where I will participate in the World Yacht Racing Forum.

I am going to hit the outdoor gym on Ipanema Beach tomorrow morning. I know it will be cold in Europe and in SF when I get home next weekend so I am going to soak up the sun!

Complete results at www.matchcup.com.br

Nestle Brasil Match Cup

Unfortunately the wind did not cooperate today. No wind and no racing. Seems like I have been experiencing a lot of this lately.

We did manage to have the Pro Am race at the end of the day. We took four boats out, loaded with Nestle guests, and had a race that started and finished right in the inner harbor in front of the Yacht Club de Rio. It was about as exciting as we could make it in 5 knots of wind. They seemed to enjoy it so that’s what matters.

Tomorrow is the last day of the racing so we are hoping for wind. It looks like the bad weather is clearing out so I am optimistic.

Complete results at www.matchcup.com.br

Nestle Brasil Match Cup

It was a rainy, blustery day in Rio today, but pretty tropical conditions. You could even say down right miserable.

Still a lot of racing took place. We on Team Cayard had a great day winning all four of our matches. We led all the way around in three of the matches. In the most exciting one, we trailed Joao Signorini and his team all the way around the course. But we kept it close, kept the pressure on them and took the lead in the final 100 meters.

The only other team that is undefeated is Daniel Glomb’s, they are 5-0. We will race them tomorrow.

Tomorrow we should finish up the round robin at which point the top four teams will go into the semi-finals.

The forecast is for this cold front to still be in place tomorrow so more rain is likely.

For complete results go to www.matchcup.com.br

Nestle Brasil Match Cup

I am in Rio for the 7th annual Nestle Brasil Match Cup 2009 today through Sunday. It is pretty local but that is not to say it is not competitive. Amongst the competitors is Torben Grael, five time Olympic medalist and Star World Champion as well as, Robert Scheidt four time Olympic Medalist and Star World Champion and Xavier Rohart from France who is a two time Star World Champion and Bronze medalist from 2004. There are a many good local young sailors keen to beat one of the guys with all these titles.

After a press conference this morning, the teams went out for about 2 hours of training in the boats. At 1500 the flights started. There is a small fleet race component to this event and that is what they started with for the first four competitors.

There are 4 boats, but 8 competitors so we don’t all race all the time. Unfortunately for us, we didn’t get to race today as our first race is in the fourth flight and the race committee only got 2 flights in before the wind died. There is a womens division in the regatta and they sail in J-24’s, while the men race in Bennetau First 40.7’s.

My crew is a bunch of Star sailing friends and two young Brazilian kids. Ross MacDonald and his wife Marcia (a former 470 and Europe dinghy Olympian for Brazil), Flavio Marazzi and his crew Enrico de Maria (who finished 4th in Athens in 04). Then we have the two kids, Lucas Brun (son of Gastoa and nephew of Vince) who was part of the ABN Amro youth team in the 2006 Volvo Ocean Race and Thomas Low-Beer who is an up and coming 470 sailor for Brazil in 2012 and an engineering student here in Rio.

I started out my day today at 0600 with a run down Ipanema Beach. I found the most beautiful gym in the world. It is outdoor and on the beach. I am going tomorrow and will take pictures. Now I am off to my friend Alan Adler’s house for a Bar-B-Q. Alan is another Star World Champ. There are 6 of us down here in this regatta! Alan is the promoter of this event and has another event this weekend in Sao Paolo with Maria Sharapova.

For complete results go to www.matchcup.com.br