Update from Dubai

For the past three days I have been working on the World Sailing Teams Association (WSTA) and the Louis Vuitton Trophy regattas that will be held over the next 12 months. I represent the Artemis Racing Team and last November, during the Louis Vuitton Trophy in Nice, I was elected Chairman of this association of team owners.

Friday WSTA had meetings in Paris with representatives of all the member teams to focus on marketing and commercial issues. We also held a competitors meeting to talk about the organization of the Louis Vuitton Trophy Auckland which will be held in March. Then on Saturday morning we had a WSTA board meeting.

Saturday afternoon, a group of us including Yves Carcelle, Chairman and CEO of Louis Vuitton, flew to Dubai where we arrived at 0100 this morning. Then today at 1000, we participated in a press conference today to announce Dubai as the Middle East venue selected to host the Louis Vuitton Trophy this coming November. HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman DIMC and Chairman & Chief Executive Emirates Airline and Group, hosted the press conference and confirmed his support for the Louis Vuitton Trophy and his enthusiasm to host sailing’s elite racing teams.

The Louis Vuitton Trophy regattas use four 85-foot America’s Cup Class yachts in a Match Racing format. Ten Teams – sailed by world champions, America’s Cup winners, Olympic medalists and round-the-world sailors – will compete in Dubai this November. The countries represented by these teams are: Sweden, France, Italy, New Zealand, Great Brittan, Russia and Germany.

The event will be held at Mina Seyahi, the home of Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC) next to the Palm Jumeirah, while Emirates Airline – a leading sponsor – will be flying in many of teams and their support staff, as well as race officials and spectators from around the globe.

Dubai is a great venue for sailing with excellent wind and moderate temperatures in November. The hospitality here is ‘gold star’. I am sure it will be a fantastic event.

Tonight, I am flying back to the United States. I fly a great deal but this has been a record four days. Not quite sure what time it is. I will be back in Dubai mid-February for the next RC 44 regatta.

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.”