Proposed Louis Vuitton Pacific series looks set to go ahead

An avalanche of interest in the proposed Louis Vuitton Pacific series, scheduled for Auckland at the end of January and early February next year, includes a tentative yes from Britain's America's Cup challenge syndicate, Sir Keith Mills' Team Origin.



The British team, which is trying in a 40-foot catamaran to oust the America's Cup holder from the leadership of the iShares Cup in Amsterdam this weekend, is one of 16 teams that has been talking to the Auckland organiser Bruno Troublé, who has been associated with the Louis Vuitton Cup since its inception in 1983 and the winner of which, including at last year's defence by Alinghi in Valencia, had the sole right to challenge the holder.

Since then a series of legal wrangles, including a bid by Larry Ellison's BMW Oracle to supplant the Swiss holder Alinghi's choice as Challenger of Record, the hastily-formed Club Nautico Espanol de Vela and a continuing row between Louis Vuitton and America's Cup Management has created a vacuum which has hit the event worldwide.

The proposed Louis Vuitton series, which would be contested by both former and potential America's Cup challenger teams, is in no way part of the America's Cup process or programme, but it would be staged by the beaten finalists last year, Team New Zealand, and has both the support and financial backing of the New Zealand government. TNZ is also in legal dispute with Alinghi, which is owned by Ernesto Bertarelli, and various attempts to mediate between him and those with whom he is in dispute, including many conversations with Sir Keith, have so far failed to resolve the issues.

BMW Oracle has said it wishes to take part in the Auckland regatta and proposed another Atlantic series to be staged in New York. South Africa's Shosholoza has also said it wants to be there and offered Durban as a venue for an Indian Ocean series. It is expected that Dennis Conner will also be invited to put a team together and the man who beat him to take the Cup away from the Americas for the first time in 1983, the Australian John Bertrand, has already indicated a wish to take part.

Intriguing will be the decision of Spain's Desafio Espanol, now skippered by Paul Cayard, but which is not represented by the CNEV. Talks were taking place between Troublé and Cayard yesterday. After attempting two races in the last of the 2008 Audi MedCup series in Portugal, the first won by Jochen Schuemann, another America's Cup skipper with a mothballed team, the second was abandoned. With the previous day's two-part coastal race also having been abandoned though lack of wind, that let Terry Hutchinson off a 15th place hook in Quantum. His 52.5 point lead makes him unassailable even if the maximum of three races could be staged on the final day today.

Huchinson's has been one of the high-budget campaigns and it appears to have been money well-spent on a series which, although being cut to five regattas next year, is set to welcome TNZ formally into the line-up and has another British team, headed by Andrew Pindar, taking a serious look. Earlier Sir keith had indicated that Team Origin may also join in and it is known that design co-ordinator Juan Kouyoumdjian has put some work together but, lately, Origin has seemed only lukewarm.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?