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Official America's Cup Racing:

Also see: Recent America's Cup Class Racing and Detailed Schedule

On this page:


Louis Vuitton Acts:
Fall 2004 in Marseille and Valencia, Louis Vuitton Acts One, Two, and Three.
Upcoming Louis Vuitton Acts, Proposed schedule plus possible future plans.

Louis Vuitton Cup:
Challenger Selection for 2007
Louis Vuitton Cup Regatta

America's Cup Match, June, 2007:
Louis Vuitton Cup and America's Cup Dates
 


 

Acts and Cups: "The Official Regattas"

America's Cup Management organized a series of racing events to take place periodically until the start of the challenger selection regatta, the Louis Vuitton Cup (LVC), in 2007.  Participation at these races is now mandatory for officially accepted challengers.

Results of the ACM events will affect Louis Vuitton Cup seeding for the challengers, with the later races carrying more weight, and the aggregate of the weighted points serving in effect as an additional round-robin for the purposes of determining LVC semi-finalists .  Specifics of the scoring of the Acts, the weight given to successive regattas, and related issues including the ultimate impact of Act scoring on the Challenger Selection Series (CSS) were a subject of extended negotiation between the Challengers, ACM, and the Defender.  The Challenger Commission approved a tentative format for the CSS and its relationship to the preceding Louis Vuitton Acts, informally referred to as "The San Fran Plan" in honor of the meeting location where it was accepted by the Commission. (See Challenger Selection below for more details).  With a few changes, this format was adopted in Valencia, and became known as "The Valencia Plan".

Louis Vuitton Acts:
The racing program calls for a total of 13 "Acts" of the Louis Vuitton Cup, which began in September 2004 and will lead up to the start of the actual Louis Vuitton Cup selection in April-June 2007.

 
     

 

     
  Event Location Date Format Info  
  Act One Marseille, France September 5-11, 2004 Fleet Racing and
 Match Racing

Results

 
  Act Two Valencia, Spain October 5-12, 2004 Match Racing Results  
  Act Three Valencia, Spain October 14-17, 2004 Fleet Racing Results  
  Act Four Valencia, Spain June 16-22*, 2005 Fleet Racing Results  
  Act Five Valencia, Spain June 24-26, 2005 Match Racing Results  
  Act Six Malmö-Skåne, Sweden August 25-31, 2005 Match Racing Results  
  Act Seven Malmö-Skåne, Sweden September 2-4, 2005 Fleet Racing Schedule  
  Act Eight Trapani/Sicily, Italy September 29 -
October 5, 2005
Match Racing

Results

 
  Act Nine Trapani/Sicily, Italy October 7-9, 2005  Fleet Racing Schedule  
  Act Ten Valencia, Spain May 11-16, 2006 Match Racing    
  Act Eleven Valencia, Spain May 19-21, 2006 Fleet Racing    
  Act Twelve Valencia, Spain June 22 - July 2, 2006 Match Racing    
  Act Thirteen** Valencia, Spain April 3-6, 2007* Fleet Racing Schedule  

*April 7 is a reserve day for sailing.  June 22, 2005, was a reserve day for sailing, and an alternate day for prize giving.  Otherwise, the match racing regatta was scheduled to end on June 21, with prizes awarded that day.  The end dates for the other upcoming 2005 regattas work in a similar manner.

**ACM last modified the 2006 dates in October 2005. The official web site also referred to the regatta following Act 12 as Act 14, though the Challenger Commission listed Act 13.   In February 2006, Act 14 was officially changed to Act 13.

 

Please note that all dates on this page are selected at the discretion of the event organizers, reported here as we believe to be accurate, but are subject to change or correction at any time.  Please confirm all dates before making travel or other arrangements.

Notes on the locations:
The alternate northern European site most often mentioned was Kiel, though a Scandinavian option such as Gothenberg (Göteborg) was also a possibility, though the ultimate selection, Malmo (Malmö), was mentioned quite often later on as the front-runner.  Cowes, Southampton, and other venues in the UK are said by some sources to have been earlier eliminated from consideration.

One notable change from previous Act schedules is that fleet racing and match racing events are now regarded as distinct Acts, even if they are separated only by one day at the same venue. Additionally, the fleet racing at the beginning of the Louis Vuitton Cup in 2007 is billed as an "Act" as well (see 2007 Selection below), though as defender Alinghi will not participate in the 2007 Louis Vuitton competition regardless.

It should also be noted that having a defender sail in organized events against challengers prior to the actual America's Cup match is a recent development only since the NYYC lost the cup in 1983. And, even so, until 2004 the defender and challengers have never competed together in events that were actually part of the challenger selection process.  Nor did potential defenders and challengers historically compete in any races against each other with the actual yachts that would be used in the defense.

The fleet racing format is a change from previous practice as well.  With the America's Cup itself being a match racing event, challenger selection (and when applicable, defender selection) has until now always been organized around the boat against boat match racing performance of the challenger competitors.

The locations of the first three Acts were officially announced March 25, 2004. ACM ran the Louis Vuitton races and provided transportation and accommodations for the yachts and crew between Valencia and Marseille.  As of late May, 2004, it was announced by ACM that there were slots for only eight teams in Marseilles, with five of them already filled by confirmed entrants Alinghi, BMW Oracle, Le Défi, K-Challenge, and Shosholoza, with three entry slots remaining.  By June, 2004, Emirates Team New Zealand made it clear that they would also compete in the fall racing series. Luna Rossa and +39 joined the competition for Acts 2 and 3.

Additional teams that previously suggested they would compete in 2004 were OzBoyz and Team France.  OzBoyz announced June, 2004, that they would not sail in the LVA races for 2004. Team France ceased operations in June, 2004.  The  number of teams allowed to participate in the 2004 Valencia events was not limited by the organizers.

Evolution of the Future Acts:
Glimpses of things to come were made in June, 2004, in an ACM press release that included mention of four Acts to be held in 2005 and three Acts in 2006, locations and dates to be determined.

Soon thereafter, Alinghi made public a plan including Act 4 in Valencia June, 2005 (Fleet Racing); Act 5 in a Northern Europe location (TBD) August, 2005; Act 6 in a Mediterranean location (TBD). September, 2005; Act 7 in Valencia in 2006, Date TBD; Act 8 in Valencia : 2006, Date TBD; and Act 9 in Valencia in 2007, shortly preceding the actual Louis Vuitton Cup.

Based on reliable reports following the team meetings in August, the schedule changed again slightly, with some of the venues hosting separate fleet racing and match racing series, each of which were now to be counted as individual Louis Vuitton Acts, as follows: three pairs of match race/fleet race regattas to be held in 2005 similar to the double regatta in Valencia, October, 2004; Acts 4 and 5 in Valencia in June, 2005; Acts 6 and 7 Northern Europe, possibly Kiel or Southampton, late August, 2004; Acts 8 and 9 in southern Europe, possibly Italy, late September, 2004; Acts 10 and 11 to be paired regattas in Valencia, May 2006; and Act 12 also in Valencia in June, 2006, as a dress rehearsal for the Cup a year later.  The latest scheme only changed slightly from the August 2004 version, and confirms Sicily as the Act 8 and 9 venue.

Act 6 and 7 were publicly announced February 3, 2005.  Careful observers will notice that there is not an Act Thirteen on the schedule.

Acts 10, 11, and 12 were confirmed by ACM in October, 2005, shifting only slightly from previously announced dates.

Other Racing Possibilities:
The idea of an exhibition event in Switzerland was strong for a while, and the desire of teams and sponsors for US exposure supported the possibility of another exhibition in the US in late September or early October 2006.

ETNZ was declared the winner of the 2004 America's Cup Class world championship based on their showing in Acts 1-3.  It has also been mentioned by some sources that a separate regatta could be held as the ACC championship in coming years.

A number of other variations on the challenger regatta plans surfaced before the official announcements suggesting a series of races to be held in 2004 and 2005 that might be part of an America's Cup tour featuring racing stops in the chosen defense venue, the various eliminated cities, and even Asia. 

Reports from Chinese media outlets supported the possibility of an Act in 2006 at Quindao, the 2008 Olympic Sailing Venue. 2006 also hinted at a "official" US visit and the two fleet regattas in Valencia as an overture for the 2007 event.  These rumors haven't completely died out, and certain observers think racing in the US in some capacity is still high on ACM's list.  The success of the UBS Trophy in Newport in June, 2004, lent increased credibility to the idea that one of the LV Acts or something similar will be held there in 2005 or 2006.

During the Moët Cup in San Francisco in 2003, a race series similar to the 2004 Newport regatta had been rumored for Annapolis, Maryland, to take place later in the summer or fall of 2004, with the second match for the Moët Cup possibly being part of those activities, but this event seems to have fallen by the wayside.

A few opportunities for pure exhibition racing have been floated, with Alinghi talking of doing so on Geneva's Lake Léman in 2006, ideally using America's Cup Class boats, but as of October, 2005, this event is no longer on the table.  The understanding is that conducting an exhibition of only a couple teams under an America's Cup banner would not be fair to all teams and sponsors, and it's likely at this point that these pressures along with financial and time factors will be a deterrent to any other exhibition events before the defense of the Cup in 2007.

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Challenger Selection for 2007

The officially announced schedule for Challenger selection and the 2007 America's Cup :

 
  2007 Challenger Selection And America's Cup Dates  
  April 1   Keel Unveiling Day  
  April 3 - 6   Fleet Racing Regatta (Louis Vuitton Act 13)  
  Challenger Selection: Louis Vuitton Cup  
  April 16   Louis Vuitton Cup Rounds-Robin begin  
  May 14   Louis Vuitton Cup Semi-final begins  
  June 1   Louis Vuitton Cup Final begins  
  America's Cup Match:  
  June 23   32nd Defense of the America's Cup begins  
 

Please note that all dates on this page are selected at the discretion of the event organizers, reported here as we believe to be accurate, but are subject to change or correction at any time.  Please confirm all dates before making travel or other arrangements.

Once the final Louis Vuitton Act has concluded, currently scheduled for April 3-6, 2007, the selection series to determine the 32nd Challenger for the America's Cup will begin.  Since 1983, the winner of the Challenger Series has been awarded the Louis Vuitton Cup. Also beginning in 1983, when defender selection trials were held the selected defender was awarded the Citizen Cup.  Defender selection trials were a feature of every defense from 1870 until 2000 (with the exception of the unique America's Cup Match held in 1988 which was held strictly under the provisions of the Deed of Gift).  Challenger Selection trials were not held for the first time until 1970.

As for the actual challenger selection process in the Louis Vuitton Cup, three sets of races held at the defense venue in April-June 2007 will be used to determine the 32nd Challenger for the America's Cup:  Rounds-Robin, followed by a semi-final and a final series.  The specifics were the subject of extended negotiation. The Challenger Commission and America's Cup Management eventually reached agreement on the "The Valencia Plan":

A Rounds-Robin sequence, with all of the official challengers competing.  Based on standing determined by "Ranking Points" earned in certain of the preceding Louis Vuitton Acts, the teams will be awarded "Bonus Points" that improve their standing in the Round-Robin results.  There will be only two rounds-robin and the RR victories from round to round will be equally weighted, unlike recent LVC practice that gave more importance to later rounds.  Based on the RR results plus "Bonus Points" the top four teams will advance to the Semi-Final.

Louis Vuitton Cup Semi-Final Series: the top four teams, arranged in two pairs, compete in a match race series. The format is best-of-five, with the losers eliminated. The winner of each series advances to the Louis Vuitton Cup Final

Louis Vuitton Cup Final Match: the two semi-final winners compete against each other in a best-of-five series.  The victor wins the Louis Vuitton Cup and becomes the 32nd Challenger for the America's Cup.

 June 7, 2005: Agreement Reached on Scoring System - Read more about "The Valencia Plan"

The Valencia Plan replaced a draft proposal known as "The San Fran Plan".

An outline of The San Fran Plan:
The points from each Act will be weighted with a factor of 1 for the Acts sailed in 2004, by a factor of 2 for the 2005 regattas, and by a factor of 5 for 2006 and 2007 regattas.  Starting on or about April 18, 2007:

A Rounds-Robin sequence, with all of the official challengers competing, will be seeded based on the weighted points earned in the preceding Louis Vuitton Acts.   If there are fewer than 10 official challenger candidates, then there will be 3 rounds-robin.  If there are 10 or more official candidates, then there will be only 2 rounds-robin.  Currently, there are nine official teams, meaning a minimum of 24 races would be sailed by each team (eight opponents multiplied times three rounds).  The RR victories would be equally weighted, unlike recent LVC practice.  The top four teams based on the RR results advance to the Semi-Final.

Louis Vuitton Cup Semi-Final Series: the top four teams, arranged in two pairs, compete in a match race series. The format is best-of-five, with the losers eliminated. The winner of each series advances to the Louis Vuitton Cup Final

Louis Vuitton Cup Final Match: the two semi-final winners compete against each other in a best-of-five series.  The victor wins the Louis Vuitton Cup and becomes the 32nd Challenger for the America's Cup.

Read more details at the Challenger Commission website

Previously:
The above is only somewhat varied from the understanding which generally prevailed in 2004, approximately as follows:  Challenger candidates competing in any of the Louis Vuitton Acts would be awarded points for the order of their finish in each event.  The points available were to be based on the number of registered teams in the particular Act, with, for example, 8 points awarded for finishing first among 8 competitors and so on down the order.  Additionally, an increasing weight would applied to the points awarded in each year.  Points from 2005 Acts are multiplied by a factor of 2.  2006 points are multiplied by a factor of 3.  2007's Act Nine points are multiplied by a factor of 4.

An initial fleet racing event would be used to seed two or three round-robin cycles.  Some recent descriptions of the process say that the results of the Louis Vuitton Acts will be considered, in effect, as an additional round-robin in the challenger selection process.  The results of the spring 2007 round-robins, combined in some way with the weighted points from the nine Louis Vuitton Acts, will establish the top four teams that then face each other in a match racing elimination bracket, with the two finalists competing to win the Louis Vuitton Cup and become the challenger.  (The bracket was earlier said by ACM to consist of the top eight teams).

The fleet racing and round-robin events are required under the protocol to take place in the same year as each other, though at first it was not definite whether this would be 2006 or 2007.  Some earlier comments from Alinghi members described a portion of the prospective challengers being eliminated first in the fleet racing and round-robin regattas in 2006, leaving the top candidates to compete in a streamlined elimination series in 2007, followed closely by the America's Cup match itself.  ACM's Michel Bonnefous, though, told Angus Phillips in the Washington Post, June, 2003, that the entire challenger selection series and the America's Cup defense itself could be compressed into as little as two months in 2007.  Alinghi sources repeated this accelerated schedule in comments to the press in September, 2003.  The actual announced dates for choosing the challengers and defending the America's Cup in the end followed a three-month schedule, two months shorter than the 2003 regatta in Auckland.       

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