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Between Defenses:
Recent America's Cup Racing 2003-2007:

 

On this page:


Recent America's Cup Class Racing events
including the Challenge Series/IACCSF and the Mot Cup
June 2004: Newport, Rhode Island, UBS Trophy

Louis Vuitton Acts 1,2,3
 


Recent Events
The
Challenge Series (formerly the International America's Cup Class San Francisco/IACCSF) planned to hold regattas for America's Cup Class yachts in summer and fall of 2003.  The Challenge Series is not officially associated with the America's Cup, but many yachts and teams including 2007 challenger candidates planned to compete. Wells-Fargo sponsored the crowd pleasing event featuring America's Cup Class racing in San Francisco Bay.  The intended 2003 schedule was: The Sausalito Cup (June 20-22); The II Moro Trophy (July 25-27); The Golden Gate Cup (Sept. 5-8); and The 2003 America's Cup Class World Championship (Oct. 11-19).  The first two regattas ran as planned and were successful experiences for racers and spectators alike, but surprisingly in late August the Challenge Series announced on its web site that mounting financial pressures in the absence of significant sponsorship participation have forced them to cancel the remaining Challenge Series events planned for 2003.   Their focus will shift towards racing and preserving the early generation of ACC yachts.  Three events are scheduled for 2004.  See: http://www.challenge-series.com for detailed information.

Despite the 2003 Golden Gate Cup cancellation, Oracle, K-Challenge, and Alinghi competed on a non-official basis Sept 6-7, racing about twice per day.

Two vintage ACC yachts also raced this October and November in Auckland.  The National Business Review Corporate Cup match-racing series used a round-robin format with crews organized in 8 corporate challenge teams.

Mot Cup
The newly-named Mot Cup, an exhibition event, took place in fall, 2003, in San Francisco, California.  Described as a re-match of the 2003 Louis Vuitton Cup between Alinghi and OracleBMW Racing, using the same yachts and many of the same crew members, the match was raced September 15-20.  One portion of the event was a series of owner-helmed races, so there were definite bragging rights at stake.  Dock talk spiced up the competition with the rumor that Ernesto Bertarelli and Larry Ellison had a seven-figure wager riding on the outcome.  In the other races, each team had one of their professional helmsman at the wheel, Jochen Schuemann and Gavin Brady.  Oracle BMW won both series, 3 races to 2 in the Owner Driver series and 4 races to 3 in the Professional Driver series. The Outdoor Life Network carried daily television coverage, including Virtual Spectator animations and commentary by Peter Isler, Dawn Riley, and Gary Jobson. Italian and German television networks also aired the races, as did CNBC's international channels. See the official Mot Cup website http://www.moetcup.com/ and the Golden Gate YC website http://www.ggyc.com/moet/index.htm for more event details and race coverage. The Louis Vuitton and Mot & Chandon brands are both owned by The LVMH Group.  The successful racing series was immediately followed by talk of holding the Mot or a similar competition in San Francisco again in 2004.

The ACC World Championships scheduled to take place in San Francisco in October 11 to 19, 2003 were canceled in August at the same time as the remaining Challenge Series events.  Alinghi had been expected to participate with SUI-64.  Oracle, K-Challenge, and LeDefi had also announced plans to compete.  TNZ's participation was uncertain. See the Challenge Series site for information on 2004 racing.  Comments in the press suggest that future ACC World Championships may affect seeding or other aspects of the challenger selection process for the 32nd defense.

UBS Trophy: Newport, Rhode Island, June 2004
On December 12, 2003, Alinghi officially announced the event involving seven days of racing for the UBS Trophy.  Rhode Island state officials interviewed by the Providence Journal in late September, 2003, spoke then with expectations of up to 6 teams and 7-8 days of racing, likely preceded by several weeks of training.   TNZ had previously hinted at racing one of their 2003 boats in Newport. Other teams were thought to be likely, and several had mentioned their interest in the event, though only BMW Oracle was confirmed as of mid-February.  Somewhat surprisingly to fans, given the early news, the event in practice was a two-team match race series that featured the 2007 Defender and Challenger, who were also the 2003 Louis Vuitton Semi-Finalists. Competition generally featured two races each day. An owner-driver series, as seen in the Mot Cup, was also part of the event.  The race course was within Narragansett Bay, offering many shoreside spectating locations.  Dates were June 19th to 27th, with opening festivities on the Friday the 18th. See the press release for more details.  The event website is http://www.ubstrophy.com See CupInfo's UBS Trophy Recap page for more.

Live race commentary from Dawn Riley was broadcast on Rhode Island AM Radio station WDAK 1540.

Television coverage of the UBS Trophy was shown in the US on Outdoor Life Network June 29, June 30, and July 1.  Finland's Sportnetwork, the United Kingdom's Sky Sport, France's Eurosport, and Germany's DSF among others also aired UBS Trophy programs. See the UBS Trophy site listings for more detail

Following its announcement in December, Alinghi said that all racing after the UBS Trophy would be organized by ACM, not the defending team.  The plan for 2004 consists of the Alinghi-run UBS Trophy regatta in the US in June, followed by racing under ACM's banner in Mediterranean locations beginning in September.

"The Pre-Regattas": Europe, September 2004 and Beyond
AC Management has 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 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 (see Challenger Selection below for more details).

Latest plans call for a total of up to thirteen "Acts" of the Louis Vuitton Cup, beginning in September 2004 and leading up to the start of the actual Louis Vuitton Cup selection in April-May 2007.

The locations of the first three Acts were officially announced March 25, 2004, and those regattas took place as follows:

  Event:   From CupInfo:  
  Louis Vuitton "Act One"
Fleet racing and match racing in

Marseille : September 5-11
 
  CupInfo's Act One page  
  Louis Vuitton "Act Two"
Match racing series in
Valencia : October 5-12
 
  CupInfo's Act Two page  
  Louis Vuitton "Act Three"
Fleet racing in
Valencia : Oct 14-17
 
  CupInfo's Act Three page  
         

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 Dfi, 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 this year. 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.

Also see: Upcoming ACC Racing

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