Louis Vuitton Trophy
: Nice, November 2009

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Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice, Côte d’Azur


  Overall Standings: (Final)


Round Robin Results
: (Final)


      Next Louis Vuitton Trophy Regatta: Auckland, NZ, Mar 9-21, 2010

Scroll down for day-by-day race results and photos.  Also on this page: Basic Facts | Teams and Skippers

See Detailed Results and more at Official LVT Web Site

Louis Vuitton Trophy Stories:
Finals and Semi-Final Day-by Day Results

TeamOrigin, above, lost to Azzurra in the Semi Finals.
Photo:©2009 Ian Roman/TeamOrigin

Italy's Azzurra wins the Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice after defeating Emirates Team New Zealand 2-0 in the Finals.  ETNZ finishes second in the regatta.  See Sunday Report below.

Petit Final Complete:
Synergy d. TeamOrigin
Synergy finish 3rd, Origin finish 4th

Semi Finals Complete:
Azzurra d. TeamOrigin
ETNZ d. Synergy

The remainder of the fleet finishes: All4One (5th), BMW Oracle (6th), Artemis of Sweden (7th), Team French Spirit Pages Jaunes (8th).

At LVT website:
See Results and Standings
Principal Race Officer Peter Reggio gets deep, literally: It's Not Easy Being Luigi

Azzurra's crew celebrates their Louis Vuitton victory.
Photo:©2009 Chris Cameron/ETNZ

Sunday Report -- Finals:
Despite rounding the wrong gate, interference from helicopter downwash, and losing a bowman overboard, Italy’s Azzurra won the Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice on Sunday, besting powerhouse Emirates Team New Zealand in the Final match.

Francesco Bruni, Skipper, Azzurra: “It’s an amazing sensation. I can’t find the words to describe it,” said the 40-year-old Sicilian. “We knew we could do a good job. We had very good training before the event. But we never thought about beating New Zealand in the final.”

Dean Barker, Skipper, ETNZ: “I think we sailed well today, but Azzurra was clearly better than us. They did everything right. Sometimes that’s just the way it is. You’re either in the right place or you’re not. Today Azzurra sailed very, very, well.”

In the light and shifty conditions on a short race course, once ETNZ found themselves behind, they never had enough traction to catch the Italian boat.

Azzurra, representing YC Costa Smeralda, isn’t exactly an upstart, with origins that pre-date every other active America’s Cup team. The Italian effort was founded for the 1983 Defense and competed also in 1987 on Fremantle, before being resurrected last month to race for the Louis Vuitton Trophy.

ETNZ chasing winner Azzurra in the LVT Final.
Photo:©2009 Chris Cameron/ETNZ

Photo:©2009 Chris Cameron/ETNZ

Friday Report  -- Semi-Finals and Lower Knockouts:
Big breeze and a confused sea state made for tough going on the water and in the protest room.  ETNZ and Synergy fought two terrific battles, splitting the races, or so it seemed.

The first race saw three lead changes before ETNZ was able catch Synergy on the last run, luffing the Russian team and taking the win.  In the Race Two pre-start ETNZ incurred a penalty for gybing too close and could not shake Synergy enough to complete the penalty turn.  Dean Barker took Karol Jablonski past the committee boat, and in the ensuing dash back to the line the two boats hit beam to beam with enough force to cause damage. 

Protest Committee penalties left both teams with no points, turning tomorrow’s race into a single elimination decider.

In the other semi final, TeamOrigin evened the score employing clinical match racing tactics in the pre-start against Azzurra.  Ben Ainslie gained two penalties against Francesco Bruni, and then left Azzurra behind when the Italians had to return to the line after starting early.

Francesco Bruni: "For sure today was harder for the crew, for everybody.  To go from 15 days of very, very light wind and flat water to these conditions, to switch is hardest for me.  I wasn’t as ready as Ben.  I think he did a good job."

In the Knockout portion of the bracket, BMW Oracle defeated TFS PagesJaunes in the first race while All4One beat Artemis, then faced BMWO to decide 5th and 6th place.

BMW Oracle led on the first leg, but at the rounding with All4One close astern, BMWO tacked to port to round the first mark, forcing All4One to bear away, and the umpires red-flagged BMWO.  Taking the immediate penalty turn let All4One grab the lead, going on to win and place fifth overall in the regatta.

BMW Oracle took sixth, Artemis of Sweden placed seventh on countback, and TFS PagesJaunes ended up eighth.

Thursday Report:
Azzurra came out swinging and took the first race of their semifinal series against TeamOrigin before fading winds postponed the other scheduled matches.

In the only SF race, despite early advantage for Azzurra on the first windward leg, they overstood the layline and Origin closed in toward the top mark, hoping to shoot it and take the lead.  Italian Skipper Francesco Bruni regained position just in time, used the overlap to force the Brits wide, and Azzurra rounded ahead.

Francesco Bruni: "It was a very important race for us and now I’m more confident on the starting line.  During the pre-start we fought for the right and won it. We made a mistake on the first layline (by overstanding), but (tactician) Tommaso Chieffi did a good job calling the wind shifts and we regained our lead."

Ben Aislie’s crew was surprised by the overlap call as they entered the two-boat-length circle for the mark rounding.  Mike Sanderson, TeamOrigin: "We felt we were safely clear ahead when we entered the circle but that was not to be their decision and so we trailed into the first mark.  Azzurra did a lovely job thereafter of protecting their lead to take the win."

Winds dropped from 8-10 kts at the gun to only 4-5 kts by the finish, and PRO Peter Reggio postponed the remaining semi-final races until Friday on the basis that although wind direction was consistent, the choppy seas would overwhelm the yachts in such light conditions.

Photo:©2009 Chris Cameron/ETNZ

Tuesday Report:
Emirates Team Zealand will race Synergy Russia Sailing Team in the semi finals.  Normally a team like ETNZ after posting the top score in preliminary rounds might select the weakest opponent, but Synergy is coming into the semis with five straight wins under the helm of Karol Jablonski, stands in second place on points, and looks dangerous.

“It’s hard when you get to this stage of the regatta,” said Dean Barker, Skipper, ETNZ. “All the teams are strong. They won’t be an easy opponent and if we don’t sail well they’ll beat us.”  See Matchup at LVT

ETNZ’s selection leaves Britain’s TeamOrigin to face Azzurra, the Italian team that beat Origin by one minute in RR1.  Azzurra stands third and Origin fourth after the preliminary rounds, and possibly the Kiwis hope that Francesco Bruni will spare ETNZ the need to face Origin, or could it be Azzurra that they worry about more?

In the Louis Vuitton Trophy semi finals the first crew to score two points wins the match.

Fifth through eighth place are also up for grabs in a series of single-race matches.  BMW Oracle Racing will race TFS Pages Jaunes while Artemis of Sweden goes up against All4One.  The winners face off against each other to settle fifth and sixth place, while the losers have their own single-race match for seventh and eighth.

Wednesday is a rest day. Racing is scheduled to resume Thursday, November 19.

Photo:©2009 Ian Roman/TeamOrigin


Louis Vuitton Trophy, Nice, Facts:

Visit the Official Event Web Site


Louis Vuitton Trophy Series
Factsheet for Nice, France:


Opening Ceremony: Nov 7
Racing: Nov 7-22, 2009



The races will be sailed on the Bay of Angels, near the city of Nice, on the French Riviera, also called the Côte d’Azur.



Boat   Provided by:
FRA-93   All4One, formerly raced by
K-Challenge/Areva ('07)
GBR-75   TeamOrigin, formerly was
SUI-75 Alinghi ('03)
ITA-90   Mascalzone Latino ('07)



Mascalzone Latino ('07)


The teams will rotate among the two pairs of boats, with each pair tuned to be as equal as possible.

The competitors will be supplied with spinnakers and mainsail logos identifying their team.

Teams for Nice, France:

Team: Skipper:



Jochen Schümann



Paul Cayard



Francesco Bruni

BMW Oracle


Russell Coutts

Emirates TNZ


Dean Barker



Ben Ainslie

Team French Spirit


Bertrand Pacé

Synergy Russia


Karol Jablonski





Rounds Robin Day-by-Day Results:

Photo:©2009 Ian Roman/TeamOrigin

Monday Report:
The breeze returned to the Côte d’Azur today, leaving just one race left in the second round robin at the Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice but the positions at the top of the standings are set.

Emirates Team New Zealand secured victory in the round robin and will choose their semi final opponent, following their race tomorrow against the Russian Synergy team. Synergy continued their run through the late stages of the round robins, defeating Italy’s Azzurra in a hard fought battle in steady breezes nearing 15 knots.

Knowing that a win would secure their spot in the top four, Synergy held Azzurra close, never getting more than two boat lengths away from their rivals. With both boats holding a close cover, Synergy just barely ahead, the match looked to go right down to the finish until a jibe to port to roll Synergy resulted in a completely blown-out asymmetric spinnaker for the Italians.

“I think Synergy was strong on us but by pushing to edge we thought their spinnaker might blow.  It was a 50-50 chance,” said Francesco Bruni, Azzurra’s skipper. “That was one of best races I’ve ever sailed in Cup boats. I really enjoyed it.  Every leg was close and each crew did a fantastic job.” Other matches included BMW Oracle Racing defeating Artemis, TeamOrigin beating All4One, Azzurra beating BMW Oracle nd Artemis defeating TFS PagesJaunes.

Once the round robin finishes tomorrow, ETNZ will pick their opponent from the other top four boats, including TeamOrigin (8-3), Azzurra (7-4) or Synergy (6-4). The second half of the leaderboard has Artemis (5-6) in fifth, BMW Oracle Racing (4-7) in sixth, All4One (3-8) in seventh and TFS PagesJaunes (1-10) in eighth..

These four teams will race a knockout round to determine places 5th though 8th concurrent with the semi finals.

Sunday Report:
Russia’s Synergy continued their surge through the field Sunday, defeating TeamOrigin and Artemis to take over fourth place, while Emirates Team New Zealand clinched the rounds robin victory.

The Kiwis (9-1) beat TFS-Pages Jaunes (1-9) and BMW Oracle Racing (3-6) securing top seed, while TeamOrigin (7-3) held onto second place, splitting races between BMW Oracle Racing and Synergy (5-4).  The Americans dropped to sixth place with two losses today.

Synergy and helmsman Karol Jablonski won the first cross against TeamOrigin and held the lead around the course.  Ben Ainslie, helmsman for TeamOrigin, was impressed.

“It’s good to see those guys doing so well,” Ainslie said. “They’ve got some great sailors. It’s good to see that when they get the boat handling side figured out they’ve got some smart sailors who know what a wind shift is and can figure it out.”

The amended second round robin continues Monday.

Saturday Report:
It was a day of upsets with Italian upstarts Azzurra losing the first two matches of the shortened Round Robin 2, falling first to Team French Spirit Pages Jaunes, earning the French their first victory in the regatta, and then beaten by Franco-German All4One. Earlier in the day, BMW Oracle Racing completed their first round with a disappointing loss to Russia’s Synergy, sending the Americans to the bottom half of the standings going into the second round.

Emirates Team New Zealand, though, headed back toward the top of the heap, defeating All4One, and TeamOrigin took down Team French Spirit Pages Jaunes, with Origin’s Ben Ainslie dominating the prestart and leading wire to wire.

Iain Percy, tactician, TeamOrigin: "A very difficult race, even if we did get a long way in front! There were 45-degree wind shifts and big holes of wind all over the place. We kept our wits about us and made sure we didn't take any risks.”

Breeze permitting, the remainder of the second round robin will be sailed tomorrow. Highlights include an uphill battle for BMW Oracle, facing ETNZ and TeamOrigin.

Friday Report:
In a classic match racing battle, TeamOrigin defeated previously unbeaten Emirates Team New Zealand today at the Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice regatta. The Kiwis lead from the start, taking the initially-favored left side of the course, but as breeze filled in from the right, the Brits dialed down ETNZ at the top mark. TeamOrigin got the best of the ensuing luffing battle, and rounded the mark with a 22-second lead they never relinquished.

Sir Keith Mills, Team Principal, had a front row seat onboard as 18th man, and afterwards praised his Helmsman Ben Ainslie. “It was really close. Ben brilliantly shut them out. The luff, the slow speed sailing, the escape, that was classic Ben Ainslie. The team were faultless, textbook good. It has to be textbook good against the New Zealanders. They are the reference.”

Next came a fight for the overall regatta lead, with TeamOrigin going up against Italy’s Azzurra, both teams holding 5-1 records. The Italians copped a red flag penalty on the first beat for failing to keep clear, but gained the lead back when the British team failed to cover on the run. After BMW Oracle Racing defeated Artemis of Sweden their afternoon race against the Russian Synergy team was abandoned due to conditions and will have to be sailed before the quarter finals draw.

The match has significant implications for the standings. If BMW Oracle wins, they place fourth and Synergy finishes sixth behind Sweden’s Artemis. If Synergy wins, however, all three teams would be have 3-4 records and the tiebreaker would place Artemis fourth, Synergy fifth and BMW Oracle sixth.

The standings are important because due to the time lost to the light sailing conditions, the second half of the regatta has been changed. A half round robin will be conducted with the top four teams racing the bottom four teams. Each team has four matches scheduled before the semifinals begin next Thursday.

Photo:©2009 Chris Cameron/ETNZ

Thursday Report:
One of the unbeaten teams fell by the wayside at the Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice today, as Britain's TeamOrigin lost to one of the newer teams, albeit one with some serious America’s Cup experience onboard.  Sweden’s Artemis with Terry Hutchinson at the helm and Paul Cayard as strategist got the best of TeamOrigin at the start and the relatively short 1.3 mile course gave the Brits no chance to recover.

“We got ourselves a little late having misjudged the layline and gave them a powerful position,” TeamOrigin tactician Iain Percy explained. For people watching, some of those moves seemed to be wrong but the reality is that when you are starting with them bow forward by half a length at the favored end, wide right, the race is kind of over.  Although sometimes it looks like you are making more mistakes, in fact you are trying to give yourself a chance to get out.”

In the day’s other big match ups, Emirates Team New Zealand remained undefeated, taking down BMW Oracle Racing, and Italy’s Azzurra vaulted TeamOrigin into second place with a win over All4One.  The remaining card including races between BMWO and Artemis, and ETNZ and TeamOrigin was postponed until Friday, as fickle wind conditions remain in the forecast.

See Full Results at LV Trophy site

Photo:©2009 Ian Roman/TeamOrigin

Wednesday Report:
Light winds greeted teams this morning at the Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice, with a two hour delay as organizers waited for the fickle breezes to fill in.

One of the day’s highlights was the first point for the Russian Synergy team, beating hosts All4One after the French/German team got tangled up with the race committee boat on the start.

Otherwise, it was a day that saw the unbeatens stay unbeaten, with Emirates Team New Zealand defeating Artemis of Sweden and TeamOrigin taking down BMW Oracle Racing.  ETNZ, Origin, and Azzurra remain the top three teams in the standings.

The day’s last flight, between ETNZ and BMW Oracle was cancelled, to be sailed tomorrow.

Tuesday Results/Wednesday Outlook:
More typical conditions prevailed in Nice on Tuesday, helping the Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice Côte d’Azur to catch up on the schedule.  With eight matches complete on the day, Emirates Team New Zealand remains undefeated and at the top of the leader board with a 4-0 record.

England’s TeamOrigin stands one point behind at 3-0. ETNZ had all they could handle with the fledgling Azzura team today. “Dean did a great job in the pre-start and had Azzura on the ropes,” said team boss Grant Dalton. “Then they were over early and almost handed it to us. But Azzurra kept it tight.  It surprised me that we didn’t sail away more than we did. We didn’t underestimate Azzurra even though they’re a new team and they certainly didn’t let us down."

The Italians are the early surprise of the regatta, posting a 2-1 record so far with Francesco Bruni at the wheel, building on his strong showing in Auckland’s Louis Vuitton Pacific Series last February.

Despite the loss, Azzurra leads BMW Oracle Racing, also at 2-1, since the Italian team holds the tie-breaker having earlier defeated the Americans.  Among the eight matches scheduled for Wednesday, BMW Oracle will have their hands full against both of the undefeated teams -- TeamOrigin in the second flight and ETNZ in the fourth.

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