Tag Archive | "Louis Vuitton Cup"

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Oracle Team USA’s quarter-billion euro budget in the 34th America’s Cup

Posted on 15 October 2013 by Valencia Sailing

If the figures mentioned in the article that appeared on Eurosport France last week are true, not only would they confirm our information and analysis we provided in our editorial, they would also, once again, validate what is common knowledge. As long as Larry Ellison is willing to spend such mind-boggling amounts, it will be nearly impossible for a challenger to beat him and, consequently, it becomes impossible for a commercially-funded challenger to get the corporate funding required to even have a decent chance in being competitive.

Bruno Troublé wasn’t, obviously, overflowing with enthusiasm this summer in San Francisco, as this edition of the Louis Vuitton Cup, his brainchild, saw just three challengers, the smallest number ever in the 30-year history of the event. “If you take out the tycoons, one of which was Ellison, that funded the four participating boats, a project isn’t viable,” claimed Troublé, adding that “we have to reduce the budgets and find a way to participate with €20 million.”

I don’t know whether budgets of just €20 million will ever be possible, feasible or even desirable but one thing is for sure, the 34th America’s Cup saw an escalation of costs. The budgets of the four teams, as mentioned in the article, are phenomenal! According to Bruno Troublé, Oracle Team USA spent €250 million to successfully defend the America’s Cup. Artemis Racing had a budget of €160 million (!!!), presumably entirely funded by Swedish billionaire Torbjörn Törnqvist while Luna Rossa had at its disposal €100 million euros. According to Prada Group filings with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the luxury group provided nearly €50 million euros, so it is fair to assume that the remaining €50 million came from Patrizio Bertelli.

Last but certainly not least, Emirates Team New Zealand had a total budget of (just…) €80 million, always according to Bruno Troublé. If these figures are real, this probably made the Kiwi challenger as the best return on investment for any sponsor and Artemis Racing the biggest failure! Larry Ellison and Russell Coutts, frequently pointed out that what the Louis Vuitton Cup lacked in quantity had in quality. However, that isn’t fully true either, because neither Luna Rossa nor Artemis Racing were competitive at all against Emirates Team New Zealand.

Larry Ellison and the Oracle Team USA celebrate a victory that cost, according to Bruno Troublé, a quarter-billion euros… San Francisco, 25 September 2013. Photo copyright Gilles Martin-Raget

The question again is whether the America’s Cup should be accessible to teams with budgets of just €20 million. The America’s Cup is what it is and I don’t think it would ever be possible to impose budget or salary caps, as Troublé would like. The America’s Cup is the only major sports competition where the winner has the liberty to rewrite the rules as it pleases. We have already gone through this and it’s useless to repeat it.

However, as Sébastien Col pointed out, “Ellison has shown he was ready to win at all costs. Which investor will still dare to confront him, knowing that the chances to beat him are almost zero?” It is more than clear that it will be exceptionally hard, if not impossible, for a commercially-funded challenger to enter the 35th America’s Cup. Again, nothing wrong with that, but the facts fly in the face of the claims to make the America’s Cup commercially viable.

The rumor mill wants Louis Vuitton to be replaced by Red Bull as the naming sponsor of the next Challenger Selection Series, most likely to be held in the summer of 2017. Will the Red Bull Cup have more than three participants? Does Red Bull’s image fit to an event with a handful of participants, backed by billionaires willing to spend at least €100 million to face Ellison? They must know better than we do.

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Emirates Team New Zealand win the Louis Vuitton Cup

Posted on 26 August 2013 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Emirates Team New Zealand] Emirates Team New Zealand wrapped up the Louis Vuitton Cup final on Sunday with an emphatic light-air win over Luna Rossa Challenge.

Dean Barker and crew threaded their way through a fog-shrouded San Francisco Bay to win by 3m 20s.

Emirates Team New Zealand goes through to Challenge Oracle for the America’s Cup, with the first race on September 7.

New Zealand won the start and was never threatened. Luna Rossa, though, acquitted themselves well in the final series and the 7-1 score line reflected less sailing time in the AC72 than Emirates Team New Zealand.

Their development programme was several months behind that of ETNZ and, in the end, time on the water was probably the decider.

It has been good working with them over the past 18 months ashore and as a training partner.

Emirates Team New Zealand win their second consecutive Louis Vuitton Cup. San Francisco, 25 August 2013. Photo copyright Gilles Martin-Raget / America’s Cup

Luna Rossa announced today they will sail with us in the final build-up for the America’s Cup. They will help Dean Barker and the sailing crew test modifications that will be made this week and keep sharp with some race training.

Barker said after racing today that it had been the most difficult day on the water on the water they had encountered in the Louis Vuitton Cup with the fluky and shifting breeze and sailing in and out of the fog.

“We’re in San Francisco to win the America’s Cup, so winning the Louis Vuitton Cup is all part of the preparation.

“The team is extremely focused. We came up short in Valencia in 2007 and we’ll give it our all now in the next few weeks to make sure we’re as ready as can be.”

Luna Rossa skipper Max Sirena: “Again Emirates Team New Zealand did a great job. They managed the pre-start and the race well. They are a really strong team and I’m looking forward to seeing them racing in the match.

“We started this team late and the main goal for us was to do well in this Louis Vuitton Cup. We are proud of what we achieved. No one was putting us in the Louis Vuitton Cup Final one and a half years ago.

“I’m proud of all the work done by the team. I said to the guys just before the finish that today starts the new challenge for the next America’s Cup. We’re going to be stronger next time.”

Emirates Team New Zealand win their second consecutive Louis Vuitton Cup. San Francisco, 25 August 2013. Photo copyright Gilles Martin-Raget / America’s Cup

Louis Vuitton Cup Final Standings
1. Emirates Team New Zealand – 7
2. Luna Rossa Challenge – 1

Race 8 Performance Data
· Course: 5 Legs/10.26 nautical miles
· Elapsed Time: ETNZ – 33:49, LR – 37:09
· Delta: ETNZ +3:20
· Total distance sailed: ETNZ – 11.9 NM , LR – 12.3 NM
· Average Speed: ETNZ – 21.27 knots (24 mph), LR – 20.04 knots (23 mph)
· Top Speed: ETNZ – 41.19 knots (47 mph), LR – 38.73 knots (44 mph)

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Emirates Team New Zealand advances to 6-1 in the Louis Vuitton Cup finals

Posted on 25 August 2013 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Emirates Team New Zealand] Emirates Team New Zealand took another point today to lead Luna Rossa 6-1 in the final of the Louis Vuitton Cup. The team is now a win away from the seven needed to win the series and challenge Oracle for the America’s Cup.

Today Dean Barker and crew led from start to finish and were never seriously challenged. The delta was 1min 58sec.

The breeze today was close to the upper limit; the water was flat with a flood tide of 1.9 knots.

Race 7 statistics make interesting reading. Emirates Team New Zealand’s top speed was 47.18 knots, achieved as the yacht rounded mark 3. The maximum wind speed recorded was 21.4 knots

The team did a great job. Showing superior speed with authoritative boat handling and control. They got off the start line cleanly, took the first mark 4s ahead and extended to 27s at mark.

On the beat, the boat foiling at times, the lead grew quickly and the delta at the third mark was 1m 53s, at the fourth mark 1m 51s.

Skipper Dean Barker was disappointed not to get the second race away. The breeze has crept up and exceeded today’s wind limit.

One more victory and Emirates Team New Zealand get their berth at the America’s Cup match. San Francisco, 24 August 2013. Photo copyright Chris Cameron / Emirates Team New Zealand

Grant Dalton: “It’s frustrating not to be racing again today – but that’s yachting and that’s how it is. We will be back again tomorrow.

“Should we get through to the Cup match, we will be sailing in these conditions. It’s the top end …. but the boat feels fine, it’s responding well and we were able to work a bit on upwind foiling.

“As always the key is to get away at the start and lead comfortably at the first mark which closes down the following boat’s options.

“Today the Luna Rossa crew did all they could do to get us but in the end we were going a little bit faster.”

Race 7 performance data

• Course: 5 Legs/10.25 nautical miles
• Elapsed Time: ETNZ – 23:38, LR – 25:36
• Delta: ETNZ +1:58
• Total distance sailed: ETNZ – 11.4 NM , LR – 11.5 NM
• Average Speed: ETNZ – 29.24 knots, LR – 27.27 knots
• Top Speed: ETNZ – 47.18 knots, LR – 43.46 knots
• Wind speed: Average – 18 knots, Peak – 21.4 knots

One more victory and Emirates Team New Zealand get their berth at the America’s Cup match. San Francisco, 24 August 2013. Photo copyright Chris Cameron / Emirates Team New Zealand

One more victory and Emirates Team New Zealand get their berth at the America’s Cup match. San Francisco, 24 August 2013. Photo copyright Chris Cameron / Emirates Team New Zealand

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Emirates Team New Zealand collected another point in race 3 of the Louis Vuitton Cup finals today to go up 2-1

Posted on 20 August 2013 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Emirates Team New Zealand] Emirates Team New Zealand collected another point in race 3 of the Louis Vuitton Cup finals today to go up 2-1.

Luna Rossa retired from the race with a problem involving their wing-control system at Mark 2 and Dean Barker and crew completed the five-leg course by themselves.

Both teams felt the frustration of breakdown. For the third day in succession one of the boats did not finish the race and for the third time the scheduled second race of the day was postponed because wind limits had been exceeded.

Today’s start was even with Luna Rossa to windward. Emirates Team New Zealand rounded the first mark only a second ahead and extended on the run to round the second mark with a 21 sec delta. With Luna Rossa crippled, Emirates Team New Zealand cruised to the finish to collect the point.

Emirates Team New Zealand is now leading the Louis Vuitton Cup finals 2-1. San Francisco, 19 August 2013. Photo copyright Chris Cameron / Emirates Team New Zealand

Emirates Team New Zealand is now leading the Louis Vuitton Cup finals 2-1. San Francisco, 19 August 2013. Photo copyright Chris Cameron / Emirates Team New Zealand

Emirates Team New Zealand is now leading the Louis Vuitton Cup finals 2-1. San Francisco, 19 August 2013. Photo copyright Chris Cameron / Emirates Team New Zealand

Emirates Team New Zealand is now leading the Louis Vuitton Cup finals 2-1. San Francisco, 19 August 2013. Photo copyright Chris Cameron / Emirates Team New Zealand

Emirates Team New Zealand is now leading the Louis Vuitton Cup finals 2-1. San Francisco, 19 August 2013. Photo copyright Chris Cameron / Emirates Team New Zealand

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Luna Rossa scores her first point in the finals against Emirates Team New Zealand

Posted on 19 August 2013 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Luna Rossa] Sunday August 18th, San Francisco: foggy day, 16-17 knots wind from South West, choppy sea, ebb tide 2,3 knots. Race start at 13.10 local time.

Today Luna Rossa Challenge defeated Emirates Team New Zealand in the second regatta of the Louis Vuitton Cup Finals. Race n° 3 did not start due to the wind strength exceeding the limit.

Luna Rossa entered the pre-start box on starboard tack, obtained the inside and crossed the starting line on leeward together with the Kiwis. At first the New Zealanders rolled over Luna Rossa but, right after that, the Italians resumed a good speed and rounded the first mark less than one boat length behind.

Luna Rossa score their first point in the Louis Vuitton Cup finals. San Francisco, 18 August 2013. Photo copyright Carlo Borlenghi / Luna Rossa

On the run Luna Rossa decided for an early jibe whereas Team New Zealand chose to sail inshore. The two teams sailed downwind maintaining a very similar average speed (32.08 knots Luna Rossa and 32.21 knots Emirates Team New Zealand) and at the downwind gate the two teams had a 300-meters gap (23 seconds).

Both teams started the first windward leg heading offshore and then tacked inshore; the tacks required to complete the leg did not modify the gap between the two boats. In proximity of the windward gate Emirates Team New Zealand incurred in a hydraulic problem with the daggerboards and quickly slowed down to 8 knots of speed.

At that point Luna Rossa took the lead to win the race and evened the score in the final of the Louis Vuitton Cup against Emirates Team New Zealand to 1-1 with a victory in Race 2.

At the end of the race Max Sirena declared: “This is our first point in a Finals race against the Kiwis so we are pleased to have interrupted their series of victories. Today it was their turn experiencing a technical problem; I know we have improved a lot and are closing the gap… and this has allowed us to both optimize on an opportunity and to exploit an unforeseen issue that, for once, was in our favour.”

Luna Rossa completed the 10.02 -nautical mile course in 25 minutes, 34 seconds, maintaining an average speed of 26.9 knots and reaching a maximum speed of 39.90 knots.

Luna Rossa Challenge will race again against Emirates Team New Zealand, tomorrow Monday August 19st, for the third and the fourth match of the Louis Vuitton Cup finals.

Today’s crew was: Max Sirena (skipper and pitman), Francesco Bruni (tactician), David Carr (pitman/grinder), Pierluigi de Felice (trimmer), Giles Scott (primary grinder), Chris Draper (helmsman), Xabi Fernandez (wing trimmer), Nick Hutton (bowman), Lele Marino (wing grinder), Marco Montis (freestyler) and Simone de Mari (hydraulic grinder).

Luna Rossa score their first point in the Louis Vuitton Cup finals. San Francisco, 18 August 2013. Photo copyright Carlo Borlenghi / Luna Rossa

Luna Rossa score their first point in the Louis Vuitton Cup finals. San Francisco, 18 August 2013. Photo copyright Carlo Borlenghi / Luna Rossa

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Video: Emirates Team New Zealand bow down in first race of Louis Vuitton Cup finals

Posted on 18 August 2013 by Valencia Sailing

Watch the first ever Oracle Team USA internal practice race that is fully boradcast by America’s Cup organizers. James Spithill takes on Ben Ainslie in the actual America’s Cup race course:

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Disaster strikes Emirates Team New Zealand during race 1 of the Louis Vuitton Cup finals but kiwis take the victory

Posted on 17 August 2013 by Valencia Sailing

[Source America's Cup] Emirates Team New Zealand won today’s first race of the Louis Vuitton Cup Final in a walkover win versus Luna Rossa Challenge. The Italian crew withdrew from the race with problems to its starboard daggerboard suffered in the pre-start. The crew temporarily fixed the problem, but it returned on the first leg and forced the team out after the first mark rounding. Emirates Team New Zealand completed the 9.95-nautical-mile course in 31 minutes, 3 seconds.

Emirates Team New Zealand completed the course, but scared themselves stark white when rounding the windward mark. The hulls of Aotearoa buried up to the main crossbeam, dropping the boatspeed from 40.7 knots to 13 knots and flicking two crew, Rob Waddell and Chris Ward, overboard. The two sailors were recovered by the team’s chase boat apparently unharmed.

A nearly campaign-breaking incident scares Emirates Team New Zealand. San Francisco, 17 August 2013. Photo copyright Gilles Martin-Raget / America’s Cup

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Video: Dean Barker previews Louis Vuitton Cup finals

Posted on 17 August 2013 by Valencia Sailing

Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker previews the Louis Vuitton Cup final series against Luna Rossa that starts on Saturday in San Francisco

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