There are eight teams entered and they include an international mix with the United States, Great Britain, France, Sweden, New Zealand, France, Germany, Russia and Italy all represented.
The competition started on September 7th in the Bay of Angels on the Cote d’Azur in the south of France. Due to the deep waters of the Bay des Angels, racing for the Louis Vuitton Trophy at Nice Côte d’Azur takes place a few hundred meters from the shore and against the backdrop of the Alps, which plunge at different points straight into the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea. A compelling setting.
Winds from the north in the morning of between 6 and 10 knots are the norm and these generally shift to the southeast or southwest in the afternoon and can build up to 15 knots.
Stage 1 is a round robin for all eight teams. Up to four races per day are scheduled through the conclusion of the round robin and will last no longer than one hour in duration.
Here is some action from the first round kindly provided by louisvuittontrophytv
After the first round robin it was the Emirates Team New Zealand who shared joint first place with Azzurra (Italy) both on 6 points.
Stage 2 is a knockout series designed to allow participants to keep sailing as long as possible.
Stage 3 is the knockout semifinals and final. The racing is now drawing to a conclusion with the semi finals having just started. In the first semi final the Italian team Azzurra defeated the British team: the Italian crew played the right side of the course on the first upwind leg and led by 9 seconds at the windward mark.
The British crew tacked to starboard to leeward of Azzurra but the Italians did a wonderful job and increased their lead to 27 seconds at the leeward gate, and then protected the right side of the second upwind leg to increase its lead to 1:16 beginning the run to the finish. The wind lessened throughout this match, from a high of 9 knots to less than 5 at the finish.
BMW Oracle will be the next match up against the inexperienced French team TFS-Pages Jaunes, then the Russian team Synergy sail against Emirates Team NZ – who on the form to date are the team to beat – and finally we will see the Swedish team Artemis take on the host team, All4one, which is a combined French/German entry.
Here’s some action from the same source from round 2.
With only three days left of competition the semi finals will come thick and fast – we will keep you posted and should you wish to visit the Louis Vuitton website click the link here http://www.louisvuittontrophy.com/home/
All of this is of course the precursor of the America’s Cup – have you bought your tickets yet for Ras Al Khaimah – we hope not – more about that another day.