SPORT - Louis Vuitton World Series

SPORT - Louis Vuitton World Series

Paris, September 2 - Some of the best professional sailing teams, grouped together under the name WSTA (World Sailing Team Association), and Louis Vuitton, a key player in the world of top-level sailing for more than 25 years, have announced the creation of an international regatta circuit.

The WSTA groups together the participants in previous Louis Vuitton Cup regattas: K-Challenge (France), BMW Oracle Racing (USA), Emirates Team New Zealand, Mascalzone Latino (Italy); and welcomes newcomers such as Team Artemis (Sweden), Team Synergy (Russia), Joe Fly Italia (Italy) and Team French Spirit (France). Other teams will join the association in the coming weeks.

Entitled the Louis Vuitton World Series, these regattas are regarded as a first in the world of sailing and follow on from the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series organised in Auckland, New Zealand, last February. Officials said the global success of this exceptional competition persuaded all the partners in this adventure to create a dynamic and ambitious new race programme based on the same concept and format.

Ten teams will be invited to confront each other in successive duels over a fortnight on two pairs of identical boats chosen by lot. The racing boats were sailed in the 2007 LV Cup. This concept, which demonstrates the desire to return to the original spirit of "match racing", provides an exhilarating show and is easy for spectators to understand.

The WSTA and Louis Vuitton plan to organise several regattas a year. Many cities such as Nice, Hong Kong, Auckland, New York and several other European venues, have shown their interest.

A press conference will be held in Paris on Tuesday, September 8 where more details about the first events to be organised in 2009 and 2010 will be disclosed.