Louis Vuitton Pacific Series
|No. of teams||10|
|Country||NZL, USA, FRA, RSA, ITA, GBR, CHN, GRE, SUI|
|America's Cup, Louis Vuitton Cup|
The Louis Vuitton Pacific Series was a match race regatta in America's Cup Class yachts in Auckland, New Zealand during January and February 2009. Racing started on 30 January. The Louis Vuitton Pacific Series was organised in association with the New Zealand Government, Emirates Team New Zealand, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, Auckland City and Skycity Entertainment Group. Bruno Troublé was Louis Vuitton's organizer and spokesperson for the Series.
The creation of the event was in response to the legal battle surrounding the America's Cup yachting competition at the time. Because of the long delays from the legal action, and the fact that the 33rd America's Cup became a Deed of Gift match without a defender or challenger selection series, the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series was established as a competition for other America's Cup racing syndicates.
Ten syndicates took part in the regatta, which used four International America's Cup Class boats loaned to the regatta by Team New Zealand and BMW Oracle Racing. This made participation more affordable for the teams.
Described by its creators as a "fun and friendly event", the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series relied on the concept of loaned boats and quick and short races with an abbreviated schedule to pack 53 match races into a three-week period. Racing was held every day except on one scheduled lay day.
Team New Zealand won the Louis Vuitton Pacific Trophy, beating the Swiss Alinghi team 3-1 in the Cup Final.
In September 2009, this initial event was expanded into the four Louis Vuitton Trophy regattas, held between November 2009 and November 2010. These events continued to be relatively low cost, using a small number of loaned boats to keep syndicates active while waiting for the 8th Louis Vuitton Cup to determine the challenger for the 34th America's Cup.
Up to six match races were held each day on a short windward-leeward course laid at the entrance to Auckland's Waitematā Harbour, between Rangitoto Island and the city foreshore. Four different courses were used depending on weather patterns.
Emirates Team New Zealand, as hosts, earnt direct entry into the Louis Vuitton final. However, the team was also allocated to a pool and raced in the preliminary qualifying rounds. Points won by Team New Zealand in pool play were disregarded when the rankings were determined after the qualifying rounds.
The 10 teams were divided into two qualifying groups of five, with the top three teams in each pool proceeding to the Gold Fleet and the remaining two teams proceeding to the Silver Fleet. The winner of the Gold Fleet earnt direct entry into the Challenger's Final, with the remaining teams in the Gold Fleet, and the two winners of the Silver Fleet, proceeding to the Third Round. The winner of the Third Round then met the winner of the Gold Fleet in the Challenger's Final; the winner of which proceeded to the final to race against Emirates Team New Zealand.
The winner of final was presented with the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series trophy.
Team New Zealand provided NZL-92 and NZL-84 for the event and BMW Oracle Racing shipped USA-87 and USA-98 from Valencia for the event. The boats arrived in Auckland in mid-December. All four boats were extensively redesigned and worked on by onshore crew before the event. The boats were simplified and as a result did not completely meet IACC standards. The changes were made to make the boats easier to operate and make the races as even as possible.
Pool A (USA 87 & 98)
30 January - 3 February
Number in brackets is winning delta.
Pool B (NZL 84 & 92)
30 January - 3 February
Number in brackets is the winning delta.
*deducted a point for damaging the boats
5 February - 9 February
The top three teams from each pool competed in the Gold Fleet. The winner advanced directly to the Challenger final. As host, Team New Zealand advanced directly to Cup Final. A team that wins a race against Team New Zealand does not gain a point. The seeding position determines where a team appears in the third round.
*Both boats were deducted points for contact in the BMW Oracle vs Team Origin race: BMW Oracle -1, Team Origin -0.5 
** Team Origin retired after failing to raise a headsail at second mark. The headsail foil was damaged from the earlier collision.
*** Team New Zealand completed the prestart without Alinghi after the Swiss boat forfeited the race. The race was then abandoned. Alinghi conceded because they saw no point in sailing the race when there were no points to be gained for them, while they risked losing points in the event of contact between the boats.
5 February - 9 February
The remaining four teams competed in the Silver Fleet.
The challengers ranked 2-7 sailed off with the winner advancing to the Challenger final. Seeds 8 and 9 also sailed off for a final ranking.
|Sail Off||Quarter Finals||Semi Final|
|8||Greek Challenge||W (0:31)|
The winner of the Gold Fleet competed against the winner of the Third Round.
|1||Alinghi||W (0:01)||W (1:07)||-||X||X||2|
|BMW Oracle Racing||L||L||-||X||X||0|
Due to poor weather the Challenger series was reduced to a best of three series.
13 February - 14 February
As host, Team New Zealand qualified automatically for the Cup Final. They met the winner of the Challenger final in the Cup Final.
|Team New Zealand||L||W(0:28)||W(0:34)||W(0:19)||-||X||X||3|
Due to poor weather the Final series was reduced to a best of five series.
|2009 Louis Vuitton Pacific Series|
Team New Zealand
|New Zealand||Team New Zealand||Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron||Dean Barker||Host|
|United States||BMW Oracle Racing||Golden Gate Yacht Club||Russell Coutts|
|France||K-Challenge||Cercle de la Voile de Paris||Sébastien Col|
|South Africa||Team Shosholoza||Royal Cape Yacht Club||Paolo Cian|
|Italy||Luna Rossa||Yacht Club Italiano||Peter Holmberg|
|United Kingdom||Team Origin||Royal Thames Yacht Club||Ben Ainslie|
|China||China Team||Qingdao International Yacht Club||Ian Williams|
|Italy||Damiani Italia||Circolo Canottieri Aniene and Club Canottieri Roggero di Lauria||Vasco Vascotto|
|Greece||Greek Challenge||Nautical Club of Kalamata||Sotiris Buseas|
|Switzerland||Alinghi||Société Nautique de Genève||Brad Butterworth||America's Cup Defender|
The following teams were scheduled to participate or were on the waiting list but did not take part in the event.
|Italy||Italia Francesco De Angelis||Originally on Waiting List - Were contacted to see if they could make the event.|
|Italy||Mascalzone Latino||Withdrew due to financial concerns, citing Global financial crisis.|
|Germany||Team Germany||Withdrew due to financial concerns after losing main sponsor Audi.|
|France||Team French Spirit Marc Pajot||Originally on Waiting List - Was unable to find the funds to participate.|
TVNZ carried live coverage on TVNZ Sport Extra on the Freeview platform. The coverage consisted of in-studio presenters and commentators, with the race coverage provided using Virtual Eye and a single live camera. The broadcast was also be streamed live on tvnz.co.nz. The broadcast was promoted as a world first, due to the event being broadcast predominantly with Virtual Eye animation.
A ONE Sport highlights package was also broadcast each night on TV ONE. A modified version of this highlights programme, as well as selected footage for news stories, was distributed nightly via satellite to international broadcasters by Dominique Curchod Communication.
A Junior series for under-16's was run at the same time as the senior series. Competitors were selected by Auckland yacht clubs and competed in a series of races using O'pen Bic yachts around a short course in Auckland's Viaduct Harbour. Twenty O'pen Bic boats were bought over for the event by Series organiser Bruno Trouble. The event was won by Chris Steele, who received an O'pen Bic yacht and the opportunity to be 18th man on the Alinghi boat during the Cup Final races.
- "Yachting: Standoff may spark Cup-like regattas – Yachting – NZ Herald News". Nzherald.co.nz. 26 April 2009. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
- Johannsen, Dana (31 January 2009). "Yachting: Collision dents hopes". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
- Johannsen, Dana (7 February 2009). "Yachting: Team NZ in first face-off with Alinghi since 2007". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
- "Shock for Team NZ as Alinghi refuse to race". Television New Zealand. 7 February 2009. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
- "Yachting: 10 to contest in series". The New Zealand Herald. 10 January 2009. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
- Johannsen, Dana (7 November 2008). "Yachting: Pacific Series teams named". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
- "Yachting: Italian team pulls out of Pacific Series". The New Zealand Herald. 2 December 2008. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
- Lewis, Paul (14 December 2008). "Yachting: Squeeze could trim series further". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
- Virtual Live TV for Regatta Archived 31 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine ETNZ Official Site, 28 January 2009
- Tune in to Live Racing for the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series Archived 29 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine ETNZ Official Site, 17 January 2009
- McFadden, Suzanne (3 February 2009). "Yachting: Best young sailors battle for honours". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
- McFadden, Suzanne (14 February 2009). "Yachting: Teen champ wins Alinghi place". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
- Bruno Troublé talks about the event BYM Magazine, January 2009
- Ten Teams will contest Louis Vuitton Pacific Series Yachts and Yachting, 8 January 2009
- Series aims to get the love back into big-yacht racing New Zealand Herald Tuesday 16 September 2008
- Coutts endorses new regatta New Zealand Herald Wednesday 17 September 2008
- More teams confirm for Pacific Series New Zealand Herald Thursday 18 September 2008
- Battle lines drawn for regatta New Zealand Herald, 28 January 2009
- Photos of the racing BYM Gallery
| First Louis Vuitton Auckland Regatta
30 January - 14 February 2009