The BMW ORACLE Racing team is ready to return to Louis Vuitton Trophy action in La Maddalena, Sardinia. 10 teams will battle for supremacy over the two-week regatta, racing off one of the Mediterranean’s most spectacular coastlines.
Competing on equalised America’s Cup Class boats (two of which have been provided by the team – USA 98 and USA 87), in Cup style match racing, the Louis Vuitton Trophy provides an important measuring stick for the team as it returns to monohull racing following its America’s Cup win in February.
“It’s really exciting to get back on the water and race against all of the teams again,” said skipper James Spithill (AUS). “It feels like it’s been a long time since we’ve been in a competition like this.”
BMW ORACLE Racing missed the most recent Louis Vuitton Trophy in Auckland as the team focused on its America’s Cup Match.
“I had a chance to see some of the racing in Auckland and it was all at a very high level,” Spithill continued. “This will be a good test for us to compete against many of the teams who are potential challengers in the next America’s Cup.”
The team racing in La Maddalena features several new faces, including navigator Ian Moore (GBR), who comes to the team after stints with Emirates Team New Zealand and TeamOrigin.
The full crew list for La Maddalena:
Bow - Brad Webb
Mid Bow - Ryan Godfrey
Mast - Shannon Falcone
Pit - Matthew Mason
Port Grind - Brian MacInnes
Starboard Grind - Jono Macbeth
Main Grind - Joe Spooner
Upwind Trim - Ross Halcrow
Downwind Trim - Joey Newton
Main Trim - Dirk de Ridder
Traveller/Up Mast - Mark Mendelblatt
Skipper - James Spithill
Tactician - John Kostecki
Runner/Strategy - Michele Ivaldi
Navigator - Ian Moore
Aft Grind - Simeon Tienpont
Aft Grind - Gillo Nobili
Coach/Afterguard - Philippe Presti
Racing is scheduled to start on Saturday May 22nd and runs through June 6th. The regatta format includes an opening Round Robin, followed by two elimination rounds, a semi final and final.