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Louis Vuitton Pacific Series is the Real Deal

Auckland and dueling IACC boats . . . pretty sweet combination.

© 2009 Paul Todd

If you haven’t been following the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series in Auckland, you’re missing some great match racing action and great viewing opportunities via the very sharp and easy-to-navigate website. Comprised almost entirely of established America’s Cup teams, the field has already sailed through the first round robin and are about halfway into the second at this writing. Sailing in ‘matching’ pairs of Version 5 IACC boats — one pair provided by host Emirates Team New Zealand and the other by BMW Oracle Racing — the teams include the likes of Luna Rossa, Alinghi, Team Origin and Shosholoza.

While there’s no substitute for the Cup, the series is turning out to be pretty compelling viewing. We wonder if this model of using the top talent in provided boats — basically like every other match racing regatta in the world — respresents a more sustainable model in our current economic climate for an event like the America’s Cup. While cost-containment has been a constant polemic in the post-WWII history of the Cup, it seems like there’s always ways around whatever limitations are imposed to that end. Might this be a necessary step? After all, it’s pretty hard to escalate costs when you don’t own or manage the boat, right? One trade-off is the lack of technical innovation and the ultimate trickle-down of that knowledge to club racers — something the general public couldn’t be less concerned with. What do you think?

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