This weekend sees the start of the CORM (Challenger of Record Management) Race Committee Trials. This is an opportunity for the Louis Vuitton Cup Regatta Management Team to refresh past team members and train up new race committee staff.
Headed by Dyer Jones as Regatta Operations Director within CORM, it will be Merv Appleton who will be the Race Committee Chairman on the water each day.
The Bucklands Beach Yacht Club, of which Appleton is a past Commodore, will serve once again as the host yacht club for the Louis Vuitton Cup. It is at this Auckland suburbs yacht club that the 200 strong race management and safety patrol team will assemble everyday during the Louis Vuitton Cup. And so from this club 65 people will set out every day over the next four days to lay courses and run start sequences.
In a request for authenticity with the race committee trials Jones has called for challenger syndicates currently training in Auckland to organise themselves and participate in the practice sessions. The challengers have duly met and agreed on a pairings list based on one Round Robin with six boats participating. The definitive list of entries, remember this is an unofficial event, includes two boats from Prada ITA-48 Luna Rossa and ITA-58 Young America, and one each from OneWorld Challenge with USA-51 (ex-America True), Oracle Racing USA-49 (ex-AmericaOne), Alinghi with SUI-59 (ex-Be Happy) and GBR Challenge with GBR-52 (ex-Nippon Challenge).
The Swedish Victory Challenge have been effectively sidelined because although they have two boats in Auckland currently, neither of them are a 1999 vintage boat. The Victory Challenge team didn't want to enter Orn (SWE-63), one of the most recently built boats in Auckland, and a boat that had showed good speed in last month's AC International Regatta. It was felt by the other challengers that the Victory Challenge's 1995 boat, the old NZL-38 and now known as Cristina (SWE-38), would be too slow, defeating any value in racing them.