America's Cup-lite

We look at the Louis Vuitton Trophy and speak to its principle architect, Bruno Trouble
The Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice Cote d’Azur, which concludes this weekend, represents a welcome return to competition for the America’s Cup teams, a positive distraction from billionaire titans slogging it out in court over the minutae of their forthcoming multihull event. The atmosphere in Nice is somewhere between that of the Acts held prior to the 32nd AC, and the World Match Racing Tour, with teams intermingling at the event’s tented base on the west side of Nice Harbour. Significantly different to the Acts is that the teams are not racing their own boats. Instead they have Mascalzone Latino’s V5 boats ITA-90 and 99 racing in one pair and TeamOrigin’s GBR-75 (formerly Alinghi’s SUI-75) and FRA-93 ALL4ONE (ex K-Challenge/Areva Challenge). Nice in November has proved not to be the optimum choice of venue for such an event given at this time of year the generally light conditions off Nice and shortage of daylight hours, however it has been a good opportunity for an ‘America’s Cup-lite’ event to take place, for the existing teams to practice and for both existing and new teams to cohese. For in addition to the three new campaigns - Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis, the Russians on Synergy (both already campaigning TP52s on the Audi MedCup circuit) and the Yacht Club Costa Smerelda’s new Azzurra - pretty much throughout the campaigns there have also been personnel changes. In alphabetical order – the ALL4ONE team is an amalgamation of the former K-Challenge with German Olympic legend and former Alinghi afterguard Jochen Schümann. Their sailing team is almost completely new and includes another ex-Alinghian in Spanish 470 Gold Medallist Jordi Calafat and tactician John Cutler, who was with Desafio Espanol in Valencia. Artemis features a crew largely brought over from their TP52 but with a monster US afterguard including Terry