This weekend the countdown clock will mark two months to the start of the “Summer of Racing” in San Francisco. An Opening Ceremony is planned for July 4 and will be followed on July 5 by a special fleet race for all teams.
Racing in the Louis Vuitton Cup, the America’s Cup Challenger Series, officially begins on July 7 with a match between Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa Challenge of Italy. It continues on July 9 with Sweden’s Artemis Racing taking on the New Zealanders, and July 10 with Luna Rossa against Artemis Racing.
The Louis Vuitton Cup schedule is packed with action. Some highlights:
- The Louis Vuitton Cup round robins are scheduled July 7-Aug. 4. Wins are worth 1 point
- The Louis Vuitton Cup Semi Final, a best-of-seven series, is scheduled Aug. 6-14
- The Louis Vuitton Cup Final, a best-of-13 series, is scheduled Aug. 17-30
- Racing is scheduled on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
- Start times for the round robins and semi finals are scheduled for 1:15 pm PT (Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays) or 2:15 pm PT (Wednesdays)
- Mondays and Thursdays are scheduled reserve days
- In the round robins and semi finals, one race is scheduled per day with a target elapsed time of one hour
- In the Louis Vuitton Cup Final, two races are scheduled each day, each with a target elapsed time of 30 minutes
The top team at the end of the round robins gets to choose whether it advances directly to the Louis Vuitton Cup Finals or races in the semi finals. With a break of 12 days in the offing, presumably the winner would choose to go to the final and let the other two teams continue slugging it out in the semis.
Throughout the Louis Vuitton Cup the defender, ORACLE TEAM USA, will also have access to the race course four days per week, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, sometimes sandwiched around the challengers’ racing.
The America’s Cup Finals are scheduled Sept. 7-21, with racing set for Saturdays, Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. The match is a best-of-17 series. Two races are planned each day, lasting approximately 30 minutes, and beginning at 1:10 pm PT and 2:10 pm PT. A break of approximately 30 minutes between races is mandated by the Protocol.