October 26, 2008

The Louis Vuttion Cup x Yacht Racing::

Since 1983, the Louis Vuitton Cup has been a rite of passage for yachtsmen aiming to compete for the legendary America’s Cup, world’s most prestigious yachting regatta. Louis Vuitton's participation in the race has transformed the match from a friendly competition into a modern media event, and helped raise the international profile of the esteemed prize.

The Americas Cup is played every four years as a series of match races between the current holder and the best-placed challenger, who is determined by the Louis Vuitton Cup winner earlier in the same year.

An expanded 12-team tournament has additional "Acts", for which all teams participate. This allows all teams to have top level practice, including the pre-determined finalist and new, inexperienced crews, and results in an annual League and Louis Vuitton America's Cup Class Season Champion. 

Each Louis Vuitton Act is a discrete regatta, with the winning team earning 12 points, and the last place team collecting one point.

But the points earned in the Louis Vuitton Acts have another purpose for the 11 challengers – to determine "bonus" points awarded ahead of the Louis Vuitton Cup. At the end of each Act, the influence of the defending champ, is removed from the results. The challengers are then assigned Louis Vuitton Ranking Points through a high-point system (i.e. 1st place gets 11 points, 2nd place gets 10 points, last place gets one point).

The Louis Vuitton Ranking points are also weighted so that the later regattas are worth more. 

The teams are then ranked in order of the number of Louis Vuitton Ranking Points they've acquired, and assigned "bonus" points. These points are important because they are carried into the two Round Robins of the Louis Vuitton Cup. The first place team earns 4 bonus points, second through fourth get 3 bonus points, fifth through seventh get 2 bonus points, and the remaining teams earn one point. Following two Round Robins, (in each Round Robin Challengers sail each other team once), the top four proceed to a Semi Final, with the others eliminated from further competition.

The Louis Vuitton Ranking position is also used in some tie-breaking scenarios, to determine pairings and starting line entry, and other "perks", the equivalent of seedings in other sports. The winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup faces the previous winning team in the final..

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