width=200News & Trends: French luxury goods giant Louis Vuitton has announced plans to inaugurate a new World Series of sailing, beginning with a regatta in Nice in November. The event, to be known as the Louis Vuitton World Series, will be undertaken in association with a new professional sailing group called the World Sailing Team Association (WSTA). Eight racing teams, including K-Challenge (France), BMW Oracle Racing (USA), Emirates Team New Zealand, Mascalzone Latino (Italy), Team Artemis (Sweden), Team Synergy (Russia), Joe Fly Italia (Italy) and Team French Spirit (France) will compete for starters, with others expected to sign up shortly.

Vuitton has a long association with world class sailing dating back to its 25-year sponsorship of the Louis Vuitton Cup, the famed race running up to the America's Cup, and more recently the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series organized in Auckland, New Zealand, last February. LV World Series teams will fight successive duels over a fortnight on two pairs of identical boats chosen by lot in an effort to return to the original spirit of match racing. The ultimate winner of the series of international regattas will take possession of what is bound to become one of the sports most coveted and prestigious trophies.