Key Points:

The Louis Vuitton Pacific Yachting Series could shrink to eight or
nine teams after the initial euphoria attracted 12 - but not the sponsors required for some teams to make the trip.

Gone already are Team Germany (after their America's Cup sponsor Audi withdrew), Italy's Mascalzone Latino who could not find sponsors and reserve team French Spirit - an entry for the America's Cup but another who could not find the funds.

However LVPS director Bruno Trouble is untroubled and says there could be another one or two teams who cannot find backing for the regatta - which has excited public interest as it brings back America's Cup-style racing.

"The financial crisis is really tough in the Northern Hemisphere and sports like Formula 1 and the America's Cup will suffer in the next two
or three years. But the major eight are firm entries and will make the
panel the best ever," says Trouble.

Alinghi, Team NZ, BMW Oracle and Luna Rossa played leading roles in the 32nd America's Cup in Valencia and all are confirmed for the LVPS. So are previous challengers like Shosholoza, K Challenge and Team China and
Britain's TeamOrigin (skippered by former Team New Zealand member and Beijing Olympics gold medallist Ben Ainslie) is the most interesting newcomer.

Fewer teams will mean that core eight will race more often, says Trouble, meaning a higher standard. Other new syndicates Team Greece and Team Italia make up the 10 teams left so far.