The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs
Louis Vuitton has present a brand new trophy, and its trunk, to be awarded to the winning team of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs, taking place from Sunday June 4 to Monday June 12 2017 in Bermuda.
The path to the 35th America’s Cup Match presented by Louis Vuitton in Bermuda has taken its five challengers – Land Rover BAR, Emirates Team New Zealand, Artemis Racing, SoftBank Team Japan, Groupama Team France – and Defender, ORACLE TEAM USA, winner of the 34th America’s Cup, around the world. They have competed in a grueling cycle of intensely competitive regattas. However, only one team can win the right to go forward as the Challenger and compete for the America’s Cup itself against the Defender ORACLE TEAM USA.
That is why Louis Vuitton has commissioned a new trophy and trunk to mark that achievement. The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs trophy will be awarded to whichever team emerges victorious as Challenger on June 11th or 12th on the Great Sound.
The trophy is a modern ode to this richly storied sport. Crafted in 10kg of sterling silver, standing a majestic 70 cm high, highly polished and satin-finished precious metal trophy depicts a vivid clash of passing sails. It also echoes Louis Vuitton’s famous Gaston ‘V’ mark – a symbol drafted by Gaston Vuitton in the 1930’s to encapsulate the House’s values Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – or Fly, Sail, Travel.
The trophy was commissioned by Louis Vuitton from Thomas Lyte. This British goldsmith and silversmith, holder of a Royal Warrant from Queen Elizabeth II, uses time-honoured techniques of exquisite craft and expertise. Yet it is also determinedly modern in outlook.
Its founder Kevin Baker says: “This trophy encompasses a rich heritage – there is no greater line of heritage in competitive sport – yet it is an extremely modern piece. It was hand forged using hammer and stake, a technique that was being used since when the original America’s Cup was presented in 1851. It was important to make a trophy whose appearance reflected the excitement of sailing today.”
A Monogram trunk was created especially for the Challenger’s Trophy and also harbors on its front the famous Gaston ‘V’ in red. A blue microfiber interior reflects the color of the water and coordinates with Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Trophy case which also has the red V and blue interior. Handmade by three craftsmen in the historical workshop of the house in Asnières, France, The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs trophy travel case required over 400 hours of craftwork, during seven steps of fabrication.
The longstanding partnership between Louis Vuitton and the America’s Cup dates back to 1983. Louis Vuitton has renewed its commitment to the America’s Cup by becoming the title partner of the America’s Cup World Series, the America’s Cup Qualifiers and Challenger Playoffs, as well as the presenting partner of the 35th America’s Cup Match.