New Trophy for America’s Cup Challenger
Published on May 24th, 2017
For the challenging team that qualifies to face the America’s Cup Defender, a new trophy awaits which has been created by Louis Vuitton. The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs trophy will be awarded to whichever of the five teams emerges victorious as Challenger when the series concludes on June 11th or 12th on the Great Sound.
Crafted in 10kg of sterling silver, standing a majestic 70cm high, highly polished and satin-finished precious metal, the 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.
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.
Editor’s note: We inquired about what happened to the previous trophy, known as the Louis Vuitton Cup, which was last won by Emirates Team New Zealand in 2013. The kiwi team said that, to the best of their knowledge, the trophy remains on display in the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.