America’s Cup: Italy trumps France

Published on September 20th, 2017

Italian fashion brand Prada – one of the key supporters of newly appointed Challenger of Record Luna Rossa – is set to take over from French fashion brand Louis Vuitton as a main naming rights sponsor for the 36th America’s Cup.

According to Italian sailing website Vela, the challenger series will be renamed as the Prada Cup, of which the winner will then race defender Team New Zealand in the America’s Cup match.

This follows how the 2017 challenger series had a new trophy created, at great expense, for the 35th America’s Cup. The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs trophy was created by British goldsmith and silversmith Thomas Lyte, using time-honoured techniques of exquisite craft and expertise. This trophy also came with a Monogram trunk handmade requiring over 400 hours by three craftsmen.

The 2017 trophy followed others, most immediately the Louis Vuitton Cup, which was last won by Emirates Team New Zealand in 2013 and is on display in the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, never to be won again.

Anything odd about the Challenger of Record creating a trophy, named after them, that they seek to win? Of course not…this is the America’s Cup. More details about the protocol for the New Zealand-hosted 2021 event is set to be released by the end of September, with the full design rules to be released by November 30.

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