The Cup, which was won a month ago today by the American team BMW ORACLE Racing, has been residing in its new home at the Golden Gate Yacht Club in San Francisco.
Now, after a seven-year absence, it is winging its way to Auckland, due to arrive on Tuesday, March 16th. The oldest trophy in international sport will be on public display at Voyager, New Zealand Maritime Museum for three days.
This will be a homecoming of sorts for the America’s Cup, which spent nearly eight years in the trophy room at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron following Team New Zealand’s victory in 1995.
The skipper of that team, New Zealander Russell Coutts, is today the CEO of BMW ORACLE Racing.
“It’s appropriate that we bring the trophy to Auckland this week,” Coutts said. “Most of the America’s Cup community is in town, racing in the Louis Vuitton Trophy, and although we weren’t able to compete in this regatta, we wanted to support the event.
“We’ve been here for a few days already, consulting with the teams about the next edition of the America’s Cup. Bringing the Cup back to New Zealand now, during this regatta, will help to get everyone excited and focused on what happens next.”
The Louis Vuitton Trophy events are the result of a partnership between Louis Vuitton and the World Sailing Teams Association, designed to provide regular, high-level match race regattas in the large and complex racing yachts.
“It’s great to have BMW ORACLE, one of the founding members of the WSTA, showing their support for the other teams as well as Louis Vuitton by bringing the ‘Auld Mug’ back to New Zealand,” said Bruno Trouble, spokesperson for the WSTA.
“By supporting this event, BMW ORACLE is also paying tribute to Louis Vuitton, which has contributed to growing the America’s Cup so much over the last 27 years, all the while respecting its values, tradition and history.
“While the details of the next edition of the Cup are being worked out, the Louis Vuitton Trophy regattas are showing themselves to be a great proving ground for the teams.”
Eight teams are currently racing in Auckland for the Louis Vuitton Trophy. Further events on the calendar include regattas in Sardinia, Dubai and Hong Kong.
The America’s Cup will be available for public viewing at Voyager, New Zealand Maritime Museum, at the Viaduct Harbour, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week from 1100 to 1600 (1530 on Thursday). The Museum is putting on special rates of just $5 per adult, with free admission for children 14 and under.