The glassed atrium of the Auckland Museum provided a spectacular backdrop for the Louis Vuitton Trophy prizegiving and gala dinner on the final day of racing.
With the cityscape lights illuminating the Auckland night sky, the teams and organisers of the successful Auckland regatta came together for one last time to toast the winners, Emirates Team New Zealand.
It was a star-studded affair, with some of New Zealand’s best-known names from sport, politics and the arts mingling with the international sailing fraternity. Among the guests were All Black star Dan Carter and his partner Honor Dillon, both wearing Louis Vuitton, and New Zealand actors Sam Neill and Robyn Malcolm.
Singer Annabel Fay, daughter of Kiwi America’s Cup legend Sir Michael Fay, was among the entertainers who got the party swinging.
The youngest guest was one-week-old Mila Dunn, daughter of Mascalzone Latino Audi strategist Cameron Dunn, who was born during the regatta.
Guests dined on New Zealand venison, monkfish with crayfish medallions, and pinot noir grape tarte tatin with Moët & Chandon rosé sorbet.
Yves Carcelle, president and CEO of Louis Vuitton, who had flown in from Paris for the final day of racing, said it had been a fantastic series, with some of the best match race sailing seen, and he looked forward to the event returning to Auckland in the future.
Grant Dalton, CEO of Emirates Team New Zealand, thanked the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, the volunteers and the race committee for running a wonderful event.
“In some ways this event was easy to put on this year because we had done it last year, but a lot harder in other ways because the level of competition was raised so much,” he said. “Against a deserved finalist in Mascalzone Latino, we sailed probably our best of the regatta.
“We look forward to carrying on the fight, thanks to Louis Vuitton and the WSTA, in La Maddalena; and from there on to what is almost a home venue for us, in Dubai, and then on to Hong Kong.
“We echo Bruno Troublé’s hopes that with the help of the city and the government, the Louis Vuitton Trophy will be back in Auckland very soon.”
Mascalzone Latino Audi tactician Morgan Larson spoke on behalf of team owner Vincenzo Onorato and the rest of the Latin Rascals: “We would like to congratulate Emirates Team New Zealand on an amazing week of sailing. You guys really took us to school and we’re studying.”
The Moët & Chandon trophy for the closest finish was awarded to Azzurra, for their part in pushing Emirates Team New Zealand to a nail-biting one-second win in the semifinals.