Prada completes America's Cup makeover with new qualifier trophy
MONACO (Reuters) – Prada’s designs on the America’s Cup, which began on the drawing board almost 22 years ago in an office near Milan’s Il Duomo, will take another step forward on Thursday. “Let’s do the America’s Cup,” was the challenge a yacht designer threw out at Patrizio Bertelli as they discussed building a new yacht for Prada’s chief executive. Although Bertelli’s Luna Rossa team has not yet lifted sailing’s most coveted trophy, its influence has been keenly felt in the following decades, both on and off the water. With the launch of the Prada Cup the Milan-based Italian fashion house will further stamp its mark on the history of the cup first won by the schooner “America” off England in 1851. Prada’s new trophy will be awarded to the crew which wins the right to challenge cup defender New Zealand in a series of races in Auckland in early 2021, an event previously sponsored by rival French fashion house Louis Vuitton. Beyond global branding, Bertelli has also made clear his intention to finally win the 36th America’s Cup, with backing from co-sponsor Pirelli for an Italian Luna Rossa team led by director and skipper Max Sirena.
The main event, which is also now backed by Prada, will be between radical foiling monohulls which will “fly” above the waters of Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf and Waitemata Harbour.