En route to New Zealand for various AC45 celebrations, Louis Vuitton’s iconic representative Bruno Trouble dropped into San Francisco to host a media lunch on Thursday, and to survey for his first time the future site of the America’s Cup 34. Lunch on Louis Vuitton is nothing without champagne, so imagine Trouble’s momentary distress on discovering that the good restaurant La Mar did not have any Moet aboard. But, nothing that a quick trip to the nearest liquor store couldn’t resolve…
Trouble spoke to a group of 12 local journalists with much enthusiasm for LV’s participation in AC34, as official timekeeper for the World Series events, which will kick off this summer in the AC45, venues yet to be determined. LV will also host, as they have done since 1983 the challenger elimination series known as the Louis Vuitton Cup, which is tentatively slated to start July 13 2013, on San Francisco Bay. The winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup wins the right to sail against current defender, American syndicate ORACLE Racing.
While LV represents much of the tradition and sophistication associated with the America’s Cup, Trouble believes the new, very different format for the next event starting with the AC45s is only going to be good for sailing. “I really believe this progress, this new chapter will help catch up with the big task ahead of us - everybody will be interested and this will create a new interest in sailing just because of those boats.”
“Louis Vuitton will be good to make this link between the 34th America’s Cup and the future,” Trouble reminded his guests. “Over the last 27 years the Cup has traveled all over the world - to San Diego, to New Zealand, Valencia and to here. If you read the story well, the only permanent body in these 27 years is Vuitton because the Cup has changed hands, cities, teams, but we have been the only permanent body.”
Mark Bullingham, director of marketing for America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA), was also on hand to field questions and said, “We couldn’t be more delighted to have Louis Vuitton on board, they’ve been a great partner for a long time and we’re looking forward to working with them to deliver the best ever Louis Vuitton Cup and the best ever America’s Cup.”
Bullingham confirmed that ACEA is in negotiations with a couple of different offices at the moment and hoping to be operational by March 1. “We’ve got people working here already and will be building up to a total staff of around 120 by 2013,” Bullingham said.