Prada Cup 2021, winning it for a chance at the America's Cup
Once upon a time, there was the Louis Vuitton Cup which you had to win in order to win the America's Cup – or rather to try to tear it away from the defender. There was simply no alternative. And it will be the same story for the Prada Cup, the regatta that collects its legacy and whose winner will go on to dispute the America's Cup against the holders of the trophy, Emirates Team New Zealand, from 6th March.
The regatta waters are the Hauraki Gulf, with six options to offer the regatta director the best choice every day for the proper running of the event, scheduled to take place from 15th January until 22nd February. Two match areas are located near the city, just as the organisers wished, to give the public the opportunity to watch the race up close and not only through the massive screens in the Village.
Three boats in the water
There are three teams competing for the Prada Cup: Ineos Team UK, New York Yacht Club American Magic and Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team, who in its capacity as Challenger of Record has developed the format of the regatta. The Prada Cup will consist of four elimination rounds comprising three races each (referred to as the Round Robins), a semi-final for the best of the seven rounds and a final between the first two teams in the standings, based on a generous thirteen races. Each victory is worth one point. At the end of the Round Robins, the team with the highest score automatically enters the final. The two remaining teams, however, will face each other again and the first to win four matches will gain access to the final. The first team in the final to earn seven points wins the Prada Cup and the right to challenge the defender.
A happy story
Aside from the new sponsor, which is a leader of excellence made in Italy, the Italian sailing team has a good tradition in the challenger regatta. Since the first edition of the Louis Vuitton Cup (1983, when Italy made its event début with the Azzurra), there have been two Italian successes. In 1992, the Moro di Venezia prevailed in a final at the last buoy with Team New Zealand, amid much controversy and dramatic turns of events. In 2000, specifically in Auckland, the Luna Rossa triumphed - with Francesco De Angelis as skipper – at the end of a splendid series against the America One, led by Paul Cayard who had sailed the Moro di Venezia to victory in 1992. Curious fact: in nine editions of the Louis Vuitton Cup, the team that raised it in victory went on to win the America's Cup five times.
A top-class trophy
A prestigious regatta like the Prada Cup could only have a splendid trophy. Made entirely in silver, with red writing: it was created by a world-famous designer, Marc Newson, and hand-made by famous Florentine silversmiths. It is contained in a luxurious leather case, ‘signed' by Prada for the special occasion. Inspired by the brand's first luxury steamboat trunks, it was fully assembled by hand. It is ready and waiting for the team that will not only savour the victory to the full, but also continue towards realising its dream.