Louis Vuitton has announced it will resume sponsorship of the Challenger Series for the 34th America’s Cup.
The Louis Vuitton Cup had been a 30-year fixture leading up to the America’s Cup until the French design firm pulled its sponsorship following Alinghi’s victory in the last America’s Cup. The Alinghi team recently decided that it will not participate in the next America’s Cup.
“We are thrilled to announce the continuation of our 30-year-long association with the America’s Cup,” says Yves Carcelle, chairman and CEO of Louis Vuitton Malletier. “And we believe that the 34th edition will be the best America’s Cup yet.”
Louis Vuitton will present the Challenger Series in the summer of 2013. The series will determine which team meets Defender BMW Oracle for the America’s Cup series.
Alinghi announced that it would not enter a boat in the Louis Vuitton series, but would instead participate in the Extreme Sailing Series.
“After a careful evaluation of the protocol and other initiatives taken by the American Defender and its Challenger of Record, Alinghi considers that the existing conditions make it impossible for the team to participate in the 34th America’s Cup,” said a statement.
Two-time winner Alinghi and rival BMW Oracle were embroiled in a three-year lawsuit over the location and rules over the 33rd America’s Cup. The battle was eventually decided on the racecourse off the coast of Valencia, Spain last year, when BMW Oracle decisively defeated Alinghi to emerge as the America’s Cup winner.