Thomas Lyte are the Designers and Makers of The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs Trophy. First established in 1851, the America’s Cup is seen as one of the most difficult sports to win. For over 100 years, other countries singly challenged America but no one succeed.
In 1970, more than one yacht club challenged America and thus a competition was staged to determine the single Challenger that would face the Defender. Fast forward to present day and The America’s Cup is nearly a month long event. Six teams now compete against one another in a series of challenging round-robin races, until one team will be declared Challenger to the Defenders.
The Challenger Playoffs trophy is contested for by the last 4 teams before the Final race for the America’s Cup with the defending champions.
In honour of this achievement, the winners will be presented with a brand new abstract-designed, “V” shaped trophy, before they take on the Defenders in the America’s Cup Match. Our expert silversmiths competed with a number of silversmiths from across the globe, and were selected as the official designers and makers.
Dynamic in design, it conveys the excitement and the clashing of sails, but also uses the signature ‘V’ as focus for the outline, which is emblematic for the Louis Vuitton brand and its heritage.
Standing 28 inches high, 4mm thick individual sheets of metal have been hand forged to create each individual curved piece. The process of which is a very systematic one, where the metal is hammered by hand and then heated under a flame to soften. This is then repeated many times, around 38 hours of hammering, using 9 different types of hammers will create just one 28 inch sail.
Once complete, each individual piece has been polished by a Master Polisher for three days to achieve the gleaming finish.
Some Images Provided by Photographer Jamie McGregor Smith