America’s Cup Returns to Newport
Vintage Moët & Chandon Champagne flowed as team USA took the title.
July 11, 2012
The America’s Cup Season Final returned to Newport, Rhode Island for a weekend of boating and Champagne-fueled fêtes. In the end, the title went to Oracle Team USA.
Celebrations began on Friday night (June 29) with the 18th America’s Cup Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony presented by title sponsor Louis Vuitton. Former racers Patrizio Bertelli, Jonathan Wright, and Gerard Lambert were inducted during a gala dinner at Newport’s Marble House mansion.
On Saturday, spectators either had VIP viewing passes at Club 45 or brought their chairs down to the lawn to watch the eight boats race in Newport Harbor. Refreshments were plenty with miniature bottles of bubbly from the Moët & Chandon Champagne lounge, Belgium beer from the Stella Artois biergarten, and Napa Valley wines.
That evening, Moët & Chandon held a cocktail party at The Breakers mansion before the America’s Cup Finals party. Ludovic du Plessis, the company’s vice president, opened bottles of Grand Vintage dating from 1983 to the last year the races were held in Newport.
Among those toasting were Newport mayor Stephen Waluk, America’s Cup Event Authority president Stephen Barclay, and racing legends Russell Coutts and Jimmy Spithill, who were the two skippers of the Oracle USA teams in the finals. The weather remained picture perfect until the awards ceremony, where Oracle Team USA Spithill was crowned the 2011-12 America’s Cup World Series Champion. The team also claimed the Fleeting Racing Championship for the season. Sweden’s Artemis Racing was the winner of the Match Racing Championship, conducted for the first time this year.
photography by gilles martin-raget and john corbett