Victory against the Defender, Team New Zealand
Considered one of the competition favorites, Team Alinghi, co-sponsored by the Swiss watch Manufacture Audemars Piguet, has found its place in the history books by becoming the first European Challenge in 152 years to win the prestigious silver ewer.
Leading the rankings with a total of 13 victories at the end of the two Round Robins and thus qualifying for the quarter-finals of the Louis Vuitton Cup, Alinghi beat the Italian Challenge Prada. which had been the Challenger in the previous edition of the Cup. It then faced the Oracle-BMW syndicate in the semi-finals and the finals, beating them to become the official Challenger of the 31st America’s Cup and earning the right to face Team New Zealand, winner of the last two editions.
On Race Day 5, Team Alinghi won the Cup by 5-0 on March 2nd, 2003. The boat came in 45 seconds ahead of its opponent with young New Zealander Dean Barker at the helm. Georges-Henri Meylan, CEO of the Manufacture Audemars Piguet, pointed out when commenting on the victory: “Alinghi becomes the first European boat to win the America’s Cup since its creation in 1851. Such an achievement is the result of tremendous professionalism on the part of the Team, as well as excellent cooperation with the sponsors. Audemars Piguet is proud to have been part of this exceptional human and sporting adventure.”
Created in 1851 and regarded as the world’s most prestigious sailing trophy, the America’s Cup shares the same values as Audemars Piguet, namely: tradition, excellence and technological innovation. Although held in New Zealand since 1999, this sailing competition is enjoying growing international media coverage, particularly in Europe and the United States.
Loyal for many decades to the world of sailing, from the UBS Switzerland which won the Whitbread Trophy in 1985, to Be hAPpy, the first Swiss boat to take part in the America’s Cup, Audemars Piguet has chosen once again to take part in this competition by associating with Alinghi. This partnership represents an opportunity for the Manufacture to mark its attachment to this exceptional event, while celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of the legendary Royal Oak, the first high-end steel sports watch.
A promising alliance
Sailing is entirely in harmony with the Audemars Piguet marketing strategy. The latter is built around two main focal points: its watch creations and its communication. The Manufacture launched two Royal Oak watches: the Royal Oak City of Sails chronograph, featuring an hour counter adorned with the Alinghi logo and the Dual Time Royal Oak Offshore Alinghi, the Commemorative Edition for the America’s Cup 2003. In conjunction with these watches, the sailboat is featured in an international advertising campaign, while a hospitality infrastructure in Auckland enables the brand’s best retailers to become better acquainted with the world of sailing and with Team Alinghi.