The World’s Greatest Yachting Teams Face-Off in Dubai
Upstaging the visual drama of Burj Khalifa, the tallest building on Earth, is no small feat. But last Sunday, all eyes were on Dubai’s International Marine Club, where six of the world’s most state-of-the-art racing boats did battle for the Louis Vuitton Trophy. Against a backdrop of century-old dhows (traditional Arab sailing vessels), the regatta marked the last major challenger race in the run-up to next year’s America’s Cup. This fourth and final leg in the series followed stops in Auckland, Nice and La Maddalena in Italy, and provided all the pop and sizzle of a grand finale—with Team New Zealand claiming its third cup this year, resoundingly besting the United States’ BMW Oracle Racing (the current America’s Cup champions). On hand to witness the maritime spectacle were Kanye West, Louis Vuitton CEO Yves Carcelle, and renowned artist Fabrizio Plessi, whose “Vertical Seas” installation (comprising 12 black steel boats housing video installations that hypnotically evoke the tides) was on display throughout the competition. As the first Jeroboams popped on the Kiwis’ celebration, Carcelle revealed that Louis Vuitton, the founding sponsor of the America’s Cup, would be teaming up once again with the prestigious race following a three-year hiatus; effectively rekindling one of the greatest partnerships in sport. NOWNESS contributor Mario Palmieri was there to capture the powerful vessels out of water in this exclusive series of photos.