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America’s Cup

L’Oréal Enters the Race and Sponsors the Orient Express Racing Team

The America's Cup is the oldest international sporting competition still in existence and arguably the world's most important, influential, and prestigious sailing event. Tracing its origins back to 1851, the competition pits a global array of storied sailing clubs against one another in a battle of technical skill, nautical design, and technological innovation. While the boats are marvels of engineering and the competition a testing ground for the next generation of sailing technology, the racing is thrillingly exciting and eventful, regularly producing some of the most memorable moments in the sport's entire history.

As the 2024 competition approaches, we explore how the America's Cup works, which teams are involved, and what role the L'Oréal Group plays in supporting this year's French competitors, the Orient Express Racing Team.

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America’s Cup: a regatta that promotes teamwork and innovation

The America's Cup boasts a unique format that distinguishes it from many other sporting events. Traditionally, the competition's previous winner is known as the 'Defender' and is permitted to set the rules of engagement for the next America's Cup. This involves everything from determining the location of the competition to establishing the type of boats the two teams will race. The team attempting to overthrow the Defender is known as the 'Challenger.'

The Defender and the Challenger face off in a match raceHowever, prior to the America's Cup, potential Challengers meet in a preliminary competition to determine who has the right to be the Challenger and take on the reigning champions. While the format and name has changed over the years, it is usually known as the Challenger Series. It consists of a round-robin competition in which all participating teams race each other once and accumulate points based on their results. Those teams with the most points progress to the Louis Vuitton Cup semi-final knockout race. The finalists then race to determine the next America's Cup Challenger.


L'Oréal supports the Orient Express Racing Team and the Women & Youth America's Cup

For the 37th America's Cup, the L’Oréal Group is the official partner of the French Orient Express Racing Team. This partnership was born of several shared values, most notably a commitment to innovation, teamwork, and the pursuit of excellence. L’Oréal has been at the forefront of developments in the beauty and personal care sector for more than 100 years. Similarly, the America's Cup has always been the catalyst for radical and far-reaching developments in sailing technology.

This belief in pushing the boundaries of what is possible by applying rigorous scientific methods is reflected in the L’Oréal motto “Savoir saisir ce qui commence" or "Seize new opportunities." While this philosophy succinctly describes L'Oréal's own development and history, it is also apt for a sporting competition in which technology, human skill, and athletes' ability to harness the incredible power of nature are pushed to their limits.

At the same time, the L'Oréal Group also wanted to lend its support because the 37th America's Cup is an opportunity to make the sport and event more inclusive and promote the next generation of talent. In 2024, the America's Cup will feature an all-female racing category for the first time. As such, L'Oréal will also support the Orient Express Youth and Women's teams as they compete for this most prestigious of trophies.


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A look at the teams competing in the 37th America’s Cup

The America's Cup began with the teams participating in a series of preliminary regattas at Vilanova i la Geltru in Spain (14-17 September 2023) and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (29 November-2 December). In August 2024, there will be a final preliminary regatta in Barcelona, Spain, before the potential challengers compete in the Louis Vuitton Cup. The America's Cup will be held in Barcelona on the 12th of October 2024, consisting of thirteen races. The race winner scores one point, and the first team to seven points wins the Cup.

The current Defender of the America’s Cup is Emirates Team New Zealand. It defeated the Luna Rossa team in Auckland in 2021 to retain the title in 2017. For the 37th America’s Cup, the Challenger will emerge from the following teams:

  • Orient Express Racing Team (France)
  • INEOS Britannia (United Kingdom)
  • Alinghi Red Bull Racing (Switzerland)
  • Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli (Italy)
  • American Magic (United States)


Examining the technology behind the boats

For the 37th edition of the competition, the Defenders chose to utilize AC75 racing yachts. These are the same boats used in the previous edition in Auckland. Approximately 75 feet long, the AC75s are foiling monohull yachts with an eight-person crew. The foiling technology means the boat is designed to “fly” through the air. When it reaches certain speeds, the boat’s hull rises above the water, with innovative foils keeping it stable and upright as it moves.

Though the teams used AC75s in 2021, the 2024 boats differ substantially. As well as having a smaller crew, the boats are lighter and feature improved onboard electronics. Sail technology has also been adapted to generate the power required for the boats to foil and fly. However, the most significant change is in foil development. These wings are likely to be an area where the different boats distinguish themselves most clearly and could be one of the deciding factors to determine the winner of the 37th America's Cup

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