Patricia Urquiola designs first Puig Women’s America’s Cup trophy

The Puig Women’s America’s Cup trophy is ‘like a sail struck by the wind’, says Urquiola, as the event’s debut is announced for October 2024

Silver Puig Women’s America’s Cup trophy with reddish interior
(Image credit: Courtesy Puig Women's America’s Cup)

One competition, six teams and the fastest sailing boats of the ocean – the America's Cup is the oldest sporting trophy in the world that is still competed for. And now there’s a sea change on the horizon, as this year there will be not one but two trophies to fight for: the prestigious sailing competition, in which only a handful of female sailors have ever participated, is launching its first-ever women’s regatta, the Puig Women’s America’s Cup.

Introduced tonight (21 May 2024) at the Fundación Miró in Barcelona, the regatta will take place in the Catalan capital from 5-13 October as part of the 37th edition of the America’s Cup. Joining the six established official participants (New Zealand, Great Britain, Italy, Switzerland, the United States and France) are six new teams, from Spain, the Netherlands, Canada, Germany, Sweden and Australia. They will all be competing for a new trophy designed by leading Spanish architect and designer Patricia Urquiola.

Patricia Urquiola on her Puig Women’s America’s Cup trophy design

Unlike the original America’s Cup trophy, a huge, ornate sterling silver ewer designed by Robert Garrard in 1848 and known as the Auld Mug, Urquiola’s design for the Puig Women’s America's Cup lacks handles so that the ‘the winning team can embrace it in its full form’. A multiple Wallpaper* Design Awards judge and winner (most recently for Kvadrat's Sport textile made from ocean-bound plastic), Urquiola decided to use the ‘simple, geometric figure of the cylinder, wide enough so that it wouldn’t need a base’.

‘I wanted it to have no classic elements, like the traditional handles, and to deform and open it at a certain point as if it were a large sail struck by the wind,’ explains the Milan-based designer. ‘The sail also has some vertical elements to emulate the movement of a great drape or cloth. We aimed to freeze, in a way, that instant when the wind makes matter react.’

Silver Puig Women's Americas Cup trophy with reddish interior

(Image credit: Courtesy Puig Women's America’s Cup)

Made of silver, with a height of 58cm and weighing about 5kg, the Puig Women’s America’s Cup trophy features an interior with a striking rose-gold effect that catches the light, like a flame. The top part of the trophy, which Urquiola likens to a billowing sail but which also resembles ripples in the sea, or even a woman’s long hairdo, is beautifully textured, its wavy forms the result of expert chiselling.

‘I trust that when the winner holds this trophy, it will be an object that connects to all the great breath of wind and energy that I hope this regatta will bring,’ says Urquiola. Sponsored by the Barcelona-based beauty company Puig (which boasts a portfolio encompassing brands such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Byredo, and Rabanne), the first standalone women’s race in the history of the America’s Cup is a truly momentous event. The last time an all-women crew took part in the America’s Cup was back in 1995, a USA team aboard the Mighty Mary.

wave-inspired logo

The accompanying identity for the event

(Image credit: Courtesy Puig Women's America’s Cup)

It ‘is the most exciting initiative that I’ve seen for female participation in sailing in my career’, says Abby Ehler, offshore sailor and Puig Women's America's Cup event coordinator. Silvia Mas, a sailor from the Spanish team, concurs: ‘It will provide the racing sailors who are the very future of the America’s Cup with the ultimate platform to showcase their skills in a first-class fleet where serious talent will be on display.’

‘Sailing, Barcelona, and women are three words closely associated with Puig. We have supported sailing regattas for more than 40 years, we are a company born and rooted in Barcelona, and women are at the heart of our consumers and our people. This is why we decided to support this beautiful idea as soon as we learned that Barcelona would be the location of the America’s Cup in 2024, and that it would be the first time ever that a female regatta would be added,’ concludes Marc Puig, Puig chairman and CEO.

Léa Teuscher is a Sub-Editor at Wallpaper*. A former travel writer and production editor, she joined the magazine over a decade ago, and has been sprucing up copy and attempting to write clever headlines ever since. Having spent her childhood hopping between continents and cultures, she’s a fan of all things travel, art and architecture. She has written three Wallpaper* City Guides on Geneva, Strasbourg and Basel.