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America's Cup- Louis Vuitton Cup's Yves Carcelle dies at 66

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz on 1 Sep 2014
Louis Vuitton CEO Yves Carcelle presents the Louis vuitton Trophy to Emirate Team New Zealand skipper, Dean Barker. Louis Vuitton Trophy Dubai. 27/11/2010 Chris Cameron/ETNZ http://www.chriscameron.co.nz
Yves Carcelle a long time supporter and backer of the Louis Vuitton Cup and the Challenger Series for the America's Cup has died of cancer at the age of 66yrs.

Carcelle joined Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy, Louis Vuitton's parent company, in 1989 as Strategic Director. He was then Chairman and CEO of Louis Vuitton from 1990 to 2012. He was Vice-President of the Fondation d’Enterprise Louis Vuitton pour la Création and a member of the LVMH Executive Committee.

Yves Carcelle was also a board member of the Comité Colbert and the Palais de Tokyo in Paris.

He was awarded Honours from France and New Zealand including a Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor and an Honorary Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit. The Chevalier honour is the highest that can be awarded under the French Honours system, and is the equivalent of a Knighthood under the British system. It is very rare for Honours to be made to non-NZ citizens under the New Zealand system, and the Honorary Member title is awarded only to very unique people who have made a significant impact in New Zealand.


Born in France in 1948, he graduated from the Ecole Polytechnique (1966) and held an MBA from INSEAD (France), a leading graduate Business school. Carcelle is credited with transforming Louis Vuitton, doubling its number of stores, increasing profitability significantly and expanding into new international markets.

Carcelle led Louis Vuitton's sponsorship and involvement in the America's Cup from the front.

His leadership and backing was required when the America's Cup went through its dark period from 2007-2010 when Golden Gate YC and Societe Nautique de Geneve were locked in litigation in the New York Supreme Court.

Louis Vuitton, led by Yves Carcelle promoted the Louis Vuitton Trophy, in an attempt to keep the other America's Cup teams involved in a regatta circuit with series being sailed in Europe, Asia, Middle East and New Zealand.


Ten teams competed in the event, sailing 'equalised' IACC yachts in a series of five regattas in the years 2009 - 2011. Five of those teams stayed in the America's Cup game and were announced as Challengers or Defender for the 2017 America's Cup.

Carcelle enjoyed very close, relationships with all the teams and key players. His personal touch and backing were keynotes of Louis Vuitton's support, throughout one of the longest and most successful sponsorships in international sport.

Carcelle was a beacon of serenity and sanction in the often turbulent and heated world of the America's Cup. He joined LVMH after the first two Louis Vuitton Cups had been sailed. The winners of both had gone on to win the America's Cup Match. During the period 1992 - 2003 Louis Vuitton put its backing and stamp on the series which bore its name. In fact the Louis Vuitton Cup became so strong that it over-shadowed the Cup itself to some extent.


Sadly in 2007 and 2013 the Defenders arbitrarily changed the role of Louis Vuitton and while Carcelle was always gracious, the event was poorer for their reduced involvement. And following the 34th America's Cup, it was not expected that Louis Vuitton would continue to be involved.

Carcelle worked closely with Bruno Trouble, who conceived the Louis Vuitton Cup in the early 1980's, and Christine Belanger on the various Louis Vuitton projects. The three all bought their unique qualities to the Louis Vuitton Cup reflecting the spirit of the LVMH brand epitomised in the event.

Trouble described Yves Carcelle, who he worked with for 25 years, as 'a very special man.'

'Yves was extremely bright and passionate and did everything to keep Louis Vuitton in the game despite many hurdles.'


'He was so easy going and happy to talk to anyone. He was faithful in friendship, always positive and enthusiastic. He supported the Louis Vuitton association with the America's Cup from Day 1.'

'He was not a sailor but learnt a lot and spent most of his short holidays on a boat. He loved classics and restored two 1920 German gaff rigged boats (Runa IV and Runa VI) which he raced in the Med Circuit with success.'

'Yves was a very close friend and I admired him immensely. He is a great loss.' Trouble added.

Yves Carcelle is survived by his wife, Rebecca, and his five children.







For an interview with Yves Carcelle by Eugenia Bakunova click here (best viewed in Chrome and will automatically translate from Russian to English)

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