Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth

by | Mar 31, 2017

Bespoke laser cutting of stainless steel parts used in six impressive trophies

Company details

The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series is a spectacular set of worldwide events featuring fast and furious racing between competitive teams crewing dramatically high-speed, Type AC45F, 45-foot hydrofoil ‘flying’ catamaran sailing boats.

Visit America’s Cup World Series website


“After speaking to Paul Harris, managing director of ICEE Managed Services, and discovering his company’s willingness to take on one-off and bespoke projects at short notice I will certainly be a returning customer in the future. ICEE have amazing facilities and they were a pleasure to work with.”

Michelle Jeanette Littlewood, Designer and Maker of the America’s Cup World Series trophy for the Portsmouth UK round, July 2016

Laser cutting for Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series


Through the use of its advanced laser cutting technology, ICEE manufactured the small and precise laser-cut stainless steel parts incorporated in six impressive trophies designed, developed and made by a local mixed media artist for the Portsmouth round of the prestigious Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series. This round of the global sailing contest was held in July 2016 and the trophies were based on a winning design conceived by a 10-year-old Portsmouth schoolboy.


When another manufacturer lacked the necessary laser cutting facilities, Portsmouth-based Michelle Jeanette Littlewood, the designer and maker of the winning team’s trophy and all five runner-up trophies (and last year’s trophy too), turned to ICEE to rapidly supply high quality stainless steel parts for each piece.


Made by ICEE from 4mm thick grade 316 plate at its factory in Waterlooville, the stainless steel components were precision profiled on the company’s CNC-driven Bystronic fibre laser cutting machine. Ranging in size from 40mm by 90mm to 252mm by 290mm, each profiled part was then polished to a mirror finish by nearby associate, WASP Metal Polishing. Similar parts were supplied by ICEE for the five smaller Endeavour trophies.


“We very much enjoyed working on this impressive project with Michelle. It was a complete contrast to our usual type of architectural, engineering and construction work. Much as we welcome the larger scale business we are also more than well equipped to produce small, precise and low-volume parts, as the Portsmouth trophies testify.”

– Paul Harris, managing director of ICEE Managed Services

Laser cutting stainless steel parts


“The stainless steel elements were stylised and simplified to represent the carbon fibre support struts in the AC45F wings,” says Michelle. “The main structure was built up using many layers of parts cut from Vario Perspex sheet and grade 316 stainless steel plate, with aluminium panels in the base to carry graphics created using mirror dye sublimation. The silhouette of the sails in the design concept was then sandblasted into the segments of each trophy.”

A dramatic construction of Perspex, stainless steel and aluminium, the 700mm-high Victory Trophy was presented by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the Portsmouth event to Sir Ben Ainslie, skipper of the winning Land Rover BAR team. Five runner-up teams were presented with smaller, Endeavour trophies.

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Michelle Jeanette Littlewood (on the right) with the Victory Trophy she designed and made for the Portsmouth UK round of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series, July 2016.



Outdoor fotography by Lloyd images / LandRoverBAR

Studio photography by Russell Squires, University of Portsmouth photography technician

Trophy made of stainless steel parts

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A Complete Solution From ICEE

Zzoomm found the ideal solution in a highly integrated, one-source package from ICEE Managed Services. Based on four decades proven experience delivering successful outcomes to large and small telecommunication customers, ICEE would have no problem providing the total solution required. Specialising in designing, manufacturing, installing and maintaining enclosures for highway, rail-side and FTTx applications, it offered all the relevant business credentials, quality standards accreditation and track record required. Sven Huster explained: “For us to undertake that whole process by ourselves, without having an engineering R&D function and so on, would be quite difficult to do, and that’s why it was important to pick a partner like ICEE, that can help us with the expertise and advise on the equipment we want to use.” He and his team began working closely with ICEE’s design department. Early in the project, at the prototype stage when the first enclosure was being developed, the internet service provider wanted to insert an equipment assembly into the active cabinet, but in one large piece. It was hard to fit in from the front, so ICEE quickly modified the structure enabling the whole assembly to be easily manoeuvred in from one side. This meant creating a side door, tested at the design stage on a screen-based, three-dimensional prototype constructed on ICEE’s Solidworks 3D CAD system. ICEE does a lot of screen-based, virtual prototyping using 3D simulations. Options may be explored rapidly and accurately, it eliminates building several costly physical iterations, design for manufacture is optimised, right-first-time production made faster, and the work may be done collaboratively over the web, saving meeting time and travel.

Another bespoke benefit

ICEE Key Account Manager Chris Arnold points to another practical design feature: “The active cabinet we designed with Zzoomm consists of two distinct bays, one for power, the other for equipment. This clear separation makes it easier and simpler for a maintenance engineer to work. It cuts the risk of accidental damage and gets jobs done more efficiently.” To prevent unauthorised entry into a cabinet Zzoomm also required a high level of security, plus a way of monitoring and recording access by authorised engineers. “The locks and keys we sourced for Zzoomm are smart and incorporate Bluetooth wireless communications,” explains Chris Arnold. “The company’s management sends an engineer out to a cabinet and through Bluetooth-enabled keys and the engineer’s mobile phone, unlocks and locks the cabinet doors remotely and records job time. Full security is assured and the transmitted data helps streamline maintenance, provides an audit or traceability trail and ultimately, makes a positive contribution to business process productivity and profitability.”

Outcomes and tangible benefits

With all ICEE’s design, development and manufacturing resources, plus dependable installation and ongoing maintenance services, Zzoomm has gained an experienced and dependable partner. The customer also has full confidence, knowing ICEE will reliably and fully support its business growth plans. In short, the customer benefits from the provision of a complete and scalable support solution. This is vital as the ambitious ISP expands to other towns across the UK. Sven Huster concluded: “I was told by my colleagues ICEE would be a great partner to work with. I think everything I have seen so far supports that. First of all, they have the expertise on what we want to achieve, but they also have the relationships as well. “This is important because the cabinet is not just what they make, which is like a metal shell and so on, but it is a lot of things which then get put into the cabinet, which they source and help us put together in a useful way, so we have a durable and robust solution there. They have always been quick to respond and that reinforces the sense we have picked a good partner to work with us.”