Northampton, United Kingdom (PressExposure) April 26, 2008 -- The UK Gift Company has traveled to Valencia to attend one of the prestigious events in the collectables world - 'The America's Cup'. Managing Director Stephen Church summed up the event:
"We have stocked Lladro figurines for over 40 years. It's a wonderful range has served us well, as one of our consistently top sellers. One of the benefits of being associated with Lladro is the relationship that we have with the company. They are based in Valencia on the Spanish Mediterranean coast and, over the years, I've been lucky enough to be invited by Lladro to pay them a visit. This trip was particularly memorable. We were wined and dined in the usual way and spent an evening on a private tour of The City of Lladro, as the factory is known. We were shown the new collections, some of which marked a significant and bold departure from the usual fare. However, the highlight of the trip was the Sunday.
This was the day I'd really been looking forward to. The America's Cup. Lladro were sponsoring the China Team boat. What I hadn't realised was that the America's Cup (if you include its qualifying rounds) takes around two years. The Event is just massive and seems to be wholly geared around the corporate world. Initially, we were entertained by Lladro in the China Team hospitality section. We watched the boat being prepared. Then we were addressed by a member of the crew. Throughout all of this, there was endless champagne and nibbles. Then we waved the boat off from the harbour, shouting after them, 'Ching Zo', Cantonese for "Good Luck".
Soon after, we pursued them in our Lladro launch. The money that has been spent on the affair is quite incredible. It must go into the billions. For starters, they've built a massive new harbour, over a mile in length to house all the spectator points and the hospitality areas. Once out in the bay, the Lladro party joined an armada of spectator launches, watching the the boats warm up, whilst listening to a description of the race rules. Then we followed our race, which was against the New Zealand boat. The Lladro china team were beaten by over 3 minutes, which is the equivalent to being beaten 7-0 in football. But our hosts knew this would happen. The China Team usually get beaten in every race (except for when they raced against the Americans. Their victory in this contest has earned them lifelong local hero status). The whole point of entering the Chinese into the Americas Cup is to use it as a starting point in a long learning curve. Being heavily beaten didn't seem to matter. Everyone on the Lladro China team, the hosts and the crew alike seemed to take it most philosophically. Anyway we had by far the prettiest boat."
The event was seen as a success, and The UK Gift Company will be making plans to attend in the future.