By Steve Morrell
Animated images © Virtual Eye
In October 2017, Hap Fauth of Naples, FL, and Doug DeVos of Grand Rapids, MI announced plans at the New York Yacht Club to challenge for the 36th America’s Cup in 2021. The effort would be known as the Bella Mente Quantum Racing Association.
In March, the group announced that the New York Yacht Club and Bella Mente Quantum Racing Association will compete under the name “New York Yacht Club American Magic” (calling themselves “American Magic”). This is in recognition of the fact that the boat America won the first America’s Cup and Magic was the first winning defender of the Cup in 1870. Their goal with these names in mind will be to return the Cup to America and in the process build a strong American competitive sailing presence.
Their announced plan in March was to launch an effort to recruit sailing talent, engineers and designers to work towards their goal in the following months.
In June, American Magic announced they will have a dedicated construction facility and build a pair of state-of-the-art racing boats in Bristol, Rhode Island.
The team will build two AC75 class boats, which is a new design for the 2021 Cup race. The AC75 was revealed last September and is a 75-foot monohull with hydrofoils, which will enable the boat to sail mainly above the water. Each team will be allowed to build two AC75s prior to the cup racing and the boats will have a crew of 11. The American Team will test their boats on Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island.
In 1892/1893, the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company built their first Cup defender yacht, Vigilant, in Rhode Island, and several other Cup boats have since been built and designed in the state.
New rules for boat construction demand that the boats be laminated in the competing team’s country.
In early July, Terry Hutchinson, skipper and Executive Director of American Magic, announced a roster of 17 sailors who will train and compete with the American Magic Team. They include 10 Americans (one is from California but a New Zealand national), two from Great Britain, three from New Zealand, one from Argentina, and one from Australia. New rules require that 20 percent (3 crew) be citizens of the competing club and the rest of the crew must be physically present in the club’s country for a minimum of 380 days over a two-year period between September 2018 and August 2020.
Upcoming significant dates are: The location of the America’s Cup match, the PRADA Cup match and the specific racecourse will be confirmed; the first boat can be launched March 31, 2019; the second boat can be launched February 1, 2020. In the second half of 2019, two America’s Cup World Series Preliminary events will be held and three will be held in 2020.
The Prada Cup Challenger Selection Series will be held in January and February 2021, followed by the final Cup races in March 2021—all to be held in Auckland, New Zealand.
For more on the American Magic team, go to americanmagic.com.
For more on the America’s Cup, go to americascup.com.