'Hungry and motivated': Fourth challenger signs on for next America's Cup

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sat, 8 Jan 2022, 1:50PM
The AC75 American Magic used for the 2021 Prada Cup. Photo / Photosport
The AC75 American Magic used for the 2021 Prada Cup. Photo / Photosport

'Hungry and motivated': Fourth challenger signs on for next America's Cup

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sat, 8 Jan 2022, 1:50PM

The New York Yacht Club have reversed their decision not to take part in the 37th America's Cup, with American Magic again set to represent the famous club in its bid to take back to Auld Mug. 

The New York Yacht Club is the most successful club in the event's history, having won the coveted trophy 25 times. However, their last win came in 1980 in Newport. 

In July last year, the club revealed they had decided to back Stars+Stripes, who were a late entry into the 36th edition, but did not make the starting line, with the NYCC then being represented by American Magic. But, in October, the club's then-Commodore announced they would not be backing either team for the 37th edition, pausing their involvement in the Cup. 

However, the club's new Commodore Paul Zabetakis was excited by a return to the arena after the change of heart. 

"The America's Cup remains the highest peak in sailing and one of the most difficult challenges in the world of sport," Zabetakis said. 

"The lessons learned during our previous campaign, combined with American Magic's physical and intellectual assets and a commitment to multiple cycles, will ensure we come into this challenge with a strong chance to claim sailing's ultimate prize." 

American Magic were the club's representative in the 36th edition of the club and looked like they would be a strong challenger. However, their second AC75 'Patriot' capsized during the Prada Cup challenger series and sustained crippling damage. 

The team were forced to quickly repair the vessel and, while they were able to get it back on the water, it was not as competitive as it could have been and they ended the challenger series without a win. 

Despite those struggles, the American Magic team believed the lessons learned in the Hauraki Gulf would set them in good stead for a more competitive campaign in its next edition. 

"We intend to compete in AC37 and are hungry and highly motivated to be the most innovative team on and off the water," American Magic principal Hap Fauth said. 

"We are proud of how our team rebounded during AC36, but we have unfinished business and are committed to investing in technology, design, innovation, and talent so we are best positioned to bring the America's Cup home." 

Former New Zealand Olympic gold medallist Dean Barker was the helmsman for American Magic's ill-fated 2021 campaign, however no crew were listed as part of the announcement; leaving some mystery around who will sail the boat. 

American Magic join Ineos Britannia, Luna Rossa and Red Bull Alinghi Racing as confirmed challengers for the 37th America's Cup. 

The teams now await the announcement of where in the world they will be racing, with Team New Zealand yet to make that call. 

Several offshore venues are being considered, including Cork (Ireland), Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) and a multi-city Spanish bid, while a regatta in Auckland still remains a faint hope. 

- by Christopher Reive