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America’s Cup: Loving the sunshine state

Published on May 7th, 2019

New York Yacht Club American Magic, Challenger for the 36th America’s Cup, has seen their Florida winter base in Pensacola excel as a training ground as their sailors, designers, and shore crew put their 38-foot test boat ‘Mule’ through its paces.

“Pensacola has completely exceeded expectations,” said crew Andrew Campbell. “Flat water, plenty of breeze, hasn’t been too cold and people are good here. They’ve treated us really well. It’s just a nice big racetrack where we can stretch out and do everything we need to do testing wise but it’s challenging enough that it keeps us keep us on our toes. We couldn’t be any happier to be here.”

The groundbreaking foiling monohull has proven itself to be a smooth and fast ride while foreshadowing the full-size AC75 boats still to come.

“This has been a new class, a very new concept, and we’ve obviously got a huge list of things to work our way through,” notes helm Dean Barker. “Pretty much every day there’s something to learn and so it’s really valuable for the team as a whole to be able to go through the process of getting the boat on the water every day. We get the good part to be able to sail it.

Among all the America’s Cup entries, the test boat used by American Magic is the largest and most reflective of the AC75 boat the team will be launching this year.

“The 38 is our best shot at getting a feel for what the pain points are going to be around the racetrack,” observes Campbell. “We’re trying to put ourselves under pressure every day to make sure that we’re learning the hard points of sail and the hard corners, so this boat been a great tool for that.”

Barker, who helmed the foiling catamarans used in the 2013 and 2017 America’s Cup, finds the Mule to be a very interesting boat.

“The dynamic of it is very different from the catamarans which is a great challenge, and from a competitive standpoint you enjoy the challenge of learning what the boat is all about and how it behaves and all the things that it likes to do and doesn’t like to do.

“You learn the hard way at times but it’s also very rewarding when things start to come together. Our speeds are pretty phenomenal and I think with the AC75, we’re going to see some pretty exciting action. That’s still a ways away but we’re looking toward getting there eventually.”

The team is expected to move later in May back to their main base in Newport, RI.

Video published on May 7, 2019.

In addition to Challenges from Italy, USA, and Great Britain that were accepted during the initial entry period (January 1 to June 30, 2018), eight additional Notices of Challenge were received by the late entry deadline on November 30, 2018. Of those eight submittals, entries from Malta, USA, and The Netherlands have also been accepted. Here’s the current list:

• Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL)

• Luna Rossa (ITA) – Challenger of Record
• American Magic (USA)
• Malta Altus Challenge (MLT)
• Stars & Stripes Team USA (USA)
• DutchSail (NED)

Key America’s Cup dates:
✔ September 28, 2017: 36th America’s Cup Protocol released
✔ November 30, 2017: AC75 Class concepts released to key stakeholders
✔ January 1, 2018: Entries for Challengers open
✔ March 31, 2018: AC75 Class Rule published
✔ June 30, 2018: Entries for Challengers close
✔ August 31, 2018: Location of the America’s Cup Match and The PRADA Cup confirmed
✔ August 31, 2018: Specific race course area confirmed
✔ November 30, 2018: Late entries deadline
✔ March 31, 2019: Boat 1 can be launched (DELAYED)
✔ 2nd half of 2019: 2 x America’s Cup World Series Preliminary Events (CANCELLED)
February 1, 2020: Boat 2 can be launched
During 2020: 3 x America’s Cup World Series Preliminary Events
December 10-20, 2020: America’s Cup Christmas Race
January and February 2021: The PRADA Cup Challenger Selection Series
March 2021: The America’s Cup Match


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