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America’s Cup: More than just a race

Published on February 20th, 2020

Rob Ouellette © Amory Ross/American Magic

New York Yacht Club is back at competing for the America’s Cup, and the club’s American Magic team is on a mission. In an excerpt of an interview in WindCheck Magazine, Chief Operating Officer Rob Ouellette shares the view from the fortress:

Describing his job:
Well, that is a complicated answer! I report to our board of directors on a wide variety of topics, including design progress, production, commercial deals, communications, logistics, budgets, and competitor progress just to name a few. There are a lot of balls in the air with 140 team members located in different states, countries, and time zones…not really your typical 9 to 5 job.

Regarding team partners:
Our team owners are committed not only to winning, but to making an impact on the sport of sailing in the U.S. Each of our sailing community partners helps us do that in real, tangible ways.

US Sailing, through its Olympic program and Olympic Development Program, has produced or impacted ten members of our sailing team. Sail Newport has helped us build strong roots and connections locally in New England, and through them our team has interacted with many sailors who call Narragansett Bay home.

We have hired ten IYRS School of Technology and Trades graduates to help build The Mule, Defiant, and our second AC75, which is a pretty amazing story. Oakcliff Sailing has provided us with another sailing team member, and we have contributed coaching and expertise at their facility in New York.

Finally, we will work with the Herreshoff Museum and America’s Cup Hall of Fame in Bristol to make sure that the unrivaled history of our sport is preserved for the future.

Advice for young sailors:
Spend as much time in your boat as you can, and don’t just learn to tack on the headers. Broaden your understanding of all things that go into making a boat and team win. There is so much more to winning a boat race than the next shift, and it all matters.

36th America’s Cup
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 were also accepted. Here’s the list:

• Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL)

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

Of the three late entries, only Stars+Stripes USA remains committed, but they still must complete the entry fee payment process before they will be eligible to race. They have allegedly made their initial payment but as a late entry challenger under the Protocol, they also have a liability to pay a US$1million late entry fee due in installments by October 1, 2019. However, it is not yet confirmed if they have paid the fee, nor is there any knowledge of a boat being actively built or sailing team training.

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 events (CANCELLED)
October 1, 2019: US$1million late entry fee deadline (NOT KNOWN)
February 1, 2020: Boat 2 can be launched (DELAYED)
April 23-26, 2020: First (1/3) America’s Cup World Series event in Cagliari, Sardinia
June 4-7, 2020 – Second (2/3) America’s Cup World Series event in Portsmouth, England
December 17-20 – Third (3/3) America’s Cup World Series event in Auckland, New Zealand
January and February 2021: The PRADA Cup Challenger Selection Series
March 2021: The America’s Cup Match

AC75 launch dates:
September 6 – Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Boat 1
September 10 – American Magic (USA), Boat 1; actual launch date earlier but not released
October 2 – Luna Rossa (ITA), Boat 1
October 4 – INEOS Team UK (GBR), Boat 1


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