America’s Cup: PATRIOT passes first test
Published on October 17th, 2020
Auckland, New Zealand (October 17, 2020) – New York Yacht Club American Magic, the U.S. Challenger for the 36th America’s Cup, completed its first sailing session onboard the newly-launched AC75 PATRIOT in Auckland’s Waitematā Harbor.
After a 9:00 am christening event yesterday at the team’s base in the Wynyard Quarter, the team engaged in an afternoon of dockside testing. At 4:30 pm in flat-calm conditions, the dark blue AC75 was pulled up onto its foils by a chase boat and towed at high speed to a location near Rangitoto Lighthouse.
After the design, shore, and sailing team members conducted additional testing on sails and systems, the team decided to let PATRIOT cast off under her own power.
“We went off the dock thinking that if the breeze filled in, we’d have a good sail,” said Terry Hutchinson, Skipper and Executive Director of American Magic. “Straight away, we came into 21 knots [of pressure], and we were into it. This really demonstrates the confidence that the sailors have in everyone on the team.”
After 92 days of on-the-water development in the AM38 test boat and 66 days on the team’s first AC75, DEFIANT, American Magic began logging hours on a yacht that is the embodiment of three years of hard-earned data and lessons.
“Yesterday was PATRIOT’s first sailing day, but the overall operation felt like any other day,” said Hutchinson. “Despite having a brand-new boat that we were all excited about, the whole session felt normal. That’s a great validation of our shore team and all of the work put in since we launched the Mule in 2018.”
After sailing from Rangitoto Lighthouse to North Head, PATRIOT headed upwind past Devonport before bearing away back towards Rangitoto Island. The AC75’s first gybe, attempted with a windspeed of around 20 knots, turned out to be a memorable one.
“We had a great nosedive, and that was exciting,” said Hutchinson. “It was nothing that we haven’t seen or done on our other boats, and our familiarity with PATRIOT will increase rapidly over the coming days.”
Helmsman Dean Barker noted that he and team were encouraged by the yacht’s performance overall. Barker described the new AC75, built by a team of 50 in Bristol, Rhode Island, as “lively.”
American Magic’s approach to performance development involves a firm focus on spending time on the water in conjunction with advanced simulation onshore. To that end, the U.S. Challenger expects to log as many sailing days as possible until the first preliminary racing event, America’s Cup World Series Auckland (December 17-20, 2020).
Source: Will Ricketson, American Magic; TVNZ
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)
• INEOS Team UK (GBR)
• Malta Altus Challenge (MLT) – WITHDRAWN
• Stars + Stripes Team USA (USA)
• DutchSail (NED) – WITHDRAWN
Of the three late entries, only Stars+Stripes USA remains committed, however, it is unclear what entry payments have been made, nor is there knowledge of a boat being actively built or sailing team assembled.
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 (CANCELLED)
✔ June 4-7, 2020: Second (2/3) America’s Cup World Series event in Portsmouth, England (CANCELLED)
• December 17-20, 2020: Third (3/3) America’s Cup World Series event in Auckland, New Zealand
• January 15-February 22, 2021: The PRADA Cup Challenger Selection Series
• March 6-15, 2021: The America’s Cup Match
Youth America’s Cup Competition (CANCELLED)
• February 18-23, 2021
• March 1-5, 2021
• March 8-12, 2021
AC75 launch dates:
September 6, 2019 – Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Boat 1
September 10, 2019 – American Magic (USA), Boat 1; actual launch date earlier but not released
October 2, 2019 – Luna Rossa (ITA), Boat 1
October 4, 2019 – INEOS Team UK (GBR), Boat 1
October 16, 2020 – American Magic (USA), Boat 2