Better prepared to move forward
Published on January 31st, 2021
by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt Sailing News
After a decade and a half away from sailing’s flagship competition, the New York Yacht Club announced in October 2017 their challenge for the 36th America’s Cup. They had hoped in 2021 to meet the kiwi defender in the final match, but the club’s team, American Magic, was the first challenger eliminated in the Prada Cup.
While deemed the favorite leading into the series, American Magic sailed poorly in the early races, and then endured a near campaign-ending hull failure. Their recovery and comeback ran out of runway against the Italian Luna Rossa team, losing 4-0.
As the original trustee of the America’s Cup, the New York Yacht Club questioned recent leadership. When Golden Gate Yacht Club won in 2010, and defended in 2013 and 2017 with mostly foreign crew, the New York Yacht Club sought to return the Cup to America for Americans.
“We are focused on creating an America’s Cup culture in American sailing, and with our partnerships, we are engaging with the grassroots to increase the competitiveness of our sailors, and working to engender the kind of excitement the America’s Cup previously enjoyed in the United States,” explained Hap Fauth, Team Principal and CEO. “We’re not just racing to bring the Cup back to America, we’re racing to bring American yachting back to the Cup.”
In the history of the America’s Cup, it is far the exception for a new team to win on their first effort, and despite the club’s storied past, there was little to build on when the effort was launched. Now, years later, while victory was their goal, their campaign touched corners of the country which had laid vacant, and is now better prepared to move forward. Let’s hope this team does the same.
Here are updates from the final days:
• January 29: The start of the semi-final stage of the Prada Cup Challenger Selection Series had the return of American Magic facing Luna Rossa in the best of seven semi-final stage. For both teams, it was now either win or go home. – Full report
• January 30: After Luna Rossa dominated day one of the semi-final stage of the Prada Cup Challenger Selection Series, milder weather offered American Magic an opportunity to even the score. Both teams needed four wins to advance, and the Italians already had two. – Full report
• To watch the final episode of the team’s documentary, American Magic RACE WEEK, click here.
Racing returns Feb. 13-22 for the Prada Cup Finals in a best of thirteen race series between INEOS Team UK (GBR) and Luna Rossa (ITA).
The PRADA Cup is a series of four round robins (Jan. 15-17 and Jan. 22-24), with the winner of the series qualifying for the PRADA Cup Final and the remaining two Challengers going into a Semi-Final Series (Jan. 29-Feb. 2) for the right to join the Round Robin winner in the Final (Feb. 13–22). The winner of the PRADA Cup will then face the Defender, Emirates Team New Zealand, in the America’s Cup Match beginning March 6.