American Magic fined for buzzing tower
Published on February 15th, 2021
It’s hard to imagine America’s Cup challenger American Magic’s campaign ending much worse. After a building a solid foundation, they entered the challenger selection series as the favorite. Bookmakers gave them a big edge, and so did everyone else.
But then it all came crashing down, literally. Like dog crap on a shoe, they stank with every step, nearly killing their boat and crew, and ultimately exiting Auckland without a win in the selection series.
As they pack up and pay bills, the ante went up when the Auckland Harbourmaster issued a $200 fine for the team’s fly-by with an Auckland ferry in September 2020 on Waitematā Harbour. Shared widely on video, the evidence was clear in which they exceeded five knots when within 50 meters of another vessel.
But geez, there appeared to be no danger, and everyone on that ferry gained a rare glimpse at what was to come. A thank you would have been appropriate, but under Maritime New Zealand’s collision prevention rule, any alteration of course or speed – or both – to avoid collision must be large enough to be readily apparent to another vessel.
The ferry’s captain claims to have slowed down out of concern, which likely made the incident worse as the Americans passed astern of the ferry. To relive the moment, click here.
UPDATE: American Magic contacted Scuttlebutt to declare the STUFF story is false and no fine was issued. Scuttlebutt is looking into this issue.
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 first team in the Final to win seven races earns entry to face the Defender, Emirates Team New Zealand, in the America’s Cup Match beginning March 6.