American Magic prepares for next America’s Cup

Published on August 16th, 2021

It was a big step when an American campaign, alongside New York Yacht Club, challenged in October 2017 for the 36th America’s Cup. It would be a new syndicate led by Hap Fauth and Doug DeVos, guided by skipper Terry Hutchinson, and representing the most storied club in America’s Cup history.

While the club had remained on the sidelines since its last challenge for the 2002-03 America’s Cup, they were eager to help guide the event again, but first this partnership had to win in 2021. However, as was on full display in January 2021, this effort could not have ended much worse.

Poor race execution and boat handling lost races and nearly lost the boat in a high speed capsize, with American Magic to be the first team eliminated in the challenger selection series. Despite a seemingly well planned effort, it was an embarrassing exit for the campaign.

However, time heals all wounds… sort of. Both New York Yacht Club and American Magic are committed to participating in the next America’s Cup. What’s less clear is if they will be doing it together.

Sail GP

As the American Magic syndicate owns all assets from the 2021 campaign, the NYYC announced in July 2021 it had formed a new partnership with the Stars+Stripes team which also had entered the 36th America’s Cup but only got so far as building a portion of their boat before insufficient funds halted their effort.

While neither American Magic nor NYYC is stating the marriage is over, the initial agreement was only for the 36th edition, and it would appear at this stage the vows won’t be renewed.

Regardless, American Magic is moving ahead with performance development work in preparation for a challenge for the 37th edition, and have signed two-time America’s Cup winner Scott Ferguson (Jamestown, RI) as Design Coordinator to lead the design effort for the next campaign.

“We intend to compete at the 37th America’s Cup, and to leverage all that we learned and gained from our campaign for Auckland 2021 as we move forward,” said Fauth, American Magic Team Principal and three-time Maxi72 World Champion. “I’m excited to see our team evolve and grow over the coming months, and Scott coming onboard is a key part of that.”

While American Magic is not involved in planning the next edition of the Cup on the event side, the US team has had regular dialogue with the Defender and the Challenger of Record who are hammering out the details of the next event.

“We feel that we have a solid idea of what we need to design and build to win the 37th America’s Cup,” said Terry Hutchinson, President of Sailing Operations and Skipper for American Magic. “Now is the time to enter a new phase in the performance side of our program, and we’re excited to bring Scott onboard with American Magic.

“His record with Oracle Team USA’s winning Cup campaigns in 2010 and 2013 speaks for itself, but his depth of experience at the highest levels of our sport goes way beyond that. We will collectively assemble a design group that will work closely with our production and sailing teams to put us in a position to win AC37.”

Ferguson’s previous America’s Cup work includes both design and management roles with Luna Rossa (Rig Design Manager 2000-2007), Oracle Team USA (Wing / Rig Design Manager 2007-2013, Design Coordinator / Senior Designer 2014-2017) and American Magic (Consultant, 2019-2021).

“Joining an established team like American Magic, which has a core of people, assets, and data to draw from on day one, is an amazing opportunity,” said Ferguson. “The challenge of designing, building, and honing a third generation AC75 will be significant, but it’s one that we embrace.

“Having class continuity between AC36 and AC37, as the Defender and Challenger of Record have stated is their intention, is a great thing for our sport. I firmly believe that AC37 is a winnable event, and look forward to working with the Team Principals and Terry to assemble the right design group to get the job done.”

Little has been publicly revealed about the 37th America’s Cup other than a statement from the
Defender of the America’s Cup, Emirates Team New Zealand, and the Challenger of Record, INEOS Team UK, following the 36th America’s Cup in Auckland. For details, click here.

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