Recruiting Americans for America’s Cup
Published on November 30th, 2022
After their first America’s Cup challenge in 2021, the NYYC American Magic team made some changes in their pursuit of the trophy. Prominent in that change was bringing Scott Ferguson (Jamestown, RI) to lead the design team. Scuttlebutt editor Craig Leweck checks in with Ferguson for an update:
You became the Design Coordinator about five months after the 36th America’s Cup. How blank was the sheet of paper?
Terry Hutchinson contacted me early as the team principals weighed their options for the 37th America’s Cup. He commissioned some short-term work to begin improving our simulator. Other than that, the page was blank. Collectively we created the team from there intending to build an American high-performance design and technical team. Many team members and designers rejoined along with some new highly motivated talent.
What was the assessment of the NYYC American Magic race boat in the 36th America’s Cup?
Patriot has many good features but suffered from significant hull drag in light air takeoff as a primary issue. The foils were a good low-area solution for Auckland 2021, while systems and sailability is an ongoing challenge that will continue into the 37th America’s Cup in Barcelona, 2024.
What can you share about the construction and launch of the new boat?
We have a similar schedule to the previous event in Auckland for the lead-up to the next edition. The new boat will arrive in Barcelona about 4-6 months before the October 2024 competition. The boat will be built in Rhode Island, and I’m sure something will be announced in the coming months.
Any plans for a testing boat (aka LEQ12 boat)?
We will be using AC40s to test some of our components and systems
The team aims to represent America with Americans and to strengthen the future of the sport in the country. How is that being done within the technical team?
We’re proud to represent America, and the design and technical team have many experienced Americans in leading roles. We also have our share of Internationals in key positions which is inevitable to be competitive in the America’s Cup.
We have actively sought design talent within our US borders and paired up many good young American engineers and designers with more experienced counterparts in their area so they can learn from their ideas and methods.
We aim to provide the best opportunities for US talent by encouraging active mentoring and a transparent environment specifically for the long-term technical future.
Is the design team complete?
We are always looking for smart, innovative people with the right attitude and a strong work ethic. The vision of our principals is continuity between the current 37th and the 38th America’s Cup. Much of our team is in place for this cycle, but we will always make room for the right motivated talent. As the work ramps up toward the build, we will need ongoing design and engineering help in all areas of the team. Any interested people should contact email@example.com.
Following the publication of the AC37 Protocol and AC75 Class Rule on November 17, 2021, the AC75 Class Rule and AC Technical Regulations were finalized on March 17, 2022. The entry period opened December 1, 2021 and runs until July 31, 2022, but late entries for the 37th America’s Cup may be accepted until May 31, 2023. The Defender was to announce the Match Venue on September 17, 2021 but postponed the venue reveal, confirming it would be Barcelona on March 30, 2022. The 37th America’s Cup will be held in October 2024.