Please select your home edition
McConaghy Boats 2021 - LEADERBOARD

America's Cup: New York Yacht Club's AC75 will fly to Auckland in September

by Richard Gladwell/US Sailing 19 Apr 2020 04:17 PDT 19 April 2020
New York Yacht Club's AC75 Defiant testing - January 2020 - Pensacola, Florida. © Will Ricketson

Earlier this week, US Sailing featured an interview between noted America's Cup commentator and sailor, Gary Jobson and NYYC American Magic's skipper and Executive Director Terry Hutchinson.

The show ran on US Sailing's The Starboard Portal - an initiative to keep sailors tuned into their sport during the various CV-19 Lockdowns.

Despite the disruption that has affected the New York Yacht Club's America's Cup challenge for the America's Cup, Hutchinson says they have been able to continue building, as have their fellow challenger on the other side of the Atlantic, INEOS Team UK.

"We missed the opportunity to see where we are vulnerable," was Hutchinson's comment on not being able to sail in the two cancelled America's Cup World Series regattas in Cagliari and Sardinia. "It's going to require us to lean that much harder on the design side of the program," he added.

In hindsight, Hutchinson believes the team's test boat nicknamed "The Mule" by team backer Roger Penske, will prove to be a significant asset for the team, given the disruption caused to the ACWS program - caused by the delay in the delivery of the carbon foil arms supplied to all teams by Persico Marine, and then by the CV-19 pandemic. "When we look back at the program, it helped jumped start us, and got us going in the right direction."

He revealed the top speed out of the 38fter - just under the maximum 12-metre length permitted for test boats - is in the high 20kts upwind and 44kts downwind. "In a 38ft boat your senses are turned on at that point," he grinned. "The sense of speed is a lot more than on Defiant" [the team's first AC75]. It's an impressive little boat for what it is," he added.

Those speeds compare quite favourably with the AC72's used in the 2013 America's which hit the high 40kts downwind. The AC50, used in Bermuda and now refined into the F50's used in SailGP, are slightly faster again topping out at the high 40kts and occasionally just over the 50kt mark. However, he points out that reliability is just as important as speed as the boats will have to sail on back to back days. "That is going to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of a reliable boat. When you implement the optimum piece of equipment, it had better be reliable day in and day out, because that is what will be required to win."

Like INEOS Team UK skipper, Ben Ainslie, Hutchinson likes the Luna Rossa hull shape of the first launched AC75's. "The aerodynamics are really nice." He adds that all teams will be looking at the other's first design attempts and then incorporate the best feature of each along with their own new thinking into their second AC75.

He expects their second boat to be finished in late August/early September and it will be flown straight to New Zealand, without sailing in the USA. Defiant, their first AC75 will also go to New Zealand. However, some parts will be taken off it and used on the race boat. But it will always be in a state of readiness. "It will be an insurance policy in case we have a massive crash in Boat 2

He added that the timelines had now become tight for all the teams - and that none were in control of their respective country's situation - a reference to the various and shifting CV-19 lockdowns and restrictions that were in place. There are certain things that we can control, and we work to manage the risk element of it all, and certain things that are out of our control. "It (the CV-19 situation) is so far out of control that when we make a decision, we make one that has a certain level of contingency to it.

The CV-19 restrictions that are currently in place in Florida, essentially making it impossible for the team to sail and stay in compliance. "We were set up to sail in a way that respected the onboard requirements, but it just didn't make any sense," he said with a resigned shrug of the shoulders.

It would seem likely that American Magic will produce an all-round boat, that is a skiff hull concept, that is geared to sail within the 6.5kt to 23kt wind limits that will prevail for the regatta, rather than pitch the boat design into the expected weather window for that time of year in Auckland.

"If the boat is so geared to one condition, we probably won't win the regatta. We need to be able to cover a wide range of wind strengths, so we don't take ourselves out of it."

Despite this being his fifth America's Cup, "this one is such a different aspect of sailing - and one that I have never experienced. You get excited to go to work every day because you know you're going to learn something new."

"There's an unbelievable opportunity in front of us, but it would be remiss to say that there are three other teams, all with the same goal, who are very talented - and you have to respect that. But I can see the pathway and opportunity to succeed in front of us. I'm looking forward to it!"

For the full interview and to see the others in the excellent series from US Sailing go to The Starboard Portal.

Related Articles

Gladwell's Line: Pressing ignition on pro-sailing
The sail racing world is spluttering back into life after over 12 months of being hostage by COVID The sail racing world is spluttering back into life after over 12 months of being hostage to the COVID pandemic - here's a look at how SailGP and the America's Cup coped, plus the 2024 Olympic event quandary. Posted on 6 May
American Magic ready to sail with 7-8 days notice
American Magic's Terry Hutchinson says they are all ready to go sailing at 7-8 days notice American Magic's Terry Hutchinson says the AC36 Challenger are all packed and ready to go sailing at 7-8 days notice, if the next venue is Auckland, otherwise they will head back to the USA. Posted on 3 May
SailGP Bermuda: Dramatic onboard collision video
Dramatic video footage shot from on-board Japan SailGP as their courses intersected with USA SailGP Dramatic video footage shot from on-board Japan SailGP as their courses intersected with USA SailGP on Leg 3 of Race 4 of Day 2 of SailGP Bermuda. Nathan Outteridge describes how it unfolded. Posted on 26 Apr
ACHof: Induction of Peter Montgomery and Ed Baird
America's Cup Hall of Fame: Induction of Peter Montgomery and Ed Baird On March 19, 2021, just a couple of days after the Emirates Team New Zealand successfully defended the America's Cup, the America's Cup Hall of Fame held an Induction Ceremony to welcome broadcaster PJ Montgomery and America's Cup winner Ed Baird Posted on 22 Apr
America's Cup: Luna Rossa's control systems outed
AC36 Challenger Luna Rossa explain how their systems work and the rules that govern their use Handling a boat like the AC75 requires the use of sophisticated management and control systems actioning a compact network of valves and pistons. Here Luna Rossa explain how their systems work and the rules that govern their use Posted on 14 Apr
Coutts more confident of SailGP Bermuda proceeding
SailGP needs COVID dispensations for Bermuda event to proceed on schedule Russell Coutts, CEO of SailGP has told Bermuda Tonight that he is more confident of the first regatta in the 2021 circuit getting underway as scheduled, despite there being only 10 days left until the scheduled start on April 24. Posted on 14 Apr
SailGP: Bermuda goes into seven day lockdown
Bermuda will enter a "shelter at home" policy, ending after the start of SailGP Round 2 It has been announced in Bermuda that the island will enter a "shelter at home" policy for the next seven days at least. The Premier says no exceptions will be made for SailGP for training or racing. Posted on 12 Apr
36th America's Cup put under the microscope
The international broadcast team for 36AC give their take on the breakpoints of regatta Key moments and analysis on the 36th America's Cup. This includes several interviews with key team members on their recollections of some of the more spectacular incidents, which were glossed over at the time due to the pace of the event. Posted on 10 Apr
America's Cup: Gulf Wars - your record of 36AC
A souvenir record of the regattas of the 36th America's Cup is now on sale across all regions A souvenir record of the regattas of the 36th America's Cup is now on sale in New Zealand, and available internationally published just over a week after racing concluded in the 36th America's Cup. Posted on 31 Mar
America's Cup: Two feet
A unit of measurement, avatar and a couple more often helpful in sailboat racing It can be a unit of measurement. Also the very extremities you use for balance when standing up. Then on March 5 this year, we saw that they can even belong to an avatar assisting you and your cause via reinforcement learning. Posted on 28 Mar
Doyle Sails 2020 - By Sailors For Sailors 728x90 BOTTOMHighfield Boats - SW - FOOTERSOUTHERN-SPARS-OFFICIAL-SUPPLIER-52-SS728-X-90 Bottom