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America's Cup: American Magic engages new design head and ramps up ahead of AC37

by Sail-World/American Magic 16 Aug 2021 12:59 PDT 17 August 2021
PATRIOT, American Magic's AC75 racing yacht and the result of over three years of design work, rests in her shed in Auckland, New Zealand, venue of the 36th America's Cup. I © American Magic/Sailing Energy

The former New York Yacht Club challenger for the 36th America's Cup in Auckland, have announced the appointment of a design co-ordinator, and that they are proceeding with a challenge for the 37th America's Cup.

Earlier New York Yacht club in a surprise move ditched the US America's Cup team, and signed up with West Coast USA based team Stars+Stripes led by Taylor Canfield and Mike Buckley.

American Magic has all its assets including two AC75's, bases and team infrastructure intact from the Prada Cup campaign in Auckland, and is believed to be seeking a partnership with a new club, for the next America's Cup.

In a written statement American Magic, the U.S. Challenger for the 36th America's Cup [AC36], confirmed that it is moving ahead with performance development work in preparation for a challenge for the 37th edition of the oldest event in international sport. To lead the design effort for the next campaign, the team has signed two-time America's Cup winner Scott Ferguson (Jamestown, R.I.) as Design Coordinator.

"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 Hap 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 U.S. team has been focused on internal preparations. The team stands ready to adapt to the AC37 venue announcement, updated AC75 Class Rule, and AC37 Protocol after publication.

"Based on our 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). The Rhode Island native's other notable projects include rig design work with Volvo Ocean Race campaigns Puma Ocean Racing, Team Groupama, Team Telefonica, Pirates of the Caribbean and multiple TP52 teams/circuit winners including Quantum Racing, the world championship-winning TP52 team.

"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 3rd-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."

The Defender of the America's Cup, Emirates Team New Zealand, and the Challenger of Record, INEOS Team UK, released a joint statement following the 36th America's Cup in Auckland regarding their intentions for the next event which can be found here. Further information about the venue, the AC75 Class Rule and the Protocol for AC37 is expected to be announced later this year.

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