Getting into Gear
A year into the latest Cup cycle, the teams are starting to get serious
While much of the yacht racing world has had its eyes glued to the Volvo Ocean Race these eight past months, the behemoth that is the America’s Cup has also been slowly but surely lurching into motion, following the publication of the official AC75 class rule in late March.
Here at home, the New York Yacht Club’s “American Magic” campaign (so named in honor of the schooner that started it all back in 1851) continues to pick up steam, with its sailors first winning the Ficker Cup and then taking second overall this past April in the Congressional Cup, behind former World Match Racing champion Taylor Canfield of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Interestingly, while renowned U.S. sailor Terry Hutchinson is currently leading the effort, at the helm is Kiwi America’s Cup veteran Dean Barker, the skipper on the losing side of the Jimmy Spithill-led “Comeback” on San Francisco Bay in 2013. “So far, the overall experience has been very good,” said Hutchinson. “The Ficker and Congressional Cups were an opportunity to test ourselves, to see where we are, and to apply some pressure [to our team]. Over 12 days, American Magic had a record of 39-7 against some really strong competition. Unfortunately, we didn’t win on the last day of the Congressional Cup, but we did a lot of really good things as a team.”
Dean Barker (inset) and the rest of the “American Magic” campaign (above, to windward) had a chance to start honing their match-racing skills at the Congressional Cup