Please select your home edition
Edition
Sailingfast 2018 2 728x90

Competitive philosophy of an America's Cup challenger

by Will Ricketson, NYYC American Magic 14 Nov 16:17 GMT
Competitive philosophy of an America's Cup challenger © American Magic

Each America's Cup Challenger has a few key tools to work with: The AC75 class rule, fresh talent, proven experience and a finite amount of time. From these common ingredients grows a competitive philosophy that is unique to each team. For American Magic, the U.S. Challenger, this philosophy is centered around a daily refusal to be outworked.

"Our mentality is that each day is a race day," said Terry Hutchinson, Skipper and Executive Director of New York Yacht Club American Magic. "When you practice like you race, and make your practice days harder than race days, the racing tends to get easier."

Solving the design puzzle of the AC75 class rule and building a winning platform requires not only innovation, but boldness. "You have to have an attitude to how you're going to approach the rule and the documents [that govern the America's Cup]," said Flight Controller Andrew Campbell. "You have to have a certain perspective. You have to attack it. You can't just react."

In a normal America's Cup cycle, each team would face the crucible of early exhibition regattas. These events would provide a glimpse into the progress of each team, and provide a stress test for each distinct philosophy. COVID-19 has upended much of that, along with the rest of the sporting world.

"This is such a unique regatta, and it's such a unique time," said Hutchinson. "Because of the world and the environment we've been living in, all the teams are going to face the challenge of not really having raced in the last twelve months. And yet we're on the eve of something we've been preparing for for the last three years. I'm excited by that, I'm confident in the team and I'm confident in the trajectory that we're on."

Bold decision-making on the design and production sides, buttressed by aggressive training on the water, are the sources of this confidence, according to American Magic Coach James Lyne.

"When we do something well we build confidence in each other and in the boat," said Lyne. "If we have confidence in each other we're going to get through those bad times and have more of those good times. It's about learning. We've got a group of younger sailors and we've got a group of older sailors."

A combination of youthful ambition and proven talent can be found across each area of the 150-strong U.S. team.

"It's really easy to look at us as a new team, but when you look around at every one of these departments there's a ton of experience," said Campbell. "When you see how we are hitting these milestones, when you see how we are performing day-in and day-out, you understand very quickly that we're not a new team here. This is a team that's ready to hit the ground running on race day."

The racing begins at America's Cup World Series Auckland and the Christmas Race (December 17-20, 2020). U.S. viewers will be able to watch on NBC Sports Network / NBC Gold.

Competitive philosophy

Director: Chelsea Slayter
Director of Photography: Sebastian Slayter
Produced by: Vague Pictures
Edit by: Brian Stephen Mead
Color Grade and Audio Mix: Department of Post
Additional Photography: Dylan Clarke and Will Ricketson

Related Articles

Emirates Team NZ online store Black Friday deals
Emirates Team New Zealand shop is offering some foiling good deals on selected items to November 30 Emirates Team New Zealand shop is offering some foiling good deals on selected items as part of Black Friday - but this offer extends through to November 30. Here's a great chance to do some high value Xmas shopping or get your fan gear for the Xmas Cup. Posted on 26 Nov
America's Cup Rialto: Nov 26 - Social distancing!
Two of the America's Cup teams ventured out onto the Hauraki Gulf today, in fresh winds and rain Two of the America's Cup teams ventured out onto the Hauraki Gulf, in the aftermath of yesterday's gale and heavy rain. With both sailing, maybe closer than the rules allow on Course E in the Tamaki Strait. Plus the latest video from Gilles Martin-Raget Posted on 26 Nov
ETNZ on podium for America's Cup tech developments
ETNZ's simulator "pedigree" and use earns third place on Top 50 in Global Power List In the 2020 Sports Technology Annual Review and Industry Power List published this month, Emirates Team New Zealand has been ranked at #3 on the Global Power List by the STA Group and the English Institute of Sport. Posted on 25 Nov
170 years of the America's Cup by Virtual Eye
The Cup from 1851to 2021 by Virtual Eye who first introduced real-time graphics to sport in 1992 Many media formats have been used to try and explain the leaps between the start of the America's Cup in 1851 through to the present - in the sailing class and technology of the day. None bridge the gap as well as this piece from Animation Research Ltd Posted on 25 Nov
America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ race boat build
Emirates Team New Zealand have released a rare video showing the construction of their V2 AC75 Emirates Team New Zealand have released a rare video showing the construction of their second generation AC75, built in the team's dedicated construction facility on Auckland's North Shore. Posted on 25 Nov
America's Cup: A unique insight into ETNZ
TVNZ embedded an investigative reporter into Emirates Team NZ for six weeks - 15 minute insight. Prime time Television New Zealand magazine show, Sunday, embedded a reporter into Emirates Team New Zealand for six weeks. The America's Cup champions gave her complete access to the team. Posted on 24 Nov
America's Cup Rialto: Nov 24 - Riding on the gale
Two teams ventured out today in the face of a rising easterly gale and constant rain. Two teams ventured out today in the face of a forecast of a strengthening breeze, expected to develop into a regulation easterly gale, along with rain. Posted on 24 Nov
America's Cup Rialto: Nov 23 - A new direction
Monday was a day in waiting. Waiting for a weather system to pass through bringing strong easterlies Monday was a day in waiting. Waiting for a weather system to pass through with strong easterlies predicted for the following day. Posted on 23 Nov
America's Cup: The 25 year itch is back
Top Kiwi sailing journalist, Suzanne McFadden catches up with key Cup players Top Kiwi sailing journalist, Suzanne McFadden catches up with key Cup players at the launch of Emirates Team NZ's Te Rehutai on Thursday evening. "It's been a year since I last saw Emirates Team New Zealand. Granted, we've both been busy.... Posted on 23 Nov
America's Cup Rialto: Nov 20 - Kiwis first sail
America's Cup champions, Emirates Team New Zealand turned on an impressive first sail performance in America's Cup champions, Emirates Team New Zealand, turned on an impressive first sail performance in their Version 2 AC75, Te Rehutai just over 18 hours after her Thursday evening launch ceremony. Posted on 21 Nov