Auckland, New Zealand (June 29, 2020) – Defiant, the first AC75 racing yacht built for New York Yacht Club American Magic, Challenger for the 36th America’s Cup, has arrived in New Zealand. The AC75 was shipped through the Gulf of Mexico, transited the Panama Canal and then crossed the Pacific after departing from the team’s winter base in Pensacola, Florida on May 28.
Defiant was promptly unloaded at the New York Yacht Club’s Viaduct base just as helmsman Dean Barker was released from his 14 days in quarantine.
American Magic skipper Terry Hutchinson confirmed with the New Zealand Herald they have enough team members on the ground to get Defiant set-up at their base but would have to play the waiting game from there.
“A couple of days after the initial (immigration) exemption was granted, we were given clearance for a certain portion of our team,” he said, “… from there we’re in a bit of a holding pattern, it’s still nervous times.”
American Magic’s focus over the coming weeks will be to complete the New Zealand entry and quarantine process for team personnel and their families and get set-up to be sailing by the third week in July. Back in the USA, their production team in Bristol (RI) is nearing completion of the second AC75 which will be flown sometime during the fall of 2020 to New Zealand.
“I could not be more proud of how our 145-person team has handled this shipping process, and everything else the pandemic has thrown at us,” said Hutchinson.
The other two challengers, INEOS Team UK (GBR) and Luna Rossa (ITA), are expected to be sailing in Auckland in early September and the third week in October, respectively.
36th America’s Cup
In addition to Challenges from Italy, USA, and Great Britain that were accepted during the initial entry period (January 1 to June 30, 2018), eight additional Notices of Challenge were received by the late entry deadline on November 30, 2018. Of those eight submittals, entries from Malta, USA, and the Netherlands were also accepted. Here’s the list:
• Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL)
• Luna Rossa (ITA) – Challenger of Record
• American Magic (USA)
• INEOS Team UK (GBR)
• Malta Altus Challenge (MLT) – WITHDRAW
• Stars + Stripes Team USA (USA)
• DutchSail (NED) – WITHDRAW
Of the three late entries, only Stars+Stripes USA remains committed, however, it is unclear what entry payments have been made, nor is there knowledge of a boat being actively built or sailing team assembled.
Key America’s Cup dates:
✔ September 28, 2017: 36th America’s Cup Protocol released
✔ November 30, 2017: AC75 Class concepts released to key stakeholders
✔ January 1, 2018: Entries for Challengers open
✔ March 31, 2018: AC75 Class Rule published
✔ June 30, 2018: Entries for Challengers close
✔ August 31, 2018: Location of the America’s Cup Match and The PRADA Cup confirmed
✔ August 31, 2018: Specific race course area confirmed
✔ November 30, 2018: Late entries deadline
✔ March 31, 2019: Boat 1 can be launched (DELAYED)
✔ 2nd half of 2019: 2 x America’s Cup World Series events (CANCELLED)
✔ October 1, 2019: US$1million late entry fee deadline (NOT KNOWN)
✔ February 1, 2020: Boat 2 can be launched (DELAYED)
✔ April 23-26, 2020: First (1/3) America’s Cup World Series event in Cagliari, Sardinia (CANCELLED)
✔ June 4-7, 2020: Second (2/3) America’s Cup World Series event in Portsmouth, England (CANCELLED)
• December 17-20, 2020: Third (3/3) America’s Cup World Series event in Auckland, New Zealand
• January 15-February 22, 2021: The PRADA Cup Challenger Selection Series
• March 6-15, 2021: The America’s Cup Match
Youth America’s Cup Competition
• February 18-23, 2021
• March 1-5, 2021
• March 8-12, 2021
AC75 launch dates:
September 6 – Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Boat 1
September 10 – American Magic (USA), Boat 1; actual launch date earlier but not released
October 2 – Luna Rossa (ITA), Boat 1
October 4 – INEOS Team UK (GBR), Boat 1
Published on June 29th, 2020