New York Yacht Club American Magic, the United States Challenger for the 36th America’s Cup presented by Prada, is currently testing and practicing aboard their AC75 yacht Defiant in Auckland, New Zealand. With the Cup regatta scheduled for March, 2021, we have an update from Will Ricketson, the team’s Communications Director.

After five months of COVID-shutdown, the U.S. Challenger is pushing to get Defiant on the water in Aucklnad as much as possible. The team’s meteorologist, Chris Bedford, and Testing Manager Anderson Reggio, are in constant communication about when and where to send 45+ peoplem three chase boats and one 75-foot hydrofoiling monohulL each day. Oftentimes, this effort results in Defiant screaming back to base along the harbor front only as the sun sets, every last hour having been leveraged. © Dylan Clarke/American Magic


Newport native Nick Dana, a Volvo Ocean Race and offshore veteran, is on his first Cup campaign with a team amining to bring the trophy home in a very literal sense. Aboard Defiant, Nick does everything from making sure the team’s communications equipment survives long days at 40+ knots to wrestling with the massive Code-0 headsail. © Will Ricketson/American Magic


One overlooked but crucial aspect of the program is the “Performance Media” department, which operates from Chase 3. Photographer Dylan Clarke manages well over a dozen onboard cameras placed aboard Defiant, which help the designers, sailors and performance development team evaluate the real-world results of ideas that have often been relentlessly tested in the simulator beforehand. Dylan does all of this while also flying a drone every minute the boat is sailing, and managing terabytes of information onshore. © Will Ricketson/American Magic

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